Jonas Kaufmann: L'Opera

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Jonas Kaufmann (tenor)

with Ludovic Tézier (baritone), Sonya Yoncheva (soprano), Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Bertrand de Billy

Jonas Kaufmann pays homage to a magnificent era of opera that defined musical splendor and elegance, in his new album of 19th-century French opera arias and duets. His selection of music for tenor spans this momentous period, starting with “Rachel, quand du Seigneur” from Halévy’s La Juive (1835), through two of Bizet’s greatest works, “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” from Carmen (1875) and “Au fond du temple saint” from Les Pêcheurs de perles (1863), by way of Gounod’s “Ah! lève-toi, soleil!” from Roméo et Juliette (1867) and ending with the latest aria “Pourquoi me réveiller” from Massenet’s masterpiece Werther (1892). Plus many more along the way. “The French operatic repertory is very close to my heart,” says Kaufmann. “This fascinating music reflects a unique period in European culture. I didn’t want to choose only highlights for this album but also works and roles that have been key experiences for me. Wilhelm Meister in Mignon, for example, was my first major French role – I sang it in Toulouse in 2001. Carmen and Werther helped to open doors for me. The fact that I sang my first Werther at the Paris Opéra of all places, as a German surrounded by a French ensemble, was undoubtedly rather risky, but I had some excellent guides to help me: répétiteurs, colleagues, conductors and, not least, the recordings of the legendary French tenor Georges Thill.”


Gounod: L'amour, l'amour... Ah, lève-toi soleil (from Roméo et Juliette)
Massenet: Traduire ! Ah ! Bien souvent mon rêve s’envole… Pourquoi me réveiller (Werther)
Thomas, Ambroise: Elle ne croyait pas, dans sa candeur naïve (from Mignon)
Bizet: La fleur que tu m'avais jetée (from Carmen)
Bizet: C’est toi, toi qu’enfin je revois (from Les pêcheurs de perles)
Bizet: Au fond du temple saint (from Les Pêcheurs de Perles)
Lalo: Puisqu'on ne peut flêchir (from Le roi d’Ys)
Lalo: Vainement, ma bien-aimée (from Le roi d’Ys)
Offenbach: O Dieu, de quelle ivresse (from Les contes d'Hoffmann)
Meyerbeer: Pays merveilleux... Ô paradis (from L'Africaine)
Massenet: Enfin Manon, nous voilà enfin seuls ensemble... En fermant les yeux (from Manon)
Massenet: Toi ! Vous ! Oui ! Je fus cruelle… N’est-ce plus ma main (from Manon)
Massenet: Ah! Tout est bien fini... O souverain (from Le Cid)
Halévy: Rachel, quand du Seigneur (from La Juive)
Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Merci, doux crépuscule!
Berlioz: Inutiles regrets…En un dernier naufrage (from Les Troyens)