Jonas Kaufmann, Tenor for the Ages

2017   BBC Four

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The German tenor, Jonas Kaufmann, is one of the hottest properties in the opera world.   He captivates audiences with the power, emotion and beauty of his singing, the intelligence of his acting, his matinée-idol delivery, and his extraordinary range – from the heroic stage roles in Wagner to the intimate songs of Schubert on the concert platform.

For this documentary for the BBC’s Opera Season, the film-maker John Bridcut has been given unique and often surprising access to Kaufmann across the last two years, observing him in rehearsal, backstage during performances, and in his off-duty moments.  It is by far the most intimate and extensive portrait yet made of Jonas Kaufmann, now at the peak of his career. He was filmed behind the scenes at the Last Night of the Proms, when he was the first German to sing Rule, Britannia!   His schedule was later interrupted for five months because of a vocal injury, but recently he made a triumphant return, notably in the production of Verdi’s late opera, Otello, at Covent Garden.  Kaufmann is filmed working with the Royal Opera’s music director, Sir Antonio Pappano, and the stage director, Keith Warner – and is involved in every aspect of the preparations.  He talks freely about his earlier cancellations, about what keeps him going during a run of performances, and about the problems of being a star.

(Most of the pictures on this page were taken during filming at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.)

FILM CREDITS

Photography Jonathan Partridge, Vaughan Matthews, Colin Rogal
Sound Paul Nathan, Paul Paragon, Patrick Boland
Colourist Paul Ingvarsson
Dubbing Mixer David Ingram
Production Co-ordinator Rowan Moss
Production Managers Fay Thompson, Susan Lee
Editor Riaz Meer
Written, narrated and directed by John Bridcut

Broadcast on BBC Four, Sunday 15 October, 9pm.

See the TRAILERS for the documentary, which is still available on iPlayer.

DVD and international release shortly.

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