Jonas Kaufmann

L' Opéra

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AllMusic Review by

You might not have looked to Germany as the source of the next big opera star, but there you have it: tenor Jonas Kaufmann has reached the point where he can sing almost anything and coax beauty and even sensuousness out of it. Can big crossover albums be far off? He doesn't have quite the charisma of a Domingo, but the voice is at its breathtaking peak and seems to be well enough cared for that it could stay there a while. As the title implies, this album is devoted to French operatic repertory. Kaufmann has a good deal of experience in this field, and he sets the album up as a group of pieces that have had personal significance to him because they played a part in the development of this aspect of his career. The particulars are spelled out in an interview-style booklet note. As such, the program touches on some less-than-standard items; this may appeal to opera devotees, but the general listener might want to hear a familiar tune from time to time. There is no denying the sheer beauty of the voice, though, most of all in the quiet high notes that have become Kaufmann's specialty. You could start sampling with the opening "L'amour... Ah! Lève-toi, soleil," from Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, with the Bayerisches Staatsoper under Bertrand de Billy setting Kaufmann up perfectly (as they do throughout) with its delicate instrumental introduction and Kaufmann caressing his entrance in a way that nobody else can quite do these days. Other pleasures involve the two guest singers, baritone Ludovic Tézier in an excerpt from Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles and soprano Sonya Yoncheva in Massenet's Manon. This is choice Kaufmann.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
Romeo et Juliette
1 06:09
Werther
2 03:45
Mignon
3 04:16
Carmen
4 04:20
Les Pêcheurs de Perles
5 08:14
Le Roi D'ys
6 03:06
Les Contes D'Hoffmann
7 03:17
L'Africaine
8 03:25
Manon
9 04:56
10 07:58
Le Cid
11 05:06
La Juive
12 06:24
La Damnation de Faust
13 05:51
Les Troyens
14 07:10
blue highlight denotes track pick