The German tenor, Jonas Kaufmann [Kauffmann], completed his formal music studies at the Munich’s Hochschule für Musik, subsequently attending master-classes by Hans Hotter, James King and Josef Metternich. He was a prize-winner at the 1993 Nürnberg Meistersinger Competition.
Jonas Kaufmann's professional career began already during his studies, singing smaller roles at Munich’s two opera houses - with the Bavarian Staatsoper and Munich’s Gärtnerplatz Theater. In 1994 he joined the ensemble at the Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken for three years. At this opera house he performed the major roles of the lyric repertoire. During this period he was also a regular guest at the leading opera houses of the world: including the Vienna Staatsoper, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Zürich Opera where he has been heard in Die Zauberflöte, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, La clemenza di Tito, Fierrabras, and Monteverdi’s Ulisse. In Chicago he sang in Verdi’s Otello and Traviata; in Frankfurt in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, and in Brussels in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust. In summer 2003 he appeared at the Salzburg Festival in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and in Mozart’s “Great” Mass in minor, both under Ivor Bolton. Sir Colin Davis, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, Antonio Pappano and Wolfgang Sawallisch are also among the notable conductors with whom Jonas Kaufmann has appeared in opera and concert.
Since 2001, he has been a member of the ensemble at the Zürich Opera where his roles to date have included Tamino, Titus, Idomeneo, Nerone, Fierrabras, Charles Gounod’s Faust, Florestan and Verdi’s Duke. Now enjoying a flourishing solo career, Jonas Kaufmann has quickly become one of the leading tenors of his generation and has been engaged by many of the world’s leading opera houses. The past seasons have brought a number of important débuts: at the Salzburg Festival (Belmonte), the Lyric Opera of Chicago (Cassio and Alfredo), at La Scala (Jacquino), at Covent Garden (La Rondine) and his role debut as Berlioz’ Faust in a new production conducted by Antonio Pappano at La Monnaie. For the Opera National de Paris (Cassio) and at the opera houses of Hamburg (Ferrando), Stuttgart (Rodolfo and Alfredo), Toulouse (Mignon) and Geneva (Damnation de Faust).
Future seasons bring several return productions to the Metropolitan Opera, the Opera National de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Vienna State Opera and Covent Garden in roles including Alfredo, Florestan, Don Jose, Tamino and Lensky among others.
Jonas Kaufmann is also a versatile concert performer appearing with some of the world’s leading conductors and orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle and the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst. Together with Helmut Deutsch, Jonas Kaufmann has built a strong recital career in Europe and recently made his first sell-out tour of Japan. The 2002-2003 season brought their Wigmore Hall recital debut, and they have appeared regularly at the Edinburgh International Festival.
The discography to date includes Marschner’s Vampyr and two world-premiere recordings; the role of Hassan in Carl Loewe’s opera The Three Wishes and the title role of Johann Joseph Abert’s opera Ekkehard, all on the Capriccio label. Also available is Arnold Schoenberg’s Jakobsleiter with Kent Nagano and on Decca, Weber’s Oberon with Sir John Eliot Gardiner. His first solo recording of Lieder by Richard Strauss, will be released this season by Harmonia Mundi.
The current season (2005-2006) in Zürich brings Jonas Kaufmann’s first Rigoletto and Parsifal as well as a revival of Schubert’s Fierrabras. He also makes his long-awaiting Met debut in La Traviata, and sings a new production of Bartered Bride at Oper Frankfurt. In addition to performances of Zauberfloete in Munich and La Traviata in Stuttgart, this season Jonas Kaufmann gives recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg and at Oper Frankfurt as well as numerous orchestral concerts.