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A native of Munich, Jonas Kaufmann graduated from the Music Academy of his hometown and took master classes with Hans Hotter, James King, and Josef Metternich. He began his career in 1994 at the Staats-theater in Saarbrücken, where he went on to learn the lyric tenor repertoire. Soon he was engaged by the major venues, from Zurich Opera, the Salzburg Festival, and Paris National Opera to Chicago Lyric Opera. Kaufmann has gradually expanded his artistic spectrum, with a stronger emphasis on the Italian and French repertoire and a focus on dramatic roles as well. Thus in 2006 he made his debut as Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata at the Metropolitan Opera in New York; sang his first Stolzing in Die Meistersinger at the Edinburgh Festival; appeared at the Vienna Staatsoper as Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon; and performed Don José in Carmen at Covent Garden in London and La Scala in Milan (and, most recently, at the Salzburg Easter Festival this spring). In the summer of 2010 Kaufmann sang Lohengrin at the Bayreuth Festival, and in 2011 he made his role debut as Siegmund (Die Walküre) at the Met in New York; in 2012 he performs his first Bacchus in Strauss’s Ariadne at the Salzburg Festival. As a concert singer, he has worked with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Simon Rattle, Christian Thielemann, and Franz Welser-Möst. Kaufmann’s recordings have won the Echo Klassik, the Diapason d’Or, and the Gramophone Award; the magazine Musical America named him Singer of the Year in 2011. His self-portrait Meinen die wirklich mich? was published in 2010.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 2 September 2004 in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic.