Main content
This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Jonas Kaufmann: Tenor for the Ages

Intimate behind-the-scenes documentary about the handsome German tenor Jonas Kaufmann, one of the hottest properties in the opera world, and his triumphant return after illness.

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 matinee-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 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.

John Bridcut has previously made documentary portraits of Herbert von Karajan, Rudolf Nureyev, Mstislav Rostropovich and Sir Colin Davis (which was named Best Arts Documentary at the Grierson Awards). His clutch of composer-portraits began with the award-winning Britten's Children and continued with films on Elgar, Delius, Parry and Vaughan Williams. Last year he made the BBC One documentary for the Queen's 90th birthday, Elizabeth at 90 - A Family Tribute.

1 hour, 30 minutes

Last on

Thu 28 Dec 2017 22:20

Clip

Credits

Role Contributor
Participant Jonas Kaufmann
Director John Bridcut
Producer John Bridcut
Editor Riaz Meer
Director of photography Jonathan Partridge
Director of photography Vaughan Matthews
Sound Recordist Paul Nathan
Sound Recordist Paul Paragon

Broadcasts

Featured in...

BBC Opera Season

BBC Opera Season

On TV, radio and digital, in collaboration with the V&A and the Royal Opera House.