German-Austrian tenor opera singer Jonas Kaufmann was born on July 10, 1969, and is well-known around the world for his remarkable vocal range and agility. His outstanding repertory, which includes a wide range of opera roles and spans numerous languages, has distinguished his career. Kaufmann’s performances have enthralled audiences all around the world, from Don José in “Carmen” to Siegmund in “Die Walküre” and the title roles in “Parsifal,” “Werther,” “Don Carlos,” and “Lohengrin.”
Early Life and Education
Jonas Kaufmann was born in Munich into a family that valued music greatly. Kaufmann’s early forays into the realm of music included his involvement in the primary school chorus and his studies on the piano. His destiny as an opera superstar was made possible by this early exposure to music.
In the summer of 1989, Kaufmann enrolled in the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich to begin professional vocal instruction. He practiced and performed in modest roles at the Bavarian State Opera while he was there. Due to his commitment to vocal quality, he graduated in 1994 with honors in concert and opera performances.
Jonas Kaufmann’s Family
Jonas Kaufmann had one older sister. He was born to a mother who was a teacher at the kindergarten and a father who worked for an insurance company. His parent’s names are not known to the public.
Jonas Kaufmann’s career took an important turn when he received guidance from American baritone Michael Rhodes. Rhodes introduced Kaufmann to a “new way of singing” and helped him become more at ease with his voice and himself. In Kaufmann’s own words, finding a mentor like Michael Rhodes was a “great stroke of luck.”
In 1994, Kaufmann started working as a professional at the Staatstheater Saarbrücken. Opera houses across Germany and beyond, including as La Scala, Stuttgart Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Opéra National de Paris, were quick to notice his potential. He debuted in a new staging of Busoni’s “Doktor Faust” at the esteemed Salzburg Festival in 1999.
His performance as Don José in Bizet’s “Carmen” at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in the 2006–07 season, garnered him critical praise. Subsequently, in 2006, he made his stage debut with Angela Gheorghiu in Verdi’s “La Traviata” at the Metropolitan Opera, receiving praise from critics as well. Kaufmann’s performance at the Met in the following years at the Royal Opera House in 2008 drew more plaudits.
Kaufmann’s repertory grew to include roles in Wagner’s “Lohengrin” at the Bavarian State Opera in the 2008–09 season and Massenet’s “Manon” in Chicago. Notably, in 2010 he performed as Lohengrin on the first night of the Bayreuth Festival.
In 2010, Kaufmann achieved another milestone by taking on the role of Siegmund in Robert Lepage’s new production of Wagner’s “Die Walküre” at the Metropolitan Opera. His performance was met with critical acclaim.
Kaufmann’s first recording with Decca, “Romantic Arias,” was released in January 2008. He has also recorded a Schubert song cycle on the same label and portrayed Pinkerton in Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” for EMI.
Jonas Kaufmann has been married twice. His first marriage to mezzo-soprano Margarete Joswig produced three children but ended in divorce. He is currently married to opera director Christiane Lutz, with whom he tied the knot in late 2018. The couple welcomed a child in March 2019.