Jonas Kaufmann makes his Met role debut as the title character in a new production of Massenet's "Werther," conducted by Alain Altinoglu and directed by Richard Eyre, which opens at the Met on February 18, 2014.
Photo: Brigitte Lacombe/Metropolitan Opera (Photo : Metropolitan Opera)
For the Best Male Singer of the year, the Opera Awards have aligned six of the most esteemed artists in the world. Four tenors topped the list with two bass baritones joining them in competition.
Aleksandrs Antonenko-The Lativian tenor has enjoyed a strong season in Europe. He made his long awaited Vienna State Opera debut as Cavaradossi in Puccini's "Tosca" and recently sang the role of Chevalier Des Grieux in Puccini's "Manon Lescaut" at the Hamburg Opera. He was recently seen in a new production of Verdi's "Nabucco" at the Teatro alla Scala which was transmitted live in HD and was seen around the world. He will return to the Metropolitan Opera for a run of Bellini's Norma in 2014.
Piotr Beczala-The Polish tenor enjoyed one of the most successful seasons of his career. Beczala headlined a new production of Puccini's "La Boheme" at the Salzburg Festival with Anna Netrebko. The production was later released on DVD on Deutsche Grammophon. He also signed a new CD recording contract with Grammophon and will release his first album entitled "Heart's Delight" in May. The tenor also headlined a new production of Verdi's "Rigoletto" at the Met and will return next year to open the 2013-2014 season as Lensky in Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin."
Joseph Calleja-Maltese tenor Calleja has become recognized for his Golden tone. Calleja recently opened a new production of "Rigoletto" in Munich which was broadcast live on the Internet. He also starred in Bellini's "I Capuleti and I Montecchi" with Joyce Didionato in Munich. He will return to Chicago in "La Boheme" with Anna Netrebko and returns to the Met in 2014 for more "Boheme."
Jonas Kaufmann-The German tenor had an rough start to the season with major cancellations. He first left the Met's revival of "Die Walkure" and then cancelled the highly anticipated new production of Berlioz's "Les Troyens." However the tenor made a triumphant comeback at the Salzburg Festival singing Bizet's "Carmen" and Strauss' "Ariadne auf Naxos." The tenor also filled in last minute for an ailing Beczala in "La Boheme" at the Festival. He then opened La Scala's new season with Wagner's "Lohengrin" and headlined the Met's critically acclaimed new "Parsifal." Kaufmann also won a Grammy for his new DVD of "Die Walkure" from the Met and released his new album "Wagner" which topped the European Classical music charts. He next sings at the Royal Opera House in Verdi's "Don Carlo" and makes his highly anticipated role debut as Manrico in "Il Trovatore." The tenor will also headline the Met's new production of Massenet's "Werther" in 2014.
Luca Pisaroni-The Italian-Venezuelan bass-baritone started the season touring with the Vienna State Opera in Donizetti's "Anna Bolena" with Edita Gruberova. He then toured around the world with David Daniels singing Handel's "Radamisto." The tour culminated in New York at Carnegie Hall. Pisaroni next sings in Baden Baden in a new production of Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and opens another new production of Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte" in Salzburg. Pisaroni returns to the Met for Rossini's "La Cenerentola" and the Baroque pastiche "The Enchanted Island" in 2014.
Bryn Terfel-The Welsh Bass-Baritone opened the Royal Opera House's season as Wotan in Wagner's "Ring Cycle." He then sang Scarpia in "Tosca" and "Die Fliegende Hollander" in Zurich. Terfel also opened La Scala's new production of Verdi's "Falstaff" and won a Grammy for the Met's new Ring Cycle DVDs. He will return to "Hollander" at La Scala and "Falstaff" in San Francisco.
Predictions: Jonas Kaufmann is most likely going to win the award because of his range and diverse repertoire. He also made a triumphant return after having been absent for a few months.