Jonas Kaufmann pulls out of entire Royal Opera House run due to COVID-19

11 July 2022, 09:54

Jonas Kaufmann pulls out of entire Royal Opera House run due to COVID-19
Jonas Kaufmann pulls out of entire Royal Opera House run due to COVID-19. Picture: Getty

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague the world’s stages, as leading German tenor is diagnosed with the virus ‘on top of an ongoing recovery from the flu’.

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Jonas Kaufmann has completely withdrawn from all performances of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana at the Royal Opera House, due to COVID-19.

The much-loved German tenor announced on 1 July that he would be withdrawing from Covent Garden’s production of Pagliacci, programmed as a double bill with Cavalleria Rusticana.

“[I’ll] keep my fingers crossed that I will be back on track and ready to perform later in the run,” Kaufmann said at the time.

The Royal Opera House has since announced that Kaufmann “is continuing to recover from COVID-19 and is not well enough to sing the remaining performances”. South Korean tenor SeokJong Baek will perform in Kaufmann’s place.

“Withdrawing from performances is always a decision taken very seriously, and only when 100% necessary, which is unfortunately the case this time,” Kaufmann continued. “My apologies to all of my fans who were hoping to see me. I wish a big toi toi toi to my colleagues SeokJong Baek, Roberto Alagna and Fabio Sartori and thank them for stepping in at short notice.”

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The production of Cavalleria Rusticana has experienced several major cancellations, with Fabio Sartori pulling out of the 5, 8 and 11 July performances and Roberto Alagna taking his place.

Kaufmann was scheduled to sing the entire run of the double bill, which included Leoncavallo’s opera Pagliacci, but pulled out of the latter after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He was replaced by Sartori.

“This is due to suffering from Covid and the impact this has on his voice,” the opera house explained at the time.

In Kaufmann’s original statement, he said: “Having caught Covid yet again, this time on top of an ongoing recovery from the flu, I have had to withdraw from the original plan of singing these wonderfully contrasting parts – Turiddu and Canio.”

In September 2021, Kaufmann was diagnosed with a tracheal infection, forcing him to pull out of a number of performances including at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.