Star tenor sings thundering ‘Nessun dorma’ in viral bookshop flashmob

12 January 2024, 16:07 | Updated: 18 January 2024, 13:37

Tenor Jonathan Tetelman sings ‘Nessun Dorma’ flashmob

By Kyle Macdonald

Chilean-American tenor Jonathan Tetelman, who is drawing comparisons to Luciano Pavarotti, takes to a high street store to show off his high notes.

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As you browse the best-sellers shelf of a bookshop, enjoying the calm, literary ambiance of the place, you don’t usually expect the store to bust into a dramatic opera scene, do you?

But that’s just what happened a few weeks ago at Dussmann bookshop on Friedrichstraße in central Berlin, when tenor Jonathan Tetelman entered with an operatic story to share.

Dressed in a leather jacket and leaping on a table, Tetelman clearly knows how to set a scene and command a room. He soon launched into that most timeless and beloved of arias, Puccini’s ‘Nessun dorma’.

Tetelman was joined by the Saxon Wind Philharmonic, whose musicians were dotted around the bookstore, to accompany the Puccini epic. Watch it all unfold above.

Read more: The 10 best versions of ‘Nessun dorma’ – ranked!

Jonathan Tetelman in a more traditional setting, ENO's 2018 'La Boheme' at the Coliseum in London
Jonathan Tetelman in a more traditional setting, ENO's 2018 'La Boheme' at the Coliseum in London. Picture: Getty

Still in his mid-30s, the Chilean American singer is regarded by many as one of the next big things in the opera world.

He was recently described in the legendary Gramophone magazine as “the sunniest-sounding tenor since Luciano Pavarotti”, which is surely a name any young tenor likes to be mentioned alongside.

Tetelman’s new album, on the prestigious record label Deutsche Grammophon, is titled The Great Puccini. It has scenes and arias from the Italian composer’s operas La bohème, Tosca, Manon Lescaut, and of course, Turandot, with its wonderful aria that thundered around the Berlin book-lovers paradise in the viral moment above.

Tetelman’s upcoming schedule includes a spring season in New York’s most famous opera house, singing Puccini’s La rondine and Madam Butterfly.

But if you can’t make it to the stalls of the Metropolitan Opera, maybe you should just hang out in the non-fiction section of a nearby bookstore. In this age of amazing pop-up performances, you never quite know your luck...