RECORDINGS OF THE YEAR
‘It’s a voice with plenty of power and he excels in the big verismo stuff … there’s a bronzed, baritonal timbre, not unlike Domingo’
Mark Pullinger welcomes the yellow-label debut album of a Chilean-American tenor who has already impressed onstage with some truly thrilling singing in a range of operatic roles
Jonathan Tetelman ‘Arias’ Bizet Carmen – La fleur que tu m’avais jetée Cilea Adriana Lecouvreur – La dolcissima effigie sorridente Flotow Martha – M’apparì tutt’amor Giordano Andrea Chénier – Come un bel dì di maggio. Fedora – Amor ti vieta di non amar Mascagni Cavalleria rusticana – Mamma, quel vino è generosoa Massenet Werther – Toute mon âme est là! … Pourquoi me réveiller Ponchielli La Gioconda – Cielo e mar! Puccini Madama Butterfly – Addio, fiorito asil Verdi I due Foscari – Non maledirmi, o prode. La forza del destino – La vita è inferno all’infelice … O tu che in seno agli angeli. Il trovatore – Ah! Sì, ben mio, coll’essere … Di quella pira l’orrendo focob Zandonai Francesca da Rimini – Paolo, datemi pace! … Perché volete voi ch’io rinnovic Jonathan Tetelman ten with aMagdalena Łukawska, bcVida Miknevičiūtė sops b José Simerilla Romero ten bcCapella Cracoviensis; Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra / Karel Mark Chichon DG (486 2927 • 56’) Includes texts
Here’s the most exciting tenor discovery to come my way since the appearance of Jonas Kaufmann on the big international operatic stages. Jonathan Tetelman slipped on to a few radars in the UK with appearances in revivals of La bohème and La traviata. I saw his lovely Rodolfo in Jonathan Miller’s ENO production in 2018 but it was a couple of more recent performances that really made me sit up and take notice.
About his Paolo in Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini, streamed during lockdown from the Deutsche Oper and subsequently issued on DVD (Naxos, 5/22), Tim Ashley wrote: ‘Tetelman makes an … outstanding Paolo, glorious and effortless in his upper registers.’ It was certainly a gripping performance of an opera that is vastly underappreciated. Then, earlier this year, I caught the opening night of Martin Ku≈ej’s highly controversial but gripping new Tosca at the Theater an der Wien, set in a dystopian wasteland under six feet of snow. Opposite Kristı¯ne Opolais’s Tosca, the Chilean-American tenor sang a superb
Cavaradossi, his chiselled good looks and excellent stage presence allied to some truly thrilling singing. Soon afterwards, Tetelman signed for DG and his first recording has now landed.
As a calling card, it is astutely programmed, with a mixture of repertoire he’s already performed – including an extended duet from Francesca da Rimini – and roles yet to come, such as Andrea Chénier and Manrico in Il trovatore. It’s a voice with plenty of power and he excels in the big verismo stuff. Listening carefully, it’s interesting to spot the possible influences. The very opening of the first track, ‘Cielo e mar!’ from La Gioconda, immediately brings to mind a young Joseph Calleja with its warm vibrato. In ‘Amor ti vieta’ from Fedora, there’s a bronzed, baritonal timbre, not unlike Plácido Domingo – both started out as baritones – and when one hears the sculpted phrasing of the long recitative from La forza del destino, followed by the hushed head voice with which he opens Don Alvaro’s ‘O tu che in seno agli angeli’, then yes, it reminds me of Kaufmann.
24 GRAMOPHONE GRAMOPHONE RECORDINGS OF THE YEAR 2022
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