Fidelio is known not only as Beethoven’s only opera but also for the demanding lead roles for both soprano and tenor. Decca is proud to release an all-new recording of the opera starring Nina Stemme and Jonas Kaufmann, two singers who effortlessly bring new life to these notoriously demanding roles. Claudio Abbado conducts the opera, recorded live during the 2010 Lucerne Festival, which will be released in the US on August 2, 2011.
The central tenor role of Florestan in Fidelio is known as one of the most demanding and difficult in all of opera and it has tested the limits of many great tenors for the past two centuries. For his first complete opera recording for Decca, Jonas Kaufmann, “the world’s greatest currently performing tenor” (London’s Daily and Sunday Express), delivers everything the role demands: fearless tone, peerless style, and heart-stopping dramatic intensity. His full-throated delivery of Florestan’s great aria in Act 2 reaches a level of excitement rarely achieved by most tenors.
Kaufmann is partnered by the exquisite Swedish soprano Nina Stemme. Of her recent performances in Wagner’s Ring Cycle the San Francisco Chronicle stated that “the triumph of this Ring has been the Brünnhilde of soprano Nina Stemme, in a performance of steely power, tonal bloom and dramatic depth.” Stemme brings uncommon warmth of sound and depth of character to the role of Leonore and is a match for Kaufmann’s power.