Italy and its immortal music have a magical pull on people like no other culture. Jonas Kaufmann, long familiar with Italy's ways has had his own special bond with the country since his youth. The new album, Dolce Vita is his tribute to this culture, this way of life that has conceived one immortal melody after the other for the tenor voice. Available October 7, Sony Classical is proud to release this special collectionof timeless Italian songs – sung by "The world's greatest tenor" (The Daily Telegraph)
Growing up in Germany's most southern city, Munich (locally known as "the most northern city of Italy") meant that holidays in Italy were just a car ride away for him and his family. Since spending these childhood holidays playing with local bambini, Jonas Kaufmann has absorbed much more than just the Italian language; its southern temperament, its love of good food, and its fashion and flair, Jonas feels very much at home in this adopted culture. Naturally, much of the magic and authority that Jonas brings to the opera stage stems from his passion and understanding of this Mediterranean land and its music.
On Dolce Vita, Jonas presents his own personal homage to a culture where the influence and beauty of opera are felt far beyond the walls of the opera houses. Many wondrous songs were written for tenor voices throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries, such as "Mattinata," which was dedicated to Enrico Caruso; "Non ti scordar di me," which was first sung by Beniamino Gigli in the 1935 movie of the same title; and "Parlami d'amore, Mariù," written for the future film director Vittorio De Sica to sing in the comedy Gli uomini, che mascalzoni. The passion and beauty of Italian melody can also be heard in such Neapolitan hits as "Torna a Surriento," "Core 'ngrato"and "Passione." Even some of today's pop songs display the unmistakable stamp of italianità, as for example in "Un amore così grande," which was first sung and recorded by Mario Del Monaco in 1976, or in Lucio Dalla's Caruso and Romano Musumarra's "Il canto,' written expressly for Luciano Pavarotti.
Jonas recorded the album in Palermo with conductor Asher Fisch and the Orchestra del Teatro Massimo di Palermo, who bring their innate Italian flair to this music. Jonas will present the songs live in concert later this season.