Antonio Pappano Confident Jonas Kaufmann Will Not Cancel ‘Otello’

By Francisco Salazar

For months there has been speculation as to whether or not Jonas Kaufmann would show up to the Royal Opera House’s upcoming production of Verdi’s “Otello.” Antonio Pappano, however, doesn’t seem to be anxious at all.

In an interview with Times UK, the conductor revealed that he believes Kaufmann’s cancellations of the past months will be beneficial for him taking on the role in Verdi’s masterpiece.

He said, “I’m very confident and I’ve been very moved by watching him go through the preparation process. You know, on paper the role doesn’t look too difficult to sing. You need the right voice and presence, of course. The trouble is that when you add a guy whispering in your ear, ‘There’s something going on with your wife and Cassio,’ and you let that work on you emotionally, the singing suddenly becomes ten times more difficult. It’s not as if you are playing a lover-boy where all the emotion is out in the open. Here, psychologically, it’s all closed inside you — and that’s like carrying a two-tonne weight on your back.”

He added, “My God, if he had been singing everything he was scheduled to do, I’m not sure he would be ready for this. The stress and the wear on the voice builds up.”

The conductor once again noted that there is too much cancellation going around in opera due to overuse and also clarified the “Don Carlo” incident from a couple of weeks ago when the presentation had to be canceled. The interview also revealed that Pappano has not made his decision on what his next step will be after his contract with the Royal Opera House ends in 2020.