Jonas Kaufmann is set to sing Radamés in Arena di Verona’s controversial “Aida” production.
The company said, “On an apparently ordinary day, here we are with some exciting news: Jonas Kaufmann will play Radamès at the Arena di Verona on August 28, 2022! After the success of the 2021’s gala (which ended with seven encores: does any of you remember?) and waiting for his show in 2023, the famous tenor will make his debut in a whole opera in the Arena. Next to him, a cast of stars: an ‘Aida’ that is going to be memorable.”
The tenor joins a cast that includes Vladimir Vasiliev, Romano Dal Zovo, Olesya Petrova, Liudmyla Monastyrska, Abramo Rosalen, and Sebastian Catana. Daniel Oren conducts Franco Zeffirelli’s production.
The news comes after the Arena di Verona was hit with controversy in mid-July for using blackface in the production and many singers including Christine Goerke, Jamie Barton, and Ryan McKinny criticized star soprano Anna Netrebko for performing in the makeup. Angel Blue later canceled her debut in “La Traviata” due to the company’s practice. The production opened on June 18, a month before the controversy with Monastyrska also performing in the makeup, and the Arena di Verona has since defended its production.
“Aida” runs through Sept. 3 with Maria Teresa Leva also set to perform the title role.