(Madrid) It has been months since he sang in front of live spectators. In Madrid, the German tenor Jonas Kaufmann underlined the “need” that opera singers have to see their audience and confided his concern for the mental health of artists.
“What we’ve been missing” since the onset of the health crisis, “is that connection. It doesn’t matter that people wear masks. I will undoubtedly even feel their presence behind a curtain, “the German lyric star told AFP on Thursday evening, confessing her” excitement “to have performed in one of the few countries where theaters have remained open. with a strict sanitary protocol.
“They are there and that’s what counts, even if there is 10 meters between me and the first row! », Continued the tenor, aged 51, after having interpreted at the Royal Theater of Madrid a repertoire of 27 pieces, lieder and songs, accompanied by the pianist Helmut Deutsch.
“For me, who am always on tour all year round, I have the impression that it has been ages since I had an audience in front of me”, he confided in his dressing room, a few minutes after leaving the stage when his last concert in Denmark was in the fall.
Because virtual shows given online do not equal the public, he said.
“Normally there is the applause and then we relax, we start to smile and everything is fine. But when you have only eternal silence, what can you do? It’s embarassing. So sorry, but… public, we need you and we need you more than ever! “, He had said earlier in a press conference.
“People need to be entertained, they need to forget, if only for two hours, all their sorrows, and if you take that right away from them, at the same time as you take away everything else, I think. that it’s a huge, huge mistake, ”he continued.
The tenor also wanted to alert on the psychological difficulties caused by the pandemic among certain artists.
“It’s not easy to bring this up in public, but I know a number of suicides in our family of musicians, where they see no future”, evoking “the lack of perspective, of help, of support “In” certain vulnerable souls who see no way out … “,” really terrible “situations.
He said he was personally “privileged” to still be able to give concerts. “We are maybe two dozen singers in the world in this position, who will be called upon no matter what.”
Finally, the tenor appealed to the authorities, urging them to reopen places of culture and to be inventive to keep art alive.
“We are not politicians […] we’re just voices, and we need others to help us create something so that at the end of it all, and hopefully there will be an end, we find a cultural landscape similar to that that we left behind when this crisis started ”.
“This is the very first time that music has been extinguished in this way in the midst of a crisis,” he insisted.