As lover in “Cav” and cuckold in “Pag”, Kaufmann is on ardent, Italianate form. He is joined in the Mascagni by Liudmyla Monastyrska, a Santuzza of warmth and thrilling amplitude; Ambrogio Maestri as a hulking mafioso figure of an Alfio; Annalisa Stroppa as a seductive Lola; and the veteran Stefania Toczyska as Mamma Lucia.
In Leoncavallo’s opera, Dimitri Platanias brings a smooth baritone and keen dramatic intelligence to Tonio, and Maria Agresta her mettlesome soprano to Nedda.
Jonas Kauffman in a scene from ‘Pagliacci’ (Photo: Andreas J Hirsch)
This popular success represents a grand finale for the outgoing Intendant, Peter Alward, the former president of EMI Classics who has rescued the festival from the twin blows of financial scandal and artistic shame – the latter, at least, looked likely when Simon Rattle and the