German by birth, Italian by adoption. And since last night, even a bit of a citizen of Verona. “I feel Italian and German together, like this part of Italy where every German can really feel at home” admits Jonas Kaufmann, one of the most requested tenors in the world, who made his debut last night at the Verona Arena on a special evening. sold out with 6 thousand spectators and 8 bis. Under the stars, Kaufmann sang the arias of Wagner, Giordano and Verdi, together with soprano Martina Serafin and maestro Jochen Rieder at the helm of the Arena orchestra. “Wagner, Giordano, Verdi. They are all essential and fundamental authors in my story – he explains to Adnkronos Kaufmann -. When they asked me for Wagner for the eagerly awaited debut in the Arena, I immediately thought that I had to approach the Italian repertoire in order not to sound like the classic German tenor who sings Wagner, also because I am not this. I feel Italian and German together, like this part of Italy where every German can really feel at home ”. To open the evening the role of Siegmund from ‘La Valkyrie’, with the long scene of Act I in which the Wagnerian character duets with Sieglinde. A part very dear to Kaufmann: “I like tenor roles that have shadows and nuances in them – he underlines – not the tetragonal roundness that many tenor roles often have. I like heroes with a stain, so much so that I often envy the baritone roles whose characters are more and more human, more fragile, more questionable. So among many roles I have always loved Dick Johnson of ‘Maiden of the West’ “. Singing at the Arena was yet another milestone in a successful career. Born in 1969 in Munich, Kaufmann discovered opera when he was a mathematics student at the university. It all started “Easily, by vocation – he remarks – but then the road was long”. Many consider him a sex symbol, even if he doesn’t seem to care much about it. “In a conversation book with Thomas Voigt in which I retrace my life, there is an entire chapter dedicated to this label – he points out – that one day it falls on your head created by others, not by you, neither sought nor desired, character and not a person “. After the success in Verona and the debut in Tristan, “certainly the most difficult tenor role and that is why I waited a long time to face it when I felt really ready” confesses Kaufmann, on the agenda there are a Peter Grimes and a tour In the USA. “I haven’t set foot there since before the pandemic – he observes – an ocean of time compared to the past and to those habits that seem lost in almost two years”. Certainly he will not be able to stay too far from Italy. “I want to return to the Arena – admits Kaufmann – a centenary institution in a millenary structure, I have waited a long time for this debut, delayed by one year from Covid. Now I want to go back ”.