Voice and charisma, that’s the unanimous enthusiastic verdict of the critics when it comes to Jonathan Tetelman. “A star par excellence,” writes the New York Times about him. The Chilean-American tenor performs on the stages of renowned houses with world-famous orchestras and shows his skills in a “darkly colored tenor timbre” (SZ) and with “balsamic verve” (Der Tagesspiegel), while the audience listens in awe.
Following outstanding performances in Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in March 2021 and a concert tour with Elīna Garanča in the summer, Jonathan Tetelman has signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon in October 2021. Together with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria and its chief conductor Karel Mark Chichon, he immediately began recording his DG debut, which will be released in summer 2022. You can hear arias by Verdi and Verismo, a selection from the lyrical French repertoire and duets with the Lithuanian soprano Vida Miknevičiûtė. “Basically, this album is a portrait of what I see as my journey as an artist, combining some lesser-known works with arias and duets for the romantic tenor voice,” explains Tetelman.
At the start of the 2021-22 season, Tetelman made his role debut as Stiffelio in Verdi’s eponymous work at the Opéra national du Rhin. Forum Opéra celebrated the singer as a “real revelation”. Tetelman embodied a deeply human Stiffelio, Olyrix also noted, “whereby his voice effortlessly covered the entire range of expression of this seldom sung, demanding role”. This season also saw Tetelman appear as Cavaradossi in Tosca, making his house debut at the Theater an der Wien (January 2022) or in his critically acclaimed role debut as Loris Ipanow in the first stage production of Giordano’s Fedora (April/May) at the opera Frankfurt and – alongside Plácido Domingo – as Jacopo Foscari in Verdi’s I due Foscari at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (May/June). Also in July, Tetelman will perform in a series of open-air concerts in Austria and Latvia with Elīna Garanca and Karel Mark Chichon.
Recent highlights include his role debut as Canio in Pagliacci at the Teatro Regio Torino (August 2021); his Royal Opera House debut as Alfredo Germont in La traviata, followed by performances in La bohème (January/February 2020); Tosca and Madama Butterfly at the Dresden Semperoper (November 2019, September 2020); Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas (September 2019); Verdi’s Requiem with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons at the 2019 Tanglewood Festival; Cavaradossi at the Liceu, Barcelona (June 2019); and Rodolfo at the Komische Oper Berlin and the English National Opera.
Jonathan Tetelman was born in 1988 in Castro, Chile. Adopted at the age of seven months, he was raised by his American parents in Princeton, New Jersey. One of the music teachers there noticed the young Jonathan’s vocal talent and so he received his first lessons at the American Boychoir School in Princeton. Tetelman received his bachelor’s degree in baritone from the Manhattan School of Music. He then continued his studies at the Mannes School of Music, where he gradually switched to tenor; He later completed this development with his teacher Mark Schnaible, who is still his teacher and mentor today.
While waiting to see how his voice would develop, Tetelman earned his living as a DJ at a Manhattan club. “That was my quarter-life crisis,” he says humorously, looking back. When the job lost its appeal, he decided to once again focus full-time on singing, a decision that eventually led to competitive successes – including a place in the final of the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition (2016) and first prize at the New York Lyric Opera Theater Competition (2017). Professional engagements as a singer followed. When asked how he managed all this, Tetelman replies: “I locked myself in for practically six months. However, I also worked as a waiter in order to be able to afford several lessons per week, supported by my family. I listened to old recordings and studied YouTube clips from big artists. I also perfected my technique and voice control until it sat, while also learning how to protect my voice. Eventually I reached my goal and was able to pursue my passion.«