Filipino Baritone Jonathan Zaens is now quite well known as “World’s versatile interpreters of contemporary music” of German Opera Scene. His performance in Karlheinz Stockhausen’s opera last April 9 and 10 earned him such title. He studied voice and music theater at the University of the Arts in Berlin.
Here’s a snippets of his interview by Pablo. A. Tariman, VERA Files
“I was such a neophyte in this genre at that time, that it took me almost a year to learn my part in ‘Michaels Jugend’,” he added. “But that paid off because I got a personal telephone call from Stockhausen after our Berliner Premiere, engaging me to sing the baritone part in ‘Dufte Zeichen’ for the Salzburger Festspiele.”
The Filipino baritone also admitted his first telephone encounter with Stockhausen was also one of the most embarrassing moments in his life.
He explained: “When Mr. Stockhausen called, he introduced himself only as Stockhausen. I thought it was a friend making a joke on me. I asked backed in a mischievous and almost irreverent tone: ‘Do you mean Karlheinz Stockhausen?’ using the informal form of YOU in German. The moment he confirmed it, I suddenly realized that he was the real one!”
Judging from the highly positive reviews of the baritone’s lied and oratorio engagements, it is easy to see that Zaens had become the “Prince of Lied and Oratorio from the Philippines.”
Photo Credit: http://www.chorrodeluz.net/