Jonathan Kaufman’s career began at the young age of five when he recorded the Burl Ives classic “Lavender Blue” for his mother via a boombox recorder. While the cassette of this treasure is sadly lost, it is safe to assume this was the catalyst that brought music to the forefront of Mr. Kaufman’s life. Growing up in a quaint, rather autumnally beautiful suburb of Pennsylvania’s capital city, music was an ever-present tradition in Kaufman’s childhood. Whether it was his father playing blues harmonica, his mother cheerfully dabbling at piano renditions of “Musetta’s Waltz” and “White Christmas,” or himself utilizing the grandeur of bathroom acoustics, music emanated from nearly every room in the house. Although the boombox recording phase was short-lived, the desire to learn and play music was not. Throughout his schooling, Mr. Kaufman continued his musical studies through a variety of media; however, the beckoning to pursue a degree in music stemmed from a deep-rooted love of choral music. Accepted into the voice department of Millersville University, studies with the immensely wonderful Ms. Kristin Sims began, which led to the discovery of Mr. Kaufman’s operatic voice. Nearing the end of his baccalaureate studies, Kaufman made his professional debut as Rinuccio in Opera Lancaster’s production of Gianni Schicchi (Puccini). This performance, showcasing Mr. Kaufman’s ability to produce entrancing vocal power and lyrical melodies, is why The Intelligencer of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, called his voice “brilliant and endearing.” Subsequent engagements including Fabrizzio in The Light in the Piazza (Guettel) and Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni) led Mr. Kaufman to make his international debut with State Opera Varna, Bulgaria, as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte (Mozart).
An opportunity to relocate to North Carolina and study with renowned international tenor
John Fowler led to debuts with Little Opera Company of Charlotte as Alfred in Die Fledermaus (J. Strauss II) and Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with Opera Experience Southeast. The 2018-2019 season saw Mr. Kaufman debut the role of Rodolfo in a summer production Puccini’s La Bohème with Little Opera Company of Charlotte, reprise the role with the Opera Theatre of Central Piedmont Community College in the fall, and again with Opera Wilmington, NC, in the summer of 2019. Mr. Kaufman resides in Charlotte, NC, with his wife Stephanie—a well-respected timpanist and percussionist in the region.