See, this is why we love opera. If Jonas Kaufmann was a Top 40 popstar (despite the harsh reality that in his 40s, he would have already been a washed-up, bloated ghost of his former glory), his CD cover would have been airbrushed to hell and back -- eye whites dodged, skin equalized, lips blurred & flare-filtered, waterlines burned-in, wrinkles and undereyes cloned & Gaussian blurred) -- instead of the rugged portrait of an artist, above. Bless Kaufmann and bless opera for keeping it real. Or old school. Or whatever.
Next month, Kaufmann drops his fifth solo "album" ("I just bought an album," - nobody. Nobody has said that since 1985), tracks laid with Donald Runnicles & the Deutschen Oper Berlin. In addition to the Wesendonck Lieder, the German tenor sings arias from Die Walküre, Siegfried, Rienzi, Die Meistersinger, Tannhäuser and Lohengrin.
For Kaufmann überfans, here's a friendly reminder that you're supposed to actually listen to the CD, not just hold it against your cheek as you dance alone in the dark or cook it omlettes the morning after.