On stage they’re usually rivals, but in real life Jonas Kaufmann and Ludovic Tézier share a close friendship. After many live performances together these two extraordinary artists have recorded their first duet album: “Insieme”, meaning “together” in Italian, to be released October 7 on Sony Classical. Accompanied by the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Antonio Pappano, they present duets they’ve sung together on stage, plus works specially chosen for the album.
 
Since their first performance together in the 2010 Paris production of Werther, they’ve often appeared side-by-side in various stage productions. And as on the current recording, the works of Verdi have played a key role. When they appeared as rivals in La forza del destino for the first time, in Munich Opera’s 2013 production, it was immediately obvious they’d each found their perfect sparring partner: “With Ludovic I can go full throttle”, Kaufmann explains of his work with Tézier, “especially in our joint scenes in La forza del destino, which are like a wrestling match. I can’t imagine doing those scenes with someone where I constantly have to hold myself back. With Ludo it’s a terrific challenge every time, and I have to give everything I’ve got. Whenever I’m on stage with him, I feel I give a better performance.”