tv 60 Minutes CBS May 22, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
( cheers and applause ) ...it could lift the dreams ofon >> newson: i'll remember this day for the rest of my entire life. i will never forget this day. ( ticking ) ( singing "pagliacci" ) >> o'donnell: jonas kaufmann is opera's most dynamic leading man. ( singing "la fanciulla del west" ) >> o'donnell: he likes to say," opera is a competitive sport." >> ( vocal warm-ups ) >> o'donnell: and he keeps his voice as precisely tuned as a porsche at le mans. at the bavarian state opera, we watched kaufmann in his pre-game warm-up, preparing his equipment for a three-hour contest with "aida." ( ticking ) >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm bill whitaker. >> i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm sharyn alfonsi. >> i'm jon wertheim. >> i'm norah o'donnell. >> i'm scott pelley.
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after months of investigation, we found it's not a matter of supply and demand; the drugs are needed and the ingredients are easy to make. it's that pharmaceutical companies have stopped producing many life-saving generic drugs because they make too little profit. yet, year after year, the government stays on the sidelines as companies take drug production offline, and doctors worry the shortages are compromising patient care. >> dr. mitch goldstein: just normal things that should be available, but they're not. >> whitaker: neonatologist dr. mitch goldstein treats the most vulnerable patients at loma linda university children's hospital in california. >> dr. goldstein: most of these babies would fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. >> whitaker: struggling to hold on to life? >> dr. goldstein: they really are. >> whitaker: many of these premature and sick babies have undeveloped digestive systems, so dr. goldstein keeps them alive with intravenous nutrients, many of which are in
short supply. >> dr. goldstein: it can be certain minerals. it could be certain salts. things that you would ordinarily find in a college chemistry lab, we can't get. >> whitaker: but these are basic. >> dr. goldstein: these are basic things-- glucose, sugar. it's not hard to make. but the point is, we can't get it. >> whitaker: so, then, what are your options? >> dr. goldstein: you don't have any. you do the best you can. >> anthony gobin: and if it's something like an i.v. that needs to be compounded... >> whitaker: antony gobin heads the pharmacy at loma linda hospital. he told us shortages of basic drugs are a constant worry. help me understand. how often do you face drug shortages? >> gobin: every day. >> whitaker: is this just another casualty of covid? >> gobin: no. so, we were dealing with shortages long before covid. they're all very old, fundamental drugs that every hospital in the country needs
and uses. >> whitaker: drug shortages can kill. in 2011, when norepinephrine, an old, low-profit drug used to treat septic shock, was in short supply, hundreds of people around the country died. >> pharmacist: yeah, that one's also still on back order. we can't get it. >> whitaker: just about every hospital in the u.s. has weekly drug shortage meetings like this one at loma linda. >> gobin: dextrose? >> pharmacist: dextrose vials. still completely out of the vials. we are using these syringes for everything. >> whitaker: during a drug shortage, hospitals may be forced to switch patients to less safe or effective alternative drugs. they retrieve leftovers from single-dose drug vials to share with other patients and avoid wasting a single drop. >> gobin: ask the pharmacist about maybe further concentrating to try to conserve some of these 100-ml bags. you would think to yourself, "how hard is it to manufacture some of these simple meds like dextrose or sterile water?" but, some of these are low- margin drugs. and because of that smaller
margin, you don't have a ton of manufacturers making the product. >> whitaker: sarah carney and cyndi valenta were facing the same wrenching ordeal at loma linda hospital; both had children undergoing chemotherapy for aggressive leukemia. >> carney: just so many different chemos. >> whitaker: sarah's son, mikah, was in pre-kindergarten when he began the painful treatment. >> carney: he wasn't the same kid. several times he looked at us and said, "why is this happening to me? what did i do wrong?" >> valenta-martinez: so much is being thrown at you, new. back then, i didn't understand. i thought there was one type of chemo that people took when they had cancer. i didn't realize there was this whole road map, this regimen we had to follow. >> whitaker: they give you a schedule, and they tell you you must stick to that schedule. >> valenta-martinez: every function of your life went on this road map. so, if chemo was supposed to be given on day one and day five, whether that was a holiday or
not, we had to take john in to get his infusions. >> whitaker: cyndi's 13-year-old son, john, gave up baseball to beat his leukemia. in late 2019, he settled in to his usual chemo chair and got some bad news: the chemo drug vincristine he'd been using for more than two years was suddenly unavailable. this was after the doctors had insisted with you that you keep to this schedule. >> valenta-martinez: uh-huh >> whitaker: what was john's reaction? >> valenta-martinez: scared. >> whitaker: vincristine, an essential drug for childhood leukemia, was in short supply nationwide. it's a chief ingredient of a chemo cocktail that has an 80% to 90% cure rate. when sarah learned mikah wouldn't get his treatment, she was on the phone for days, calling anyone who might know how to get the life-saving drug: other cancer moms; the hospital; pfizer, the drug maker.
>> carney: i honestly didn't even know who to believe because the pharmaceutical company is telling me they have it, and the hospital is telling me, "we've-- we call them every day, and they are telling us they don't have it." so, i didn't know what to say. >> valenta-martinez: as a cancer mom, we shouldn't be fighting for our children to get a drug that is needed, you know? we are fighting every day to keep their spirits up, to change our whole life to make sure that they're getting this treatment. there's no other alternative. it's just a gut-wrenching feeling of just fear and anger. >> whitaker: sarah and cyndi raised all kinds of alarms on social media. a week later, drug maker pfizer shipped scarce doses of vincristine to loma linda, enough for mikah and john to continue their treatments. >> hi! how are you? >> warner: milwaukee pediatric oncologist cindy schwartz is a committee chair of the children's oncology group... >> it stings. >> whitaker: ...a consortium of
cancer researchers and bioethicists from across the country. >> dr. schwartz: these recent shortages have become very, very serious and really hit drugs like vincristine, that are in every regimen. >> whitaker: vincristine was one of 16 chemo drugs in short supply last year. dr. schwartz told us the shortages are forcing doctors to ration scarce drugs. does that present you with some ethical dilemmas? >> dr. schwartz: of course it does. who wants to be picking how you prioritize one person over another? >> whitaker: one child over another. >> dr. schwartz: one child over another. >> oh, no! >> whitaker: i'm just trying to come up with some explanation for why a drug that is known to save lives is not valued, why it's... >> dr. schwartz: it should be a top value. >> whitaker: unlike newer brand- name drugs that cost as much as six figures per dose, vincristine, a low-margin"
"generic" drug around since the 1960s, costs about $5 per dose. months before the shortage, one of the two remaining vincristine manufacturers, teva pharmaceuticals, announced it would stop making vincristine for u.s. hospitals. >> ross day: they indicated that it was a business decision. they could make more money on more profitable drugs than vincristine. >> whitaker: ross day is a former director of vizient, the country's largest group purchasing organization, or g.p.o., a health services company that negotiates contracts between hospitals, drug makers, and medical suppliers. >> day: i don't understand why companies in good conscience can make those kinds of decisions. none of these companies are poor companies. they have the opportunity to not make as much on one drug and still make plenty of margin and profit on other drugs. >> bill simmons: those kinds of economic decisions are made not because that-- that person running that business is malicious in their intent;
they're trying to keep that plant operating. >> whitaker: we also met with bill simmons, a former high- ranking generic drug executive. >> simmons: y-- you have to keep in mind that corporations aren't charities. >> so, how does this work? >> whitaker: the two former executives once negotiated drug contracts across the table from one another. they still have disagreements. >> simmons: you have the generic drug manufacturers. >> whitaker: we asked them to spell out the economics of generic drug shortages from the manufacturers on the left here... >> simmons: then it goes to a drug distributor or wholesaler. >> whitaker: ...to the hospitals and patients on the right. >> simmons: and you got the patient over here. >> whitaker: we were hoping a diagram would help. >> simmons: there's a gatekeeper here. i'm putting "g.p.o." in. it's called a group purchasing organization, and that organization negotiates prices for the hospital collectively in an effort to get lower pricing on products. >> whitaker: at least that's the way it's supposed to work. >> simmons: and you got money going this way, they pay it, and then they sell it to the hospital. and then, it comes back this way. >> day: the contract price. >> simmons: a concept of fee-
for-service. >> day: a cost-minus. >> whitaker: why is all of that part of the process? >> simmons: the honest answer to that is: this private label, fee-for-service, cost-minus-- these are things to create lack of transparency to pricing. >> whitaker: but, this confusion is on purpose? >> simmons: yeah. i want to charge different prices and not have clarity around what people are really paying. >> whitaker: so far, this is clear as mud. >> day: but i'm not sure there are more efficient ways to administer the supply chain, at least i've not been presented one. >> whitaker: there's nothing more efficient than this? but all the arrows and acronyms point to one thing: a broken system, which our investigation found is a root cause of drug shortages. take the $5 cancer drug vincristine. the middlemen-- the group purchasing organizations and drug distributors-- take their cut for administrative, marketing, and other fees and hospital incentives. the drug manufacturers end up
with just a small fraction of what the patient pays. many have simply stopped making the least profitable drugs. >> simmons: we are systematically shutting down all of our u.s. manufacturing because we do not pay enough money for the drugs to the manufacturers, and not enough money is paid because of the middlemen. >> whitaker: i guarantee you there'd be patients over here who would say, "i would pay more if i could be guaranteed i would get these drugs when i need them." >> simmons: bill, i think, this person over here might be willing to pay another 20 bucks, but these people will-- will absorb a lot of that $20 before it gets over here. >> whitaker: group purchasing organizations control more than $250 billion in hospital purchases annually. the biggest three account for about 90% of the business. they typically award the contract to the manufacturer with the lowest-price drug. add in all the complex fees and the group purchasing organizations grow wealthier while losing manufacturers are
squeezed out. >> simmons: if you refuse to sell through a group purchasing organization, or through drug wholesalers, you will not exist. >> whitaker: you're out? >> simmons: you are out. >> day: it's not a g.p.o.'s best interest at all, to drive anybody out of the market. i've attributed more of the drug shortage problem to some decisions by f.d.a. to start evaluating manufacturers differently than they had in the past. >> whitaker: the f.d.a., to improve patient safety, raised the bar on quality controls at drug plants. several were shut down. >> simmons: the f.d.a. wants higher-quality products that cost more money to make, and the g.p.o.s want to drive the price down to whoever will supply them the lowest price, which is usually people who are not investing in equipment, not investing in quality. and those two things don't go together. >> whitaker: in july 2019, when teva pharmaceuticals stopped making vincristine for lack of profit, pfizer's generic division, hospira, became the sole supplier.
in a letter to the f.d.a. we obtained, pfizer called the situation untenable. two months later, a quality control issue forced pfizer to suspend production for six weeks, which is not uncommon in drug manufacturing. when you're down to just a couple of manufacturers, and one is found to have quality control problems... >> simmons: yeah. >> whitaker: ...where do you go? there's no plan b? >> simmons: there is no plan b. >> whitaker: 40% of generic drugs now have just one manufacturer. >> day: i think the government could play a role in keeping some of these drug manufacturers viable because this is just as much of an emergency in my mind as the pandemic is. but i'm not ready to say the current model is ready to blow up. maybe tweak. >> whitaker: back at loma linda... >> dr. goldstein: i think about the babies i take care of. >> whitaker: ...dr. mitch
goldstein, like doctors all across the country, is bracing for more shortages. >> dr. goldstein: it's horrible. and it's like being in a siege and you're-- you're running out of ammunition. sometimes we look at it, and it's just, "how are we going to survive this next day? the day after? and what is the new problem? what's on the horizon? what's going to happen next week?" ( ticking ) the next sale is a digital treasure trove - charming ellie's private data! what? lot number 1: her emails. the ones she's opened and read. drug store purchases. her recent transactions. do i hear 600? 620? 640? 660? 680? oh! ♪♪ ♪♪
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>> scott pelley: you have to admire the ambition of an inner- city high school that calls itself johnson college prep, especially when a third of the students have no permanent home and many dodge violence just to get to class. but the students in this chicago public school believe in their name. they've done the work. they've been accepted to
college. trouble is, few have the money to go. johnson college prep needed something like a miracle, and we were there when the miracle called "hope chicago" arrived. >> when would you have a slope of zero? >> pelley: johnson college prep, on chicago's south side, embraces nearly 500 students. >> jonas cleaves: every student that walks in our door deserves an opportunity to be engaged by staff members who love them for no other reason except the fact that they are one of our students. >> pelley: principal jonas cleaves knows the names and the dreams in the halls of johnson college prep. "college" is your middle name. >> cleaves: absolutely. absolutely. that's why we're here. we want kids to have a shot. >> pelley: but, on the south side, "a shot" is hobbled by stumbling blocks and tall barriers on a narrow path to the
dream. one-third of households here br less an $25,000 a year. >> cleaves: right now, at least 40% of our senior class have identified either themselves or a very close relative being impacted by gun violence. like, imagine the trauma associated with that. >> pelley: you must worry about them when they're not under this roof. >> cleaves: it's a struggle, you know, when we go on, you know, thanksgiving breaks or any holiday break. we get those calls when there's a student who has been shot or assaulted. we receive those calls from parents and students who need support financially with a major bill. >> pelley: for a lot of your students, school is the safest, best part of the day. >> cleaves: it's a sanctuary. >> pelley: and an inspiration. >> ajani cunningham: i'm a marine cadet.
i will be true to myself and others. >> pelley: ajani cunningham joined marine corps' junior r.o.t.c. to add some ammo to his many applications for financial aid. >> cunningham: because i am in a 1,000 programs all at once, including r.o.t.c., debate. i have honors and a.p. classes. i've taken college courses. so, i'm just trying to do the most that i can to make college the least expensive. >> kavarrion newson: well, father, we thank you for waching over all of us this morning, waking us up and clothing us all in our right mind. >> pelley: kavarrion newson's hopes lean on faith. >> newson: amen. >> pelley: he told us that's how he endured being raised by his grandmother, who was drug- addicted at the time. >> newson: i have so much faith in god. it's like, i'm not even going to worry about money. anything i've ever put in god's hands, it never failed. so, i know he'll come through. i know it, for a fact. >> cleaves: you know, we have students who are doing construction, working in
warehouses, working the night shift, getting off at 6:00 a.m. and coming to school. >> pelley: you've got to admire the dedication and the character. >> cleaves: what could that kid do if given the chance? >> pelley: we told the students we were writing a story about college ambition, which wasn't the whole truth. we knew what was about to happen because we'd met the man who would change their lives. >> pete kadens: i'm a guy who got really lucky in life. i'm a guy who won a lot of lotteries-- the birth lottery, the zip code lottery, the education lottery. and when i think about having won all those lotteries and all the people who are suffering, it's my chance to give them those same opportunities. that's who i am. >> pelley: he is pete kadens, a chicago millionaire who retired at the age of 40 after starting five companies including one of the largest growers of cannabis. sense of guilt?
>> kadens: yes. 100%. i feel horribly guilty that i created this amount of wealth and that so many people are still suffering. >> pelley: suffering, in his view, because the richest country in history has not found a way to educate all its children. >> kadens: i used to think that college and going to college was the great equalizer. in truth, what we've come to find out, college is the great stratifier in this country. it furthers the gap between the haves and the have-nots. most people just don't realize that. and they don't realize how expensive it is for a minority student in a disinvested community. they don't just get a bunch of financial aid. and if they do, they come out with a boatload of debt so they can't compete with their white suburban contemporaries, even after college. i just think that, fundamentally, there's a misunderstanding in this country that college is accessible to everybody. and the fact is, no, it is not. >> pelley: but it was about to
be accessible at johnson college prep. when everyone's assembled, and no one knows why, you're going to look across that room, and what are you going to see? >> cleaves: i'm going to see students and families who deserve this moment. you know, you asked me earlier about students that we've lost, and we often tell our families in those moments to, like, "hang in there," you know, "stay in the fight, don't give up, a better day is coming." this is their better day. >> pelley: ajani cunningham was there, beside kavarrion newson. they didn't know what the assembly was about or who pete kadens was... >> kadens: good afternoon, johnson college prep! >> pelley: ...but they will never forget. >> kadens: you are going to walk out of here forever changed today, and that is because if you are a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior at johnson college prep, your college tuition, your room and board,
your books and fees will be paid for. you will go to college for free! ( cheers and applause ) >> pelley: free. kadens' charity, called hope chicago, will pay in-state tuition and expenses-- an act of kindness so great, it had to be squeezed to fit within belief. that same week, kadens made the same announcement at four additional chicago high schools. >> kadens: look, we are operating in a city, here in chicago, where the number one cause of death for children under the age of 18 is gunshot wounds. no, we're not going to wait anymore. it's now or never. >> pelley: how many tuitions in chicago altogether? >> kadens: we will end up funding about 30,000 individuals to go to college or trade school in the city of chicago. >> pelley: over what period of time? >> kadens: over the next decade. that makes this the largest
scholarship program in the country. >> pelley: kavarrion newson deeply appreciated pete kadens, but he told us he knew who he needed to thank. >> newson: well, i didn't get to pray about the assembly yet because i'm still trying to process all of those feelings, because of what just happened was, i mean, simply amazing. but god will get some special time from me tonight. >> pelley: but in the assembly, there was more. just when a better day couldn't be any better, janice jackson took the stage. the former c.e.o. of chicago public schools is the new head of hope chicago. >> jackson: pete left one important part out. parents, guess what? you're going back to school, too. >> pelley: hope chicago is sending a parent or guardian from each family to college. for ajani cunningham's mother, incomprehension was finally broken by the memories of her dreams deferred.
>> yolanda white: we have always had a too-close relationship with poverty and lack. >> pelley: once homeless, yolanda white, a single mother, cleared a path for five children-- two through college already. >> white: and i've taken all the hits, so now they can go and, you know, understand that i've been the shield. and they can be free to do what they want to do with their lives. >> pelley: now, it's her turn. she'd like to take technology classes to grow her baking business. ajani, your mom's ferocious. >> cunningham: she's amazing. >> jackson: the idea of parents and students going back to school together, i think that can be powerful and motivating in ways that we haven't even thought about. >> pelley: janice jackson, the former head of chicago schools, told us she decided to take pete kadens' offer to run hopeiofor . what do you expect to happen
from the fact that you're sending the parents to college? >> jackson: i expect them to get better jobs, that they're going to be in a position to take care of their families. i was talking to one parent who told me she had two jobs. that is a barrier. so, i hink when you strengthen the family, you strengthen whole communities. and ultimately, we're going to make our country stronger. >> pelley: you're not just trying to educate this young generation; you're trying to fix the south side of chicago. >> jackson: we have to catch up. that's the bottom line. and i may be biased, but i do believe education is the single most powerful way to disrupt generational poverty. it is. and for some of our parents, once they have children, they put their hopes and dreams on hold. and so, this is an opportunity to get back in the game. >> pelley: of course, money isn't everything. kadens told us counselors working with hope chicago will guide parents and students all the way to success. >> kadens: these students need life skills training. they need mentorship. they need financial literacy.
they need guidance counseling and curriculum advice. what hope chicago brings with our partner agencies is, we wrap all those services around those students so they're not just stranded with a boatload of cash. they actually have people and teams around them to engage them so they can make it through college. >> poverty is intergenerational. >> pelley: hope chicago is pete in toledo, his hometown. kadens has pledged $15 million to his scholarships. his hope chicago partner, ted koenig, kicked in ten million. corporations are also donating. >> dj and kids: we going to college for free! we going to college for free! >> pelley: hope chicago will cot $1 billion, which some call ambitious. >> kadens: and when they say "ambitious," they don't necessarily mean it in a positive way. they mean "crazy." but here's what we know, scott. if we educate our families,
we'll resolve a lot of the violence issues. we'll start to put pharmacies and office buildings and grocery stores into these communities. and so, yeah, we may be crazy, but this is an economic development investment as much as it is an educational investment. and we have to do it. >> pelley: so many people who have lived young lives like yours with all these obstacles are just casualties in america. >> newson: right. >> pelley: and i wonder why you're sitting here doing so well and going to college next. >> newson: because i never gave up. it's like, okay, so, you know how you can play basketball? every shot that you shoot will not always go into the net. but i guarantee you if you try over and over and over again to shoot that ball, one time it's going to go into the net. so, that's how i live my life on trying this thing over and over again. every day we wake up, we have
new mercy and new grace. >> pelley: well, you drained a three during the assembly today. >> newson: i'm still processing those feelings. today, i'll remember this day for the rest of my entire life. i'll never forget this day. >> pelley: grace and prosperity once raised monuments on the south side. now, even with so much forsaken, pete kadens sees through the neglect to the vibrance still inside. >> kadens: i think many communities around this country can have hope.why n't there be , and hope indianapolis, and hope charlotte? i'd love to see other philanthropists in other communities take up this endeavor and own it. >> pelley: calling all billionaires. >> kadens: calling all billionaires. calling all corporations. what we're doing here is action. we want our corporations, our foundations to join us in this action. ( ticking ) >> announcer: what is it like to
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( ticking ) >> norah o'donnell: "60 minutes" has always had a soft spot for the opera. maybe because, like us, opera is in the storytelling business, with big, sweeping, improbable tales and characters. tonight, we introduce you to one of its star storytellers, a 52- year-old tenor from germany named jonas kaufmann. critics applaud kaufmann's singing, range, and swagger on sage. others point to his history of high-profile cancellations. interrupted by the pandemic, we have been following the tenor for years.
now, we finally raise the curtain so you can hear jonas kaufmann make one of opera's most famous arias his own. >> ( singing "nessun dorma" ) >> o'donnell: even if you don't know its name, it's likely you've heard and perhaps even hummed along to "nessun dorma." >> ( "nessun dorma" continues ) >> jonas kaufmann: it's very difficult to describe or define the magic of this song. >> o'donnell: in the first year of the pandemic, jonas kaufmann enchanted an audience desperate for live performances at the vienna philharmonic summer night concert. >> kaufmann: if you look carefully at this song, it is very simple because you have
because you have ( sings ) ( sings ) it's like, okay, like, almost like a children's melody. it's not really a complicated-- but that's the trick. the best hits are the less complicated. it does its magic each and every time. also for me. i've b-- been performing this-- this-- aria so many times, and the chill is still there. >> ( "nessun dorma" concludes ) >> o'donnell: the chill is still there for his fans, too. it's not only his good looks-- he's been compared to george clooney-- and his broad vocal range; jonas kaufmann has a gift for acting a role and not just singing it. audiences line up to listen to
kaufmann perform lesser-known works, as well. last fall, we joined him on his american recital tour. >> ( kaufmann singing lieder ) >> o'donnell: at the kennedy center in washington, he offered an evening of lieder, poetic german songs, accompanied only by a piano. >> ( kaufmann singing lieder ) >> o'donnell: it's been three years since you've been performing in america. what's it like to be back? >> kaufmann: well, it's great to be back to have at least a part of that spirit that i used to see here. you see audiences that are way more cheerful, that are very emotional, that start to cry. >> o'donnell: opera can always be emotional, but even now you notice the audience is more so. >> kaufmann: it has an a more powerful impact and effect on--
on people now. but i'm actually so selfish; i do this for myself mostly because it is a dream come true to be able to make your living on something that is always been your dream. so, i thought, "yeah, it's great to have the audience and everything, but if-- if it would be only me and they would still pay me, i mean, they-- it would be fine too." ( laughs ) it's so wrong-- so, so wrong because now, having done many of these virtual concerts, i had to learn the hard way how important an audience is. >> o'donnell: not only did the audience lose something without live opera, you lost something. >> kaufmann: it's not only the applause, it's the energy in the room changes immediately. if there is a couple of thousand people attending something-- watching, witnessing, holding their breath-- you feel their
presence. and-- and this is something that-- that we've been missing all enormously. ( cheers and applause ) >> o'donnell: so enormously, the kennedy center audience demanded eight encores. ( cheers and applause ) kaufmann's breakthrough moment came with his metropolitan opera debut in 2006. one critic noted he displayed "a big, shiny voice." another said he looked like a rock star. when we saw him backstage at the met in 2018... >> kaufmann: this is the saloon. >> o'donnell: ...kaufmann was swashbuckling his way through the part of the outlaw in puccini's "la fanciulla del west." >> (singing "la fanciulla del west" ) >> o'donnell: with his reertoire of more than 70 roles in german, french, italian, and english-- all of which he is fluent in-- kaufmann is stereotypically teutonic in his methodic approach to his music. ( kaufmann warming up ) >> o'donnell: "opera is a
competitive sport," he likes to say, and he keeps his voice as precisely tuned as a porsche at le mans. at the bavarian state opera, we watched kaufmann in his pre-game warm-up, preparing his equipment for a three-hour contest with verdi's "aida." we saw you with the towel in the mouth. ( laughs ) what's that about? ( laughter ) >> kaufmann: yeah, this is something very special. sometimes the voice is there, yes. you wake up, and you think, "ah." ( singing ) it's all ready. and then comes another day, and it just takes a while for the voice to wake up and to get rid of all the dust. so, what do we do when we want to wake up our voice, when we start warming up? we change things to make it sound like we want it. and this is wrong. we don't have the patience. but if we have the towel in the mouth, you don't hear that. you don't hear the difference. you just let the voice do its thing. and once it's ready, it's ready.
>> o'donnell: kaufmann's confidence in his voice allows him to concentrate on inhabiting the characters he plays. he is recognized as a better actor than most opera stars. >> kaufmann: i tried to master my-- my vocal technique so that i could open my mouth and sing as if i would just speak and concentrate on the emotion, concentrate on the-- the layers underneath, on the subtext. and, for me, acting is nothing artificial. >> ( kaufmann performing "aida" ) i want to know more about the human being that stands behind this armor and maybe feels completely different. so, that's what i'm interested in. ( kaufmann performing "aida" ) >> o'donnell: the voice of a tenor, by nature, demands heroics and nerves of steel, something it took him years to develop.
why do you think tenors capture people's imagination? >> kaufmann: the tenor register is a very unnatural register. it's very high for-- for a male voice. you can't just switch into, let's say, soprano register and- - and-- and sing the ha-ha- ho- ho, whatever. that would be, let's say, easier. but you-- you have to go with your full-body voice. there's so many factors that have to fall into place in order to-- to make this happen, to sing, let's say, a full-body high c on stage, that there's always a little risk in it. >> o'donnell: you can't fake it. >> kaufmann: you can't fake it because you-- you fail. everybody sees it, everybody hears it. >> o'donnell: in 2015, a few years and a few gray hairs ago, we traveled to kaufmann's childhood home in munich. it looks the same. have they changed it much? >> kaufmann: no. i mean, it was another yellow. >> o'donnell: it was here, sitting under the piano while his grandfather played, that his
love for classical music began. kaufmann joined the choir early when his hands were still too small for the keyboard. >> kaufmann: i still remember that feeling when i was-- when i was there for the first time, having the impression to, let's say, taking a bath in the sound. >> o'donnell: what do you mean, "taking a bath in the sound?" >> kaufmann: no, you see, you're surrounded by-- by the sound. by the harmonies. by the voices. if you are sitting as a spectator, as an audience, the-- the sound comes from one direction, but it's-- it's not the same as if you are just in the middle of it. i got goosebumps right away because i-- i loved it so much. and so, i-- >> o'donnell: and how old were you? >> kaufmann: five. so... >> o'donnell: ( laughs ) you're five, and you're getting goosebumps? >> kaufmann: yes. ( laughs ) i mean, i was-- i was so excited. >> o'donnell: now 52, the father of four performs mostly in europe to be close to his
family. when we were with him in munich, he wanted us to experience the centuries-old tradition of oktoberfest. this tenor may be protective of his voice, but he still likes to have a good time. but as a tenor, you can't drink that much beer, can you? >> kaufmann: no, no. i mean, at least not if you have to sing the next day. but beer is something that doesn't harm your voice, as far as i know, so you can drink it if you want to. >> o'donnell: beer doesn't harm your voice? >> kaufmann: no, not at all. on the contrary. it helps. >> o'donnell: it hasn't been all wienerschnitzel and encores. in 1995, early in his career, after repeatedly forcing his instrument into places it didn't naturally go, the tenor lost his voice on stage and also his confidence in his career. you wanted to quit? >> kaufmann: of course, i wanted to quit. if you do a job that is so highly risky that you never know when you walk on stage whether you're going to finish the evening in-- in glory or in misery, why would you do it? >> o'donnell: but you enjoy it. >> kaufmann: i enjoy it only when i know what i'm doing, and i'm-- i'm, let's say-- i'm on top of it.
>> o'donnell: jonas kaufmann needed to abandon all his faulty techniques that nearly cost him his voice and begin again from scratch. how did you rebuild your voice? >> kaufmann: well, i-- i found another teacher who taught me a completely different approach, different technique, different breathing, different mouth position. >> o'donnell: and how did your voice change? >> kaufmann: i always say if you-- you compare it-- you've been driving a mini, and then you suddenly go to-- to a 40-ton truck. ( laughs ) and-- and you think you've never been driven a car before because it is just-- steering alone is-- is so weird. >> o'donnell: but it's more powerful? >> kaufmann: it is very powerful. the voice became bigger, darker, rounder, larger. ( "pagliacci" ) >> o'donnell: armed with both this darker, larger voice and a heightened sense of caution, jonas kaufmann rose to the top of the opera world carefully choosing his jobs, resisting
pressure to commit to roles until his voice was ready to meet the challenge. jonas kaufmann's career is marked not only by the moments he's risen to the occasion, but also by the times he hasn't rumenthe hasquently cancelled bookings, leaving opera houses scrambling and ticket holders disappointed. did you ever worry about gaining the reputation of someone who's a canceler. >> kaufmann: yes, of course. that is the risk. and there was a time when you would google "jonas kaufmann," the next word that came was "cancel." ( laughs ) >> o'donnell: you can laugh about that? >> kaufmann: i can laugh about it because it wouldn't change a hair. you see, i wouldn't do anything different. ( kaufmann recording "tosca" ) it is my responsibility for-- to
protect my instrument. i love this job so much that for no money in the world, i want to give it up. so, i want to sing for as long as possible. ( kaufmann recording "tosca" ) ( ticking ) >> whitaker: i'm bill whitaker. thank you for watching our 54th >> cbs sports hq is presented by progressive insurance at the pga championship in tulsa, oklahoma justin thomas shot a final round 67 to win the wanna maker trophy for the second time. he won in a three hole play-off over texan will zalatoris, burning the first two holes to take the title. for 24/7 news and highlights
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