La Stampa sat down with 34-year-old Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez and 27-year-old Italian Francesco Meli in recognition of tonight’s la prima of Donizetti’s L'Elisir d'Amore at Teatro Regio di Torino, where both tenors will be sharing the role of Nemorino. Flórez will sing la prima tonight, and then the 16th, 20th, 22nd, 25th, and the 27th, with Meli filling-in the remainder of dates. La Stampa has spun the performance as a battle of the tenors: one rising star poised to supersede the Peruvian strong horse. Please. As if. Let’s not even go there.
The interview begins by asking lots of uninteresting questions about L'Elisir d'Amore i.e. "Since when have you been singing this? Which aria gets the most applause?" Below find a few of the more engaging questions, and then judge for yourself if Meli is adequate enough to fill the shoes of teh h0tness with the golden lamby voice.
Which opera will you always sing?
Flórez: La fille du regiment and l'Italiana in Algeri.
Meli: L'Elisir d'Amore. At least I hope.
Which opera will you never sing?
Flórez: "Sicuramente Werther".
Meli: The Magic Flute. It's too German. [Ummmm, what?!]
What is the most essential thing for a tenor?
Flórez: i nervi saldi = nerves of steel.
Meli: Basically, a beautiful voice.
Which old-skool tenor have you always admired?
Flórez: Alfredo Kraus.
Meli: Francisco Araiza. [Who?!]
And a tenor of today?
Flórez: Marcelo Alvarez. [Alagna diss].
Meli: Marcelo Alvarez.
When you're not singing, what are you doing?
Flórez: Usually I'm on the computer, but only to respond to emails. [LIES! HE NEVER WRITES ME BAKC! *wipes tears with JDF poster*]
Meli: Being a husband and a father.
Who is your favorite primadonna?
Flórez: Mine is Adina here in Torino, Eva Mei. She's the personification of the civilization (tradition) of song. [Eva Mei will be staring as Adina opposite Flórez].
Meli: Since picking my wife would be banal, I'll say Patrizia Ciofi. [Meli’s wife is IRL Serena Gamberoni, who also stars in the cast as the Adina secondary].
Is it better to be famous or “bravi”?
Flórez: It's better to be famous for the right reasons: not because you've done crossover concerts and now everyone knows you, but rather to be famous because you are first 'bravi'.
Meli: Bravi. To appear in the papers is a side dish, not the main course. [what does that even mean?!]
And your next performance?
Flórez: Rossini's Otello in August in Pesaro
Meli: Barbiere di Siviglia this summer at the Arena di Verona
The project that you hold closest?
Flórez: My next disc that comes out in September, which is dedicated to the romantic tenor Giovanni Battista Rubini.
Meli: Lucia di Lammermoor in Bologna next season.
Give me one adjective for your colleague:
okay. That solves it. The guy comes-off with an inferiority complex, but can we say we blame him? Meli needs to take some PR lessons from Flórez's polished diplomacy.
(btw, you've gots to czech out the page holder for meli’s developing website) omg teh loals. comic sans ms font is always a good idea. and is that the guy from 'Double Dare'? omg omg I'm gonna hafta take the physical challenge, marc!