Tucked, plucked & manicured Roberto Alagna started 2013 in an Empire State of Mind.
Between fallout from Angela announcing the on-off couple's official divorce and an awesome NYC sightseeing '80s film montage that thought bubbles from our head (like the one from Karate Kid set to Joe Esposito's "You're the Best" where Daniel-san & Mr. Miyagi fight the Cobra Kai dojo -- only our version has Alagna eating pushcart hotdogs Lady-and-the-Tramp style and peacocking on models at The Jane with vodka cocktails in both hands) he sang in Giordano's Andrea Chénier with the Opera Orchestra of New York.
Led by OONY's MD Alberto Veronesi on Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Center, Alagna gave a "distracted performance" (Zach Woolfe's NYTimes review here) crowned with flubbed lines and cracked notes. Via Lebrecht, here's a detailed recap.
Alagna's response? He twerks, says YOLO and swaggers off into the golden sunset. (We're trying, honestly, but we haven't yet bought our 2013 season pass to H8r Mountain).
Welcome to another edition of Thunderdome -- with Roberto Alagna's mammaries and Lise Lindstrom's ~living legend, you could look but don't touch, cause she's cold as fire, hot as ice~ for les Chorégies d'Orange festival's Turandot.
The Met reports that Roberto Alagna will step in for Joseph Calleja in tonight's Gounod Faust in the title role. Met audiences get a double-dose of the tenor as tomorrow night, he'll be singing Cavaradossi in the premiere of Tosca.
During the scramble of Men's Fashion Week, we'll leave you with some Alagna salve -- he's magic! Here's Roberto from Opéra Marseilles where he's currently singing Rodrigue in Massenet's Le Cid through June 26 with the Marseille Philharmonic Orchestra and Jacques Lacombe.
Twenty three years ago baby-faced Roberto Alagna sang Puccini -- and now it's on YouTube in this vintage clip. He's like the missing Young Gun -- just one more reason why the West was wild. OC would have (*maybe) macked on young Roberto Alagna.
Dear Lawd, thank you for this daily LOL, and bless google that hath prepared it.
While Villazon enjoys his Vienna comeback, let's not forget about that other tenor, Roberto Alagna, who appeared on France3 with Salvatore Adamo & Frederic François to sing Adamo's Les Filles Du Bord De Mer.
Excellent stuff as always in today's "Corriere della Sera" arts coverage: an exclusive interview by journalist Valerio Cappelli where Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu severely blasts the French-Italian tenor -- and at this point almost-ex husband -- Roberto Alagna.
"I fell off the chair: I filed for divorce in Switzerland, where we live. It's all filed... he calls me every day, our relationship is civil, but he wants me back. We both suffered, this is for the best. I won't come back... I did everything I could to save the marriage, we had already suffered a crisis in 2003... I didn't want to do Aida or Cyrano, that's his repertoire...".
She has little love for the Alagna family:
"Roberto was sad because I didn't want to take part in productions directed by his brothers... He has a clannish mentality, I'm the opposite... His Sicialian blood speaks volumes... He's the one who insisted he wanted to marry me, he was free, I wasn't, I had to divorce my first husband Andrej... The media thinks I'm capricious, it's a cross I have to carry... Conductors need to think more about the people who buy tickets because my name's on the playbill. People don't care if I skip a few days of rehearsals"
Why did the marriage end, asks Corriere:
"I come from a family of means that treated me like a princess: they (ed: Alagna's family) have humble roots, I'm sorry, but the difference mattered in the end... Men can't stand a successful woman. When I made the Butterfly CD he disappeared for 10 days. But he checked on me to see if I betrayed him...".
She then denies to have a boyfriend, but says she can't vouch for Alagna's fidelity.
And drops the final nuclear bomb:
"Two composers, the American William Maselli and the Romanian Vladimir Cosma, are writing two operas about me. 'Bonnie & Clyde' and 'Draculette'. My nicknames have become trademarks. At first I thought, how dare they? But if the music's good, I'm singing them both. We just need a tenor now".
In tomorrow's edition of Le Figaro, (excerpt here) Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu will make official what everybody knew and the two singers didn't even bother to deny much anymore -- they've been separated for a while and might be on their way to a divorce (she seems to be against it, for now, he says) after 13 years of very operatic marriage:
Angela ne veut pas entendre parler de divorce. On verra.
says the excitable tenor. O.K., we'll see. Sad news because it's always sad when a marriage ends, even a wacky one such as this one, but at least the Burton-Taylor reference from Le Figaro makes it lollersome -- imagine Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf remade with these two in the lead? As an opera, maybe, written by one of the Alagna brothers? Priceless.
Worst of all was Joseph Tichatschek's behavior as Tannhauser in the original Dresden production of the opera in the fall of 1845. During the Song Contest, he actually turned to Johanna Wagner (Elisabeth) and addressed the Song Of Venus directly to her --"to you, Goddess of Love!".
Did you enjoy the live telecast a couple weeks ago on France 2 of our dear Ciofolina and Vittorione Grigolo singing "Traviata", conducted by Maestro Chung? (Opera Chic's friends are so cool that she received a nice, freshly-ripped region-0 DVD of the proceedings -- and if your friends are less cool and less French and you're ready to resign yourself to bad Internet audio and worse video, it's all over YouTube now (see above).
Well, next Tuesday, this time on France 3, there's another live telecast: Roberto Alagna from Chorégies d'Orange in "Cavalleria Rusticana" and "Pagliacci" (catch the hilarious blooper on Classiquenews site -- it happens). Besides the comedy gold that is Roburto, the cast list has nice names such as Inva Mula, Béatrice Uria Monzon, and Anne-Catherine Gillet.
Who knew that Roberto Alagna -- almost as ubiquitous in the French media as Carla Bruni -- also fancies himself a culinary ambassador? He's featured on the March/April cover of the French-language magazine, Vins & Gastronomie, where he talks about world cuisine and his love of simple dishes.
OC snapped a few photos of the 'zine, which she spotted while exploring the French Riviera this past weekend. At the end of the article, Alagna supplied recipes for two of his favorite dishes: Spaghettis Carbonara & Pizza au Fromage -- you know, just in case we forgot about his Italian heritage.
~Click on the link below to see scans from the rest of the article~
"I wasn't looking forward to lunch with Roberto Alagna".
Seldom the very British gift for understatement has been employed more brilliantly -- but by the end of the interview, the Daily Telegraph's Sir Rupert Christiansen had fallen in the trap so many of us have: Roberto Alagna, just like the character he played most memorably, Nemorino, has the gift to disarm you.
He also mentions something that makes one think -- no, not that he and Angela are fighting (didn't they always?). He says that the Alorghiu couple -- on the stage -- has come to an end:
"So now we have
agreed to separate our careers. We will sing together in Carmen at
the Met, and then some Puccini at Covent Garden – but after that, no more."
One can discount this to the famous Alagnian gift for drama; or maybe, just maybe, those who argued, all these years, that the couple was pretty much toast already as a couple but they were remaining together as a duo for career/business reasons, maybe those cynics had a point (as cynics often do, unfortunately).
After all, at this point the Alagnas have recorded everything they could together, they've appeared together a lot, and anyway she's singing more often now with a younger, hotter, vocally healthier costar than her husband -- Jonas Kaufmann with whom Angela is creating a rather impressive couple in the MILF/toyboy tradition.
If this is indeed the case, Opera Chic will have to settle and join TEAM ALAGNA. Not simply because he once was the much better artist of the duo, the one with the real talent and potential of the two, but, again, because it's quite impossible to truly dislike someone who, Nemorino-like, can disarm you with this stuff:
"I can't feel the vibrations on top notes any more. So yes, I'm taking
'Di quella pira' down a bit to make it easier. So what? When I sang it in
the right key, nobody noticed."
And it's actually true, outside of ghost-worshipping loggionisti and other small communities belonging to fringe subcultures, few operagoers can anyway.
He always sings in the shower; Angela Gheorghiu never does.
A French/Italian dual citizen, he has never voted in his life, not even once.
He describes his relationship with Scala GM Stéphane Lissner, the same guy he fought a legal battle with after leaving the stage mid-performance and then getting fired from la Scala's 2006 Aida (all the info about the sad story here in Opera Chic's archives under the "Alagna walk-off" tag) as "ottima", "excellent".
He has been offered, he says, by la Scala, parts in the upcoming Carmen (the 2009-2010 season opener conducted by Barenboim) and in Simon Boccanegra (where he would have appeared alongside a Placido Domingo in full baritonal mode) but the turned Lissner down.
Because, he told the Milanese paper, "I still feel a lot of hostility. In Italy, I've never sung with Angela, not once. They said too many mean things about us, people in the end will believe them".
Interestingly, he was supposed to sing in Italy with his wife in a pretty high-profile situation, Pagliacci under Muti in Ravenna, 1998 -- when Muti asked a badly-prepared Gheorghiu to go study the score, she walked off (technically, she suddendly got sick, sending a doctor's note) and quite magically Alagna got immediately sick, too -- sending in another doctor's note.