Roberto Alagna... Quote. Unquote.
From Never Mind the Moon by Jeremy Isaacs as he recalled Roberto Alagna's performance in Romeo et Juliette at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 1994...

"As Romeo, Roberto Alagna was magnificent. Alagna came late to opera. He made is reputation at La Scala in La Traviata and was asked to sing Alfredo all over the world. But his wife was then dying of a brain tumour and he could not bear to sing Alfredo to a dying Violetta. Now, after her death, and with his young daughter and his parents in the dressing room, he sang Romeo instead.  When he came to the aria 'Ah! Leve-toi soleil', he sang with bravura and poignancy, better perhaps than he would ever sing again in his life."


From an interview with Angela Gheorghiu 'Oh la la, sex calms me down' by Jan Moir, Daily Telegraph 5 June 2001...

"When new photographs of him were delivered to her suite earlier, she fell upon them hungrily. "I went like this," she says, planting kisses on the pictures. "I kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss him. Ooh, he has a power!"

Roberto Alagna describing to Anna Picard of BBC Music magazine what it feels like to hit a note just right...

"Sometimes you can't control what happens in that moment. It's not human. Vous êtes en état de grâce, certainement - a state of grace. On ne peut pas expliquer ça. Un moment divin. It's like being in a trance."

Brook Peters (Opera News October 2001) describing Alagna's performance in Il trovatore at the Maggio Musicale, where he lost place and started over again...

"Then, in the next act, as Manrico was singing to Leonora in the tender scene by the chapel just prior to their aborted wedding, an even more curious thing happened. During the recitative leading up to the celebrated aria "Ah sì, ben mio," Alagna suddenly paused, broke character, signaled awkwardly to Mehta to stop the orchestra. He'd lost his place in the score, and he asked Mehta to start the scene over. The maestro obliged without so much as a crack in his steely poise. In all the years I've been going to the opera, I've never seen anyone halt a staged opera performance in midstream and press the rewind button. But what's most remarkable is that the audience lapped it up. Rather than roasting Alagna for his blunder, the crowd immediately burst into frenzied applause. From then on, he sang even more gamely, belting the all-important high C in "Di quella pira" with real panache. As the curtain came down at the end of the opera, he was greeted with a standing ovation."


Stephen Hastings, Opera News, September 2001, on the Florence Trovatore...

"Roberto Alagna, singing his first series of Manricos in Italy, gave a
singularly stirring performance, creating a genuinely loving human being
rather than indulging in the usual tenorial poses. He used dark tone for
the role and phrased magnificently, with consistently eloquent diction,
solid legato and considerable dynamic variety."


Angela Gheorghiu in a Classic FM interview on what's like being in love with another opera singer (Alagna)...

"The good part you can imagine, because it's sharing the passion. But
for the first two years it was very bad for us. I was preoccupied all
the time, not only for me, but also for him. Normally during a
performance, when my colleague sings, I don't care. It's a little pause
and I can breathe. But with him it was impossible. I was so tense, I
didn't want one tiny thing to go wrong."


Alagna on getting up the courage to go onstage in an interview with Opera News, October 2001...

"Florence was ill for a year and a half. I slept only two or three hours each
night on a chair in the hospital. But I sang each night, everywhere in Europe.
I canceled nothing -- never. But nobody knows that," (emotion thickening
his voice.) "For me it was very important to sing, because it helped me
to forget reality. The reality of my life was so bad, so black, the only
escape was onstage. And I think it was very important to her to have
hope. If I had stopped everything, then she would have understood it was
the end. I tried to have a normal life to give her hope.

I think only about going onstage and singing well. In this business,
you never arrive. All the time you can fail. You have to prove again and
again each night. If a conductor has a cold, he can still conduct. But
not a singer. It is a miracle each day. It is very difficult for the
nerves. I have to control it, like yoga, to have the concentration to be
very relaxed in a very short time. And you have to have very iron
nerves. Because when you lose the voice, you don't lose the voice, you
lose your nerve."


Baritone Gino Quilico on advice for young singers in La Scena Musicale...

Also, you have to be confident and motivated. I sang with Roberto Alagna
when he was unknown, but I knew he'd be a star because he had drive.
People think it was easy for him, but they forget that he used to work
in a bar singing pop songs.


From Marie-Aude Roux's review of Lucia di Lammermoor (Opera de Lyon) in
Le Monde, 9 January 2002...

As for Alagna, he is out and out magnificent: warm and tender, ardent
and elegiac, with beautiful high notes, impeccable phrasing and singing
of a perfect intelligibility - a precious gift which his colleagues,
without exception, can only envy.


Nicolas Blanment on Lucie de Lammermoor (Opéra de Lyon), La Libre
Belgique, 17 January 2002...

Dans le rôle d'Edgar Ravenswood, Roberto Alagna, le plus médiatique des
ténors de la nouvelle génération, sorte de Candeloro de l'art lyrique
par son mélange de talent, de générosité et de cabotinage: le rôle lui
sied à merveille, la diction est parfaitement intelligible, la voix
porte très bien et seul un excès d'engagement (de confiance?) lui vaut
quelques imprécisions dans la scène finale.

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This page was last updated on: May 31, 2004