This page was last updated on July 27, 2010
We hear that archives...
Roberto Alagna's new cd, Sicilien, comes out on November 10th. It's available
this 10 minute video - "The Making of Sicilien" - from France2 television. It needs a bit of time pour charger.
The Gran Teatre del Liceu pays tribute to José Carreras this month, marking the
50th anniversary of his debut there with a special exhibition chronicling his career and a limited edition book. His June 17th recital on the main stage of the opera house will be broadcast on both television and radio. Meanwhile, you can watch a video of him opening the exhibition in his honour.
(Sources: Gran Teatre del Liceu, TV3 Catalunya, Radio Catalunya Música)
This month, Roberto Alagna will be holding forth on "les grands héroïnes tragiques de l'opéra" in a special edition of Musiques au coeur. Tune your televisons to France2 on June 20th, 2008 at 22:35 (French time).
Decca has produced a spiffy micro-site devoted to the new Juan Diego Flórez CD,
Bel Canto Spectacular.
(Source: Decca Classics)
On May 27th, Juan Diego Flórez adds another role to his repertoire when he sings Orphée in Gluck's Orphée et Eurydice at the Teatro Real in Madrid. He talks about the demands of this new role "muy muy agudo" in a video interview for El Mundo.
(Source: El Mundo, 23.05.2008)
The majestic progress of Juan Diego Flórez in Lima continues, including a meeting with Peru's President Alan Garcia. Galleries galore in the Peruvian press... This one has photos of the presss conference for his role debut in Rigoletto. This one has photos from the dress rehearsal. There's a video of Flórez at the Presidential Palace.
Another one from the dress rehearsal with Flórez singing 'Questa e quella'. And yet
another which sums up a bit more of the whirlwind, including an appearance from Luciano Pavarotti's former assistant, Edwin Tinoco, who's in Lima to help with the festivities.
(Sources: Radio Programas del Perú; Reuters)
Roberto Alagna has a new motto - "Honneur et Patrie". On March 30, 2008, he was made a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur.
(Source: Radio France, 30,03,2008)
Juan Diego Flórez will be the centre of attention in Lima over the next three weeks, starting in the kitchen. Rosa Náutica, one of Lima's most famous restaurants, will be featuring La Cocina di Juan Diego on their menu from March 19th to April 2nd. The restaurant will be serving a series of dishes he's invented combining elements of both Italian and Peruvian cuisine. On March 31st, he makes his role debut in Rigoletto at the Teatro Alejandro Granda with the performance broadcast on big outdoor screens around Lima. His stay culminates, of course, with his wedding to Julia Trappe in the Cathedral of Lima on April 5th with a fiesta afterwards at the Museo Pedro de Osma. Don't try gate-crashing. Entrance to the Cathedral and the fiesta will be by bar-coded invitation only.
(Source: Agencia Orbita, 13.03.2008, 14.03.2008)
Marius et Fanny with Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu in the title roles will be released on CD under the Largetto label on April 24th, 2008. Pre-orders are available from Abeille Musique. The opera by Vladimir Cosma had its world premiere in Marseilles last September.
(Source: Abeille Musique)
José Carreras is one of the nominees for the Edition XII of Los Premios de la Música (the Spanish equivalent of the Grammy award) for his album Belle Epoque. Carreras is also one of the 10 finalists for the El Periódico Catalan of the Year award. The second round of voting ends on March 28th. If you're inclined to stuff the ballot box or just want to be entered for the prize draw which includes a weekend in a parador, a cruise, and a car, brush up on your Catalan and go here. Meanwhile, the bidding has ended on the big red football which he autographed at promotion for the European Cup 2008 in Barcelona on February 24th.
(Sources: EFE, 13.02.2008; Österreich am Ball, Català de l'Any)
If you couldn't get to the Juan Diego Flórez recital in Jaén on January 21st, you can still listen to it via the excellent Ópera Virtual blog.
(Source: Ópera Virtual, 12.02.2008)
It looks like Borat's efforts to promote Kazakhstan are gradually paying off. In 2006
Roberto Alagna sang in the People's Pyramid of Peace and Reconciliation. Now according to NewEurasia (a Central Asia news blog), José Carreras may be paying the People's Pyramid a visit in July.
(Sources: NewEurasia, 11.02.2007; Kazakhstan Gazeta, 12.09.2006)
Alagnas galore... David Alagna's opera Le dernier jour d'un condamné, with a libretto by David, Roberto and Frédérico Alagna, and starring Roberto Alagna, has its Spanish premiere on February 12th. Mrs. Roberto Alagna (Angela Gheorghiu) has recently pulled out of the peformance. However, the role of 'la condamnée' will stay in the family. It will now be sung by Mrs. David Alagna (Nathalie Manfrino). At the
press conference in Valencia, Roberto Alagna, said that his wife's cancellation was due to "the difficulty of finding time to learn a new role." Meanwhile, they may all be upstaged (press coverage wise) by another member of the cast, Erwin Schrott and his future wife, Anna Netrebko. Here they are at the Palau des Arts during a break from the recording sessions for their upcoming Deutsche Grammophon album.
(Sources: EFE, 07.02.2008; Las Provincias, 06.02.2008)
Not only did his wife manage to get José Carreras dancing, but Anna Nebtrebko too, albeit up in the balconies. You can watch them on this short video from ZDF news. The video may not remain online for long, but if you miss it, the ever-resourceful Opera Chic has the stills.
José Carreras may not have been too keen on taking to the dance floor at the Vienna Opera Ball, but his wife managed to convince him after all. Although... in this photo he rather looks like someone on a roller-coaster ride. The visit to the Chopard boutique worked out well too. Chopard president, Karl Scheufele, presented him with a
$15,000 pocket watch and chain to wear to the ball and Mrs. Carreras received quite a spectacular bouquet of roses.
(Sources: Kronen Zeitung, 01.02.2008; OE24, 01.02.2008 )
At a press conference for this year's Vienna Opera Ball, José Carreras informed reporters that although he will be singing at the ball, he won't be dancing, confessing that he was "a disaster on the dance floor". When asked what he and his wife would be doing in Vienna, he replied "Well, it's not difficult to do something in Vienna". And sure enough, off they popped to the Chopard jewelry boutique. There's a video clip of the Chopard visit here, but it may not stay online very long.
(Source: Die Presse, 30.01.2008; ORF (Wien), 30.01.2008)
On January 28th Juan Diego Flórez gave his debut recital at La Scala. "Peruvian Flags, Screaming Fans, A Carpet Of Roses For Juan Diego: Il Signor Florez Takes La Scala, Again" writes Opera Chic in her own delightfully understated way. She
continues the saga with "Anytime, Anyplace, Juan Diego Flórez Sticks it to Milan". Meanwhile, the arts editor of Affari Italiani informs us that Flórez sent "La Scala into delirium."
(Sources: Opera Chic, 28.01.2008, 29.01.2008; Affari Italiani. 29.01.2008)
Write your own caption for this shot of José Carreras at a press conference in Beijing on January 15th, 2008.
Source: Sina News Agency 15.01.2008
Roberto Alagna sings 'J'ai perdu mon Eurydice' in this clip from the Italian television programme, Prima della Prima, and holds forth on the new production of Orphée et Eurydice at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna by 'les frères Alagna'.
Juan Diego Flórez and critic Pablo Meléndez-Haddad were in conversation with the Amics del Liceu last week. Barcelona based blogger gtl torn t was there and provides a blow-by-blow account, in Spanish. Meanwhile, blogger Villaine Fille celebrated Florez's birthday with a Festa Nazionale.
Peru is readying itself for Juan Diego Flórez in his role debut as The Duke of Mantua and for "la boda del año". The opening night of Rigoletto on March 31, 2008 at the
Teatro Alejandro Granda in Lima's port, El Callao, will be broadcast on big screens around the city and attended by many of the guests arriving from around the world for his wedding to Julia Trappe on April 5th. Following the second and final performance on April 3rd, there will be a reception for their guests at Callao's historic Fortaleza del Real Felipe. The wedding itself, with Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani officiating, will take place in Lima's main cathedral, with its spectacular facade and relatively austere
interior. No honeymoon, though. The next day the newlyweds will leave for New York where Juan Diego begins rehearsals for La fille du régiment at the Met.
(Source: La República, 10 January 2008)
The Italian press took a break from 'la polemica' about the rubbish piling up in Naples to indulge in yet more polemica (in multiple articles) about Orphée et Eurydice at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna with Roberto Alagna as Orphée. Booing and applause (in varying proportions depending on the newspaper) for the production by his brothers David and Frederico and the liberties they took with Gluck's score. If you missed the RAI broadcast, Parsifal's blog has MP3s of Alagna singing 'J'ai perdu mon Eurydice' and of the opera's finale, complete with boos from the apoplectic loggionisti.
(Sources: La Repubblica, 10.01.2008; Il Resto del Carlino, 10.01.2008; La Stampa 10.01.2008; Il Corriere della Sera; 10.01.2008; etc., etc.)
Anna Nebtrebko put on a bathrobe, Roberto Alagna kept his party clothes on, and Renée Fleming interviewed them both backstage at the December 15th performance
of Roméo et Juliette for the Met's broadcast to movie theatres. There are more photos in the Met's HD Blog. Meanwhile, if you missed the December 15th broadcast of 'Chantons sous la couette' on France Musique you can listen to it again here. Alagna talks about Romeo et Juliette, Gluck, Berlioz, Mozart, Bernstein, Verdi, Mario Lanza, Elvis Presley, and Angela Gheorghiu, interspersed with selections from his recordings, including 'Notre Père' from Credo.
(Sources: New York Metropolitan Opera HD Blog, 15.12.2007; France Musique)
José Carreras held his 13th annual Gala on MDR television yesterday. The Gala, in aid of leukemia research and practical help to patients and their families, raised a record amount this year - $9.6 Million. You can watch highlights here.
(Source: Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, 14.12.2007)
The Italian fashion magazine, L'uomo Vogue, can't seem to get enough of Juan Diego Flórez. Following his appearance in their July feature, 'Private People, Public Lives', the December issue has yet more arresting photographs by Bryan Adams in a spread entitled 'Juan Diego Flórez the Man in the Limelight'. OperaChic has scans of it all for your delectation.
Roberto Alagna is the sponsor of the second edition of Tous à l'opéra (Everybody to the opera), an initiative involving 24 opera houses throughout France. On February 16th, 2008, they will be open to the public with special events, including operatic sing-a-longs. Says Alagna. "Il faut montrer au grand public que l'opéra est accessible à tous" (We need to show the wider public that opera is accessible to all.)
(Source: Tele France 1)
In the end, José Carreras couldn't make it to that celebrity golf tournament in Turkey, but the Eagles Charity Golf Club donated $150,000 to his leukemia foundation anyway. Still on a fund-raising note... On November 30th, Carreras, Michael Bolton and Croatian pop singer Tony Cetinski appeared in a charity concert in Zagreb to raise money for the Ana Rukavina Leukemia Foundation. For a limited time, you can watch their... er... interesting... rendition of 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas' here. And on a photographic note... the German Vanity Fair has gone to town with a photo
special on Carreras.
(Sources: Die Welt, 25.11.2007; Dnevnik)
Juan Diego Flórez has just finished recording his next cd in Valencia's Palau de les Arts. In a departure from his previous Decca recordings, this will feature duets as well as solo arias. His partners include Anna Netrebko ('Vieni fra queste braccia' from I puritani ), Patrizia Ciofi ('Dal quel di che t'incontrai' from Linda di Chamounix ),
Mariusz Kwiecien ('Venti scudi' from L'elisir d'amore ), and last but not least...
Plácido Domingo ('Ah vieni' from Rossini's Otello )
(Sources: Las Provincias, 26.11.2007; Ernesto Palacio)
Roberto Alagna has recently released his cd Credo in France. It's a compliation of sacred songs and Christmas carols from previous recordings, with one new addition - the Notre Père sung a capella to a melody he composed himself.
Juan Diego Flórez and Roberto Alagna will be hitting the movie theatres in the coming year, with Cinema alla Scala bringing several of their past productions to
selected US cinemas. The screenings start in early December 2007 with Aida (La Scala, December 2006, Roberto Alagna as Radames). In February 2008, Mrs. Alagna (aka Angela Gheorghiu) appears in La traviata (La Scala, July 2007). On April 26, 2008, Juan Diego Flórez can be seen in cinemas in the US and around the world in a live screening of the Met's La Fille du régiment.
It's the Italian blogosphere's turn to wax lyrical over Juan Diego Flórez, who gave a colloquium and recital at the Università Cattolica in Milan on November 12th. There are breathless reports in English from the redoubtable OperaChic here and here. There's a paean in Italian, "Florez, tu dono degli dei..." on ilsettembre.
José Carreras wielding a golf club? Hard to imagine, but according to Die Welt, he's signed up for a charity golf tournament in in Belek, Turkey. The tournament runs from 15-18 November. He's singing in South Korea on the 14th and Taiwan on the 18th. If he takes in a bit of golf in between, his private jet will be working overtime.
(Source: Die Welt, 11.11.2007)
Roberto Alagna continued his idiosyncratic approach to concert attire in his Moscow concert on November 4th, 2007 with this jacket. For a limited period, you can watch footage from the concert here. (To start the video, click on the small photo of the concert)
(Sources: Gazeta, 05.11.2007; Channel One Russia, 05.11.2007)
This week, it's Spanish media excitement about Juan Diego Flórez, with his
Arias for Rubini being released in Spain, and Flórez performing in a charity recital in Oviedo on November 8th to aid the victims of the August 2007 earthquake in Peru. Along with a series of interviews appearing in Spanish newspapers, he gave a lengthy interview for the programme Hoy por hoy on Cadena Ser. You can still listen to the interview wherein he talks about, amongst other things, his debut in Rigoletto next March, restaurants and cooking, and Los Florezidos, his multilingual (and official) internet fan club.
(Source: Cadena Ser, 05.11.2007)
Russian media excitement about Roberto Alagna continues to abound with coverage in the print media as well as television. You can watch footage from his St. Petersburg concert as well as a backstage interview here. If the clip disappears before you've read this, you can console yourself with this still from the broadcast.
(Source: Channel 5 News, St. Petersburg, 02.11.2007)
You can contribute to the work of the German branch of the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation and at the same time be entered into a draw to win a new house worth 200,000 Euro donated by OKAL Haus GmbH. More information
here and here. In other news, Spain's Punto Radio as announced their Protagonistas' del Año prizes for 2007, which include one to Carreras for his humanitarian work and artistic career.
(Sources: Press Release - OKAL Haus GmbH, 02.11.2007; Europa Press, 02.11.2007)
"Music gives me pleasure comparable to orgasm" or so says the Google translation of a comment by Roberto Alagna in his recent interview for the Russian newspaper
Gazeta. Alagna also displayed fatherly pride in his daughter Ornella, who is accompanying him to Russia for his November concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg. "She is a very beautiful and talented girl, and I am proud that she is the first in her class. I am very pleased that our daughter has inherited the family passion for the music - she has already recorded her first CD.
(Source: Gazeta, 26.10.2007)
Juan Diego Flórez was on hand in Munich's Philharmonie on October 21, 2007 to collect his ECHO Klassik 2007 Award for the best performance in a 19th century opera recording (Matilde di Shabran). Matilde di Shabran also won the Gramophone Magazine 2007 Award for the best opera recording.
(Sources: EFE, 21.10.2007; Gramophone Magazine, October 2007)
The Metropolitan Opera web site has posted the mp3 file of Roberto Alagna singing 'Celeste Aida' at the Met's October 16th performance of Aida
(Source: New York Metropolitan Opera)
This week we hear from the France-based blogger, Pêcheurs de perles, who had an ecstatic time at the Juan Diego Flórez recital in the Salle Pleyel on October 8th, and took her camera with her.
(Source: Pêcheurs de perles 09.10.2007)
Last week,the British blogosphere was buzzing over Juan Diego Flórez. Both
Intermezzo and MadMusingsOfMe went to his concert at the Cadogan Hall on October 4th and had a whale of time. LaDonnaMobile (the alter ego of MadMusingsOfMe) has also written a hilarious spoof review of the concert here. Meanwhile, Jessica Duchen couldn't get a ticket to the concert but managed to track him down at the Gramophone Awards. Writes Jessica, "Who should turn up but Juan Diego Phwoarez! " More about her adventures here.
(Sources: Intermezzo 05.10.2007; MadMusingsOfMe 07.10.2007; Jessica Duchen 05.10.2007)
Roberto Alagna joins 19 other singers singing their countries' anthems on World In Union, the official album of the Rugby World Cup 2007. They get together for the official theme song track 'The World in Union'. All the artists on the track are donating their royalties to the United Nations World Food Programme. You can watch the recording studio video here
(Source: Universal Classics and Jazz)
"Ich höre auch AC/DC" is the somewhat alarming title of an interview with
Juan Diego Flórez in this September's online edition of the German Vanity Fair.
According to the Shanghai Daily, José Carreras will sing 'Amigos Para Siempre' (the theme song of 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games) at the closing ceremony of the 2007
Special Olympics on October 11th. The following day he will give a concert at the Shanghai State Theatre during which he is expected to commemorate Luciano Pavarotti with a multimedia performance.
(Source: Shanghai Daily, 27.09.2007)
If you missed the performance of Juan Diego Flórez at the BBC Proms in the Park on September 8th, 2007, the audio stream of the entire concert is available for the next seven days here. Flórez sings at three points in the concert - 'Ah, lève-toi, soleil!', 'Parmi veder le lagrime', which he dedicated to Luciano Pavarotti, and a medley of Latin American songs. (The stream starts with a bit of rock music from the previous programme)
(Source: BBC Radio 2)
Juan Diego Flórez was the guest on the BBC Radio 3 programme, In Tune, on September 7th. The programme is available for streaming on demand here and will remain available through September 13th. The Flórez segment starts 12 minutes into the programme and includes an interview, and three tracks from his latest CD, Arias for Rubini - 'Corriam! Voliam!' from William Tell, 'Ma un solo conforto' from
Marino Faliero, and 'Pace non trovo' from La Donna del lago.
(Source: BBC Radio 3)
José Carreras in Hungary then (in Un ballo in maschera at the Hungarian State Opera, 1976) and now (receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Pécs for his musical and humanitarian achievements). Baranya Megyei has photo galleries of the ceremony, the press conference, and his concert in Pécs on August 30th, 2007.
(Sources: EFE, 29.08.2007; Baranya Megyei, 31.08.2007)
According to his manager, Ernesto Palacio, Juan Diego Flórez's plans through 2014 include:
La Cenerentola (Barcelona)
L'italiana in Algeri (Cologne and Vienna)
Matilde di Shabran (London)
La Fille du régiment (New York, Paris, Barcelona, Bilbao, San Francisco, and London)
Il barbiere di Siviglia (Chicago, Milan, London, and Los Angeles)
La sonnambula (Vienna, New York, and Barcelona)
L'elisir d'amore (Vienna and New York)
Le Comte Ory (New York)
I puritani (New York, Bologna, Madrid, and Tokyo)
Orphée et Eurydice (Madrid)
Linda di Chamounix (Barcelona)
Rigoletto (Lima, Dresden, and Madrid)
La donna del lago (Paris, Milan, New York, London, Barcelona, and Madrid)
Così fan tutte (Madrid)
Les pêcheurs de perles (Las Palmas)
Robert le diable (London and New York).
(Source: Ernesto Palacio on the OperaClick Forum)
Thanks to YouTube, you can watch Roberto Alagna working out by his swimming pool prior to his 2006 performance in Aida at Chorégies d'Orange. He's apparently a great believer in standing on his head to prepare for such challenges.
This holiday season, PBS will be screening Sissel's Christmas concert, Northern Lights, filmed in the village church of Røros. The Norwegian songstress is joined by
José Carreras for a distinctly unseasonal duet of 'Quando sento che mi ami'. The DVD will be released on November 6, 2007 and is available for pre-order at Amazon.com. According to the press release, "the artists will tour the United States for a limited number of very high profile concert events from January through March 2008." Meanwhile, here's a gigantic photo of the dynamic duo.
(Source: PBS/Denon Press Release on www.marketwire.com.)
Three new Juan Diego Flórez recordings are on the horizon. August and September 2007 see releases of the DVD of Don Pasquale (Zurich Opernhaus, 2006) and Arias for Rubini, his fifth recital CD for Decca. A bit further away and with no release date confirmed yet is Bellini's La sonnambula, which Flórez, Cecilia Bartoli, and Ildebrando d'Arcangelo have just finished recording in Zurich.
(Sources: Amazon.de; Amazon.co.uk; Amazon.com; Ernesto Palacio Artists Management)
According to his June 23rd 2007 radio interview on France Musique, Roberto Alagna wants to sing the title role of Franco Faccio's forgotten opera, Amleto. Alagna said that he had obtained the exclusive rights from Riccordi for a modern revival of the opera. Where and when this will happen is as yet unknown, even by Alagna. But since he tends to like his performances to be en famille, perhaps in a production designed by his brothers?
(Source: France Musique)
EFE reports that the benefit concert in Lima on June 2nd, 2007 with Juan Diego Flórez and Gian Marco Zignago raised $500,000 for the Peruvian charity Sembrando as well as $160,000 for UNICEF.
(Source: EFE, .06.07.2007)
Romanian television went to town for the arrival of José Carreras in Bucharest where he gave a charity concert on July 3rd. You can watch a video of his arrival at the Marriott Grand Hotel complete with a tour of his Presidential Suite, including the bedroom and bathroom (sans Carreras, of course). You can also watch an interview with him and snippets of the rehearsal. But hurry, the videos may not last long on the
(Source: Jurnalul, 02.07.2007 and 03.07.2007)
According to the UK's Daily Telegraph, "the world's best sounding (and best looking) tenor, Juan Diego Flórez" will be one of the artists performing in a fundraising gala in aid of the BBC Wildlife Fund at London's Royal Botanic Gardens. The gala is the culmination of the BBC's Saving Planet Earth season and will be televised live on BBC 1 on July 6th at 20:30 UK time.
(Sources: TheTelegraph, 01.06.2007; BBC 1)
A June media blitz in France for Roberto Alagna. Starting on June 18th, he will
give one interview a day - Monday through Friday - at 11:30 (French time) on the Radio France station France Culture. Internet streaming here (click on: Ecouter le direct). Then on June 28th at 18:00 (French time), he'll be doing an internet chat on
Le Monde de la Musique. You can email your questions for him via the 'animateur'. As they say, "A vos claviers!" Looking ahead to another possible media blitz... On August 7th Decca plans to release the DVD of La Scala's somewhat notorious December 2006 production of Aida. Here's a sneak preview of the cover.
(Sources: Le Monde de La Musique; Radio France; www.Juno-Music.com)
Juan Diego Flórez had quite a time in Lima, starting with a dinner at the Presidential Palace on May 29th. One May 30th, the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas announced the publication of Juan Diego Flórez: Notas de una voz with a prologue by Mario Vargas Llosa, and Universal Records presented Flórez with a gold disc for his recording, Sentimiento Latino. On June 2nd, he and Peruvian singer and songwriter Gian Marco Zignaga gave a benefit concert in aid of UNICEF and the Fundación Sembrando which aids poor children and their families in Peru. If you weren't amongst the 20,000 strong audience at the Jockey Plaza, you can watch video clips here and
here. On June 4th, he received Peru's highest honour from President Alan García Pérez, the Orden del Sol en el Grado de Gran Cruz. If you weren't there, you can watch a video clip of the ceremony here. The stay in Lima concluded with a recital on June 5th recital at the Sociedad Filarmónica de Lima to celebrate its centennial season.
(Sources: Press Perú; Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas; Radio Programas del Perú; Despacho Presidencial República del Perú; Frecuencia Latina)
Due to a recurring health problem, Roberto Alagna cancelled his June performances of Il Trovatore in Madrid. According to a notice on his official web site, after undergoing tests at a Paris hospital, he had successful surgery to correct a gum infection which has led to an inflammation of the sinuses. He has been advised by his doctors to rest for the coming weeks but is expected to be fit by the time of the premiere of Le dernier jour d'un condamné on July 9th & 11th at the Salle Gaveau in Paris.
José Carreras will kick off a charity football match in Valetta, Malta on June 9, 2007, the day after his concert there. The match between an eclectic team led by former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel and a team of Maltese parliamentarians will benefit the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation, as did the 1987 match in Salzburg, when both Carreras and Plácido Domingo took to the pitch for a good cause.
(Source: Times of Malta, 11.05.2007)
Katherine Jenkins arrived at the May 3rd 2007 Classical Brit Awards show via a
horse-drawn carriage. On hand to escort her from her chariot was Juan Diego Flórez, a fellow performer on the show. (No horse and carriage for the Duchess of Cornwall. Camilla, arrived in an ordinary car, albeit one with very shiny wheels.) Off they went towards the Royal Albert Hall's red carpet. Then into the press room for more snaps -
them together, Flórez by himself, and... er... hundreds of Miss Jenkins by herself such as this one and this one. Nevertheless, the biggest news story of the event appears to have been the lovely Sarah Brightman's shoes. The awards show will be televised on UK television channel ITV1 on 13th May at 11pm and repeated on ITV3 on Sunday 20th May at 8pm.
(Sources: The Classical Brit Awards; Getty Images; The Daily Mail, 04.05.2007)
In an interview with the Peruvian magazine, Cosas, Juan Diego Flórez announced that he and his fianceé, Julia Trappe, planned to marry in 2008. The story was immediately picked up by the Peruvian press which managed to misspell the names of either him or her or both on a fairly consistent basis. Andina, the Peruvian press agency continued the trend in their April 25th telephone interview with "Juan Diego Flores" two days after the young couple's civil wedding ceremony in Vienna. Kudos instead to El Commercio, not a "Flores" in sight in their April 26th report.
(Sources: La República (Perú), 16.03,2007; Andina, 25.04.2007, El Commercio, 26.04.2007)
A new biography, Alfredo Kraus. Desde mis recuerdos by Eduardo Lucas is
dedicated to Juan Diego Flórez, whom the author considers to be the Spanish tenor's heir. At 462 pages it's considerably meatier than a new biography of José Carreras, also out this month. Roger Alier's El Trobador - Retrat de Josep Carreras (Edicions Dau) comes in at 128 pages and was written in just two months. The Kraus biography is available at www.elargonauta.com while the Carreras one can be ordered from
(Sources: ABC, 17.04.2007; EFE, 16.04.2007)
"Wanted in Chihuahua" ran the headline in El Diario de Chihuahua. They were not referring to Mexican bandits, however. The Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua is opening their new stadium at the end of May and are hoping that either Shakira or
José Carreras (or both?) will be on hand for the celebrations. Meanwhile, following the Nashville Symphony Orchestra's press release announcing that Carreras would be opening their 2007/2008 season with a gala concert on September 8th, and their subsequent discovery.that he was actually giving a concert in Germany on September 8th, they've drafted in Elvis Costello instead. Perhaps they were inspired by the opening line of Costello's song 'Broken Promise Land'... "Gotta get out of this mess".
(Sources: El Diario de Chihuahua, 11.04.07, Press Releases, Nashville Symphony, 09.02.2007 & 17.04.2007; Press Release, City of Bonn, 12.02.2007)
"Frozen Carreras" said the headline in the Aura Avis. "I forgot it is winter," lamented
José Carreras to the press when he stepped off his private jet in Røros, Norway. He was there for only a few hours to film a duet with Norwegian songstress Sissel for her Christmas television show, Northern Lights, to be broadcast next December.
(Source: Aura Avis, 16.03.2007)
Martín Pérez. of Concert Studio has said that following their joint performance in Zaragoza on March 19th, José Carreras and flamenco dancer Sara Baras will give three more shows in Spain - Madrid, Seville and Valencia. According to Pérez, the pair also have offers from France, Italy, the United States, Moscow, China and Japan, but none of those are confirmed yet.
(Source: El Periódico de Aragón 14.03.2007)
For those of you who weren't at La Scala to see Juan Diego Flórez sing 'Pour mon âme' and then sing it again when the audience demanded an encore, you can watch his 2 x 9 high Cs on YouTube. You can watch a few seconds of Roberto Alagna and Anna Nebtrebko performing in Manon at the Vienna Staatsoper via Austrian television.
(Source: ORF Television News, 10.03.2007)
In a tv interview at the opening night party for Manon in Vienna, Roberto Alagna said that the only problem he had in the production was that the other men at the Staatsoper were envious of his love scenes with Anna Nebtrebko. "Is so lucky this Roberto, heh, heh, heh," he concluded. The equally ebullient Miss Netrebko opened the interview with... "Let's have a gooood party! Woooo!!" You can watch them both holding forth here.
(Source: ORF News, 04.03.2007)
The Romanian press reports that a benefit concert is planned for early July 2007 with
Michael Bolton and José Carreras. The event, which is to take place in Bucharest's Parliament Palace, is being organized by LA Entertainment International who say it "will be one of the largest ever organised in Romania".
(Sources: Evenimentul Zilei, 27.02.2007; Nine O'Clock, 01.03.2007)
In the February 26, 2007 issue of the Austrian magazine, Profil, Roberto Alagna
holds forth on the fascination of the high C, singing with his wife Angela Gheorghiu, and the notion of tenors running opera houses. The article also has a curious photo of Alagna reading in the bath tub... fully clothed.
(Source: Profil, 26,92,2007)
18 high Cs. Yes, he did it. On February 20th, 2007, Juan Diego Flórez encored 'Pour mon âme' at the opening of La Scala's La Fille du régiment. The Italian paper,
La Repubblica, claims that the last time a singer was allowed an encore at La Scala was in 1933 (Chaliapin in Il barbiere di Siviglia). For a breathless blow-by-blow account of the proceedings, see Opera Chic's blog. For those who have difficulty following her 'house style', you may find this helpful. At Parterre Box you can hear the encore for yourself, albeit in a rather muffled recording.
(Source: La Repubblica, 21.02.2007)
Old news resurfaces. The Russian newspaper, Izvestia, reports that Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo and José Carreras might give a concert in Moscow's Red Square on July 27th. This may come as a surprise to Domingo who thinks he's
conducting Madame Butterfly in Madrid that day. Nevertheless, the paper claims that the 'negotiations' are almost completed, with alleged fees of $250,000 per singer plus an 'extra bonus'... er... a meeting with President Putin. Watch this space.
On February 8th, Agence France-Presse announced that Sofia Coppola, who received an Oscar nomination for her direction of Lost in Translation, would be directing
Manon Lescaut at Opéra Montpellier during its 2009-2010 season with Roberto Alagna as Chevalier des Grieux. On February 15th AFP quoted her spokesman, Robert Gatlock: "Contrary to reports announced by the Montpellier Opera House, Ms Coppola has not committed to directing an opera. She has no knowledge of nor has she agreed to direct a production there." On February 16, Rene Koering, head of Opéra Montpellier, from whom the story originally came, admitted: "We talked about this once over dinner six months ago, but we never scheduled anything." He also added that he sometimes has difficulty distinguishing "his dreams from reality". Even so, Koering claims that Alagna will still sing the last act of Manon Lescaut during a concert in Montpellier on July 19th, 2007 honoring Sofia's father, Francis Ford Coppola.
(Source: Agence France-Presse, 08.02.2007; 15.02.2007; 16.02.2007)
It was a case of "tutti mi vogliono, tutti mi chiedono" for Juan Diego Flórez while he was in London for 8 performances of La fille du régiment at the Royal Opera House. In addition to singing 'La donna è mobile' to close the January 21st edition of BBC 1's flagship political programme, Sunday AM, he presented the South Bank Show Awards opera prize to fellow tenor Andrew Kennedy at the Savoy Hotel on January 23rd. (Here he is at the awards, during a photo call with Decca songstress Katherine Jenkins.) Before packing his suitcases for Paris, he also managed a guest appearance on the BBC Breakfast Show on February 2nd.
(Sources: BBC Television, ITV)
Roberto Alagna is one of the nominees for 'Artiste lyrique de l'année' at the 2007
Victoires de la musique awards. The awards ceremony will be broadcast live from the Salle Pleyel in Paris on February 28th by both France 3 television and France Inter radio.
(Source: Agence France-Presse, 13.01.2007)
José Carreras has collaborated with the Catalonia-based newspaper, La Vanguardia, to produce a series of books on 25 celebrated operas ranging from Monteverdi's Orfeo to Berg's Wozzeck, with part of the proceeds going to the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation. Each volume comes with a complete live recording on CD. (The artists represented include Maria Callas, Renata Scotto, Alfredo Kraus, Montserrat Caballé, Luciano Pavarotti, and Nicolai Gedda.) Further information about the series is available here. While you're there, click on 'Spot' to watch a brief promotional video from Carreras.
(Source: La Vanguardia)
Both Roberto Alagna and Juan Diego Flórez appear in the January 2007 issue of
Opéra. The French magazine has a long editorial on 'l'affaire Aida' and a cover story on Flórez.
(Source: Opéra, January 2007)
Decca has produced a Juan Diego Flórez compilation CD, The Tenor, to coincide with Covent Garden's new production of La fille du régiment which premiered
on January 11th 2007. The CD is due to be released on January 22nd, and is available for pre-order at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, and Amazon.co.uk.
(Source: Decca Classics)
Roberto Alagna will be signing copies of his autobiography at the Virgin Megastore on the Champs Elysées in Paris, on January 19th, 2007. He'll also be talking about the book on Radio France Musique on January 18th at 19:07 and on television with two January 12th appearances on France 2 - Journal at 13:00 and Esprits libres at 23:30 (French time). Je ne suis pas le fruit du hasard is available for pre-order at
(Sources: VirginMegastore.fr; Amazon.fr, France 2; France Musique)
Juan Diego Flórez helped sing in 2007 with 'La donna è mobile' during the BBC's New Year's Eve live broadcast from Somerset House in London. Here he is on the balcony in full flow. Meanwhile, his manager, Ernesto Palacio, was in Peru to announce further details of the charity concert that Flórez will be giving with Gian Marco Zignago, the Peuvian singer and songwriter who won a 2006 Latin Grammy award for his album Resucitar. The concert will benefit the charity, Sembrando, which aids Peru's poorest children and their families, and UNICEF for which Zignago is a Goodwill Ambassador. The event is scheduled for June 5th, 2007 with tickets expected to go on sale in April once the venue has been finalized.
(Sources: El Comercio, 07.01.2007; Somerset House photo courtesy of Stephen Cutler)
We hear that... items prior to January 1, 2007 are archived here