We hear that... Archives
December 2003 - December 2007

Jessica Duchen, music writer for The Independent, had quite a time at private concert given by Juan Diego Flórez at London's Savoy Hotel on December 13th and during her interview with him the following day. Meanwhile, his manager, Ernesto Palacio, wrote on the Florezidos forum that Decca would be releasing a compilation album, Juan Diego Florez, The Tenor, in January 2007.
(Sources: Jessica Duchen's Classical Music Blog; Ernesto Palacio)   

The British comedienne, Dawn French, will make her opera debut as La Duchesse de Crackentorp in the Royal Opera House's new production of La fille du regimént, opening on January 11, 2007 with Natalie Dessay as Marie and Juan Diego Flórez as Tonio. The opera was last performed at the ROH in 1967 with Luciano Pavarotti as Tonio.
(Source: The Stage, 15.12.2006)

Grande melodrama at La Scala... During the second performance of Aida on December 10th, Roberto Alagna received boo's from some 'loggionisti' following his 'Celeste Aida'. Whereupon, he shook his fist at them, tore off his head dress, and stomped off the stage accompanied by shouts of "Vergogna!" and "Buffone!" from the audience. The Radames in the second cast, Antonello Palombi, was rushed onstage to finish the scene, still dressed in jeans and a black shirt. The saga continued with Alagna holding a series of interviews on December 11th, La Scala's decision to replace him in his future Aida performances with Walter Fraccaro, and various threats and counter-threats of law suits.

The final act?...  On December 14th, Roberto Alagna performed his good-bye to La Scala outside in the piazza while Walter Fraccaro was inside singing Radames. He took a photo of the theatre with his mobile phone, sang 'Addio, fiorito asil!' and carrying a pink rose gave a final salute to the opera house from which he was now banned. There are three pages of articles on the "Aida Aftermath" on Voce di Tenore. You can also: watch one of Alagna's Italian press interviews here; listen to an interview in French that he gave on Luxembourg Radio on December 12th here; watch the moment he walked off and Palombi walked on via the UK's Channel 4 News (click on 'Watch the report'); and read a frequently updated account of the affair (in English and in increasingly dubious taste), on the Milan-based blog OperaChic.
(Sources: La Repubblica, 11.12.2006 and 12.12.2006; Il Corriere della Sera, 11.12.2006 and 15.12.2006)

José Carreras has just released a new CD in Spain, T'estim i t'estimaré. The collection of Catalan songs by Joan Manuel Serrat, Lluís Llach, Raimon, Carles Sabater, and Pep Sala also includes Catalan versions of 'My Way' and Cole Porter's 'Night and Day' (!!).  A video of the CD presentation will be available for a limited time on Telenoticias Catalunya. (Make sure your pop-up blocker is turned off. Click on: VÍDEO "T'estim i t'estimaré", el nou disc de Josep Carreras, then choose the option: Qualitat baixa.) The CD is available from
and here's the track list... 1. T'estim i t'estimaré, 2. Pais petit, 3. Canço de Sants, 4. Veles e vents, 5. Sota un cirerer florit, 6. La meva ciutat, 7. Se'n va anar, 8. Dia i nit (Night and Day), 9. L´arbre,10. Boig per tu, 11. Els vells amants,12. Com he fet sempre (My Way) 
(Sources: Telenoticias Catalunya; ABC, 08.12.2006)

The 12th annual José Carreras Benefit Gala takes place on December 14th in Leipzig and as in past years, there will be an associated CD, the proceeds of which will go the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation. This year it's a double CD and goes on sale on December 8th from and other German record stores. Still on the subject of audio, the popular Catalan radio programme, La Divina Comèdia, has made recordings of all their serials  available for the use of leukemia patients and their families staying in the apartments provided for them by the JCILF while they are undergoing treatment.  Julia Carreras, appeared on the programme to accept the donation from presenter Miquel Giménez and to discuss the work of her father's Foundation.
(Sources: Jack White Productions AG; COMRàdio)

Carla Maria Casanova breathlessly reported in Il Giorno that the opera cognoscenti in Milan are already displeased about La Scala's new production of Aida a month before it even opens. Firstly because of director Franco Zeffirelli's putative  astronomical salary and secondly because all the lead singers are 'foreigners'. "Don't be fooled by his name. Roberto Alagna is Spanish," warned opera cognoscente Carla.
(Source: Il Giorno, 12.11.2006)

Juan Diego Flórez and the rest of the cast in the Metropolitan Opera's new production of
Il Barbiere di Siviglia were the closing 'act' on the November 8th David Letterman show, singing a shortened version of the Act I finale. The Metropolitan Opera's web site has a behind the scenes view of the adventure.
(Source: The New York Metropolitan Opera)

The Teatro Regio di Torino is currently illustrating their information on next May's L'elisir d'amore (with Juan Diego Flórez as Nemorino) with this rather alarming photo.  Although, come to think of it, the 'Nutty Professor' looks rather like Flórez in his music teacher disguise for the Met's new production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia.  In any case, it appears that the Teatro Regio will use the Elisir production from Rome Opera.
(Sources: Teatro alla Scala, Teatro Regio di Torino, Opera di Roma)

The father of Juan Diego Flórez, Rubén Flórez, a well-known singer of Peruvian popular and criolla music has recently released a new CD, Flórez para Chabuca. The CD, an homage to the great Peruvian singer and composer, Chabuca Granda, contains a bonus track with father and son singing one of her most famous songs - 'La flor de la Canela'. It's on sale here.
(Source: Radio Programas del Perú, 29.10.2006)  

This should be old news, but alas the totally fictitious story about José Carreras, Plácido Domingo,  and the non-existent 'Hermosa Foundation' still seems to be making the rounds on the internet and is still being repeated verbatim by journalists. The latest addition to the 'list of shame' is a columnist for a national newspaper in Ecuador, El Universo, who got the story from a columnist in another newspaper, El Norte, who got it from... etc. The internet contains many useful things, but also a load of complete nonsense of which this story is a prime example. The José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation has issued an official notice about it in both English and Español.
(Sources: El Universo, 25.10.2006; José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation)

Roberto Alagna has a new compilation CD, Viva Opera, coming out on Deutsche Grammophone in November 2007. The CD also comes with bonus footage of the making Cyrano de Bergerac and photos of the 2005 Paris Bastille Day celebrations. Both FNAC and Amazon France are taking pre-orders. On the literary front, Alagna's autobiography, Je ne suis pas le produit du hasard, is due to be published by Grasset in January 2007. On the visual arts front, a painting by Alagna was auctioned by Artcurial for '100 Hommes Pour La Vie'. The paintings by 100 prominent Frenchmen were sold to raise money for research into prostate cancer at the Institut Gustave Roussy.
(Sources: Roberto Alagna's official web site; Amazon France; Institut Gustave Roussy)  

While in Germany for a series of four concerts following his run in La Sonnambula at the Deutsche Oper,
Juan Diego Flórez
was featured in the ZDF television programme Morgen Magazin, wherein he wandered around an antique market and burst briefly into song by the side of lake . You can watch a video clip from the programme here.
(Source: ZDF)

On October 27th 2006, José Carreras was awarded an honorary doctorate from the medical school of Philipps-Universität Marburg for his foundation's contribution to leukemia research.
(Source: Oberhessischen Presse, 04.10.2006)  

The Juan Diego Flórez section on Ernesto Palacio Artists Management has recently added some new photos to its collection, including this rather arresting pose and this one for the aquatically inclined.
(Source: Ernesto Palacio Artists Management)

In an interview with El Diario before his September 30, 2006 concert in Ciudad Juárez, José Carreras said that he would like to celebrate his 60th birthday by giving a free concert in Sants, the working-class neighbourhood in Barcelona where he grew up. Although his parents' old house on the Carrer Galileu was torn down for re-development some years ago, a plaque marks the birthplace of 'Josep Carreras i Coll, tenor insigne'. The bustling street looks rather different now from the way it was in 1946, the year Carreras was born. Meanwhile, you can watch brief video clips from the Ciudad Juárez concert here and here. (These will be available on the La Polaka and La Opción sites for a limited period only) 
(Sources: El Diario, 29.09.2006; Ajuntament de Barcelona; La Polaka 01/10.2006; La Opción 01.10.2006 ) 

A selection of photographs from the José Carreras concert at Holkham Hall on September 1st, 2006 are available for purchase online from The Eastern Daily Press.  Go here. Click on 'Concerts', then on 'September'. The prices range from £7 for a 6x4 inch print to £20 for a 15x12 inch print.
(Source: Eastern Daily Press Photo Sales)

Deutsche Grammophon has released a DVD with Roberto Alagna in I Pagliacci, a production designed by his frères, Frederico and David, and performed at the Teatro Filarmonico di Verona in February 2002. So far, it only appears to have been released in France. Both FNAC and Amazon France carry it.
(Sources: and

What was Roberto Alagna doing in Kazakhstan? Singing in a concert to celebrate the opening of The People's Pyramid of Peace and Reconciliation and attired considerably less formally than the orchestra. Six days later, he sang solo and in duet with his wife, Angela Gheorghiu, at the BBC Proms in the Park concert in London on September 9th, 2006. Alas for the BBC Radio 2 web site, they confused Alagna with Romanian pop singer and actor Stefan Banica Jr. who also sang with Ms. Gheorghiu at the concert.
(Sources: Kazakhstan Gazeta, 12.09.2006; BBC Radio 2;

José Carreras has given up both of his singing competition posts - the Concorso Internazionale Voci Verdiane in Busseto where he has been replaced as President of the Jury by Leyla Gencer and the Concurso Internacional de Canto Julián Gayarre in Pamplona where he has been replaced by Teresa Berganza. The reason given for his retirement from the Julián Gayarre competition was "his desire to devote more time to his leukemia foundation". On the concert front, the September 8th concert in Rapallo, Italy, which had already been postponed from August 26th was cancelled yet again less than 48 hours before it was due to take place. The reason given was "insurmountable technical problems". Meanwhile, the Correo de Perú reports that Carreras might include Peru in his projected 2007 Latin American tour. The Elisa Wagner | International Creative Productions agency is also listing Brazil and Argentina as projected stops on the tour.
(Sources: Elisa Wagner | ICP; Correo de Perú, 14.09.2002; EFE 8.09.2006; Adnkronos 07.09.2006) 

In an interview published in Izvestia to coincide with his September 4th Moscow concert, José Carreras revealed the quality he considered most important in woman... "Tenderness. My views on the ideal woman are very conservative and haven't changed since I was a little boy when, naturally, my mother was the model for everything." And speaking of models, Carreras also told Izvestia that he's just completed a fashion shoot for the Baldessarini Autumn/Winter collection. Here's a sample, and there's more where that came from.
(Source: Izvestia, 05.09.2006)

Decca have recently added a microsite devoted to its new La Fille du régiment DVD with
Juan Diego Flórez as Tonio. The site has production photos and a video clip of 'Pour mon âme' (9 high Cs and all). Filmed live in 2005 at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova, the DVD is due to be released in September 2006. Decca has also revamped its official web site for Flórez with a rather more tasteful 'decor' and updated news and discography sections.
(Source: Decca Classics)

Salzburg Festival singers, including René Pape, Michael Schade, Paul Groves, Vesselina Kasarova and Anna Netrebko took part in a charity event in aid of the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation. Taking a break from Mozart, they competed for the  Festspiele Magazin 'Fun Trophy' by taking penalty kicks, knocking over boxes with balls and of course, karaoke. Netrebko balked at "I can't get no satisfaction" protesting that she didn't know the English lyrics. Michael Schade suggested that she simply sing "I can't get
satisfaction", but instead she treated them all to her dance version of Abba's "Dancing Queen, and quite a hit she was too. Here she is with Michael Schade who sang "I can't get no Anna Netrebko". And here is Rene Pape (in an extraordinary pair of trousers) taking his penalty kick.
(Sources: OÖNachrichten, 04.08.2006; Baldessarini Fashion)

The José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation Spanish web site has recently added a very touching microsite to encourage bone marrow donation and financial support in the fight against leukemia.
(Source: Fundación Internacional Josep Carreras)

Juan Diego Flórez and Roberto Alagna were two of the three tenors gracing the cover of the Japanese magazine, Ongaku no tomo, which featured the Teatro Comunale di Bologna 2006 Japan Tour. Tenor number three was José Cura. 
(Source: Bravo Cura!)

Before it even had a chance to start, torrential rain had put an end to Vienna's June 2nd 2006 Konzert für Europa on the grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace with Plácido Domingo conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Rolando Villazón as guest soloist. Undeterred, the Viennese staged it all over again. This time on June 30th, with Juan Diego Flórez stepping in for Villazón who couldn't make the re-play and more rain, but not enough to stop the show. For those of you who like to gaze, here are photos of young Flórez at the
and with Plácido Domingo after the performance.
(Sources: ORF television; Konzert für Europa)

The fan forum on the official web site of Roberto Alagna has been knocked out of commission for an indefinite period by a series of virus attacks. Et en français: "Suite à plusieurs attaques virales, le forum e fermé à durée indéterminée."

José Carreras received a special prize, 'Ambassador of Music', for the work of his leukemia foundation from the Echo-Klassik Awards on October 22, 2006.
(Sources: Salzburger Nachrichten, 26.06.2006; Deutsche Phono-Akademie)

Following a private charity recital in Madrid on June 21st 2006, José Carreras told reporters that The Three Tenors have received an offer to perform in Moscow's Red Square in the summer of 2007. (No comment so far from 'the other two'.) June also saw two radio interviews for Carreras. On June 9th, the BBC Mundo programme, Estudio 834, broadcast 'Se canta con el alma'. Their web site has a transcript of the interview and a link to the audio file. On June 19th, the Cadena Ser programme, La Ventana, broadcast
'El compromiso de Carreras'. The audio file of the interview is available here.
(Sources: EFE, 22.06.2006; Cadena Ser; BBC Mundo)

The sound track for the September 2006 Ben Hur extravaganza at the Stade de France has been released by Universal Music France. The CD, Ben Hur plus grand que la légende, includes the song 'Si loin de vous' sung by Roberto Alagna. A 30 second clip is available
(Sources:; Universal Music France)

June 2006 saw Juan Diego Flórez and Roberto Alagna in Japan with the Teatro Comunale di Bologna Tour  - Flórez in La fille du régiment and Alagna in Il trovatore. Here's the dynamic duo at the Tour's press conference in Tokyo on June 2nd.

The June 2006 issue of the Austrian magazine Bühne, has an extensive cover story on Juan Diego Flórez who will be appearing at the Staatsoper later this month in L'italiana in Algeri. The words "Latin Lover" are emblazoned across the cover, which is admittedly a rather more eye-catching description than "Rossini Specialist".
(Source: Bühne, June 2006)

On May 20th, 2006 Roberto Alagna and Juan Diego Flórez did their bit to salute Joseph Volpe, who retires this year as the General Manager of the New York Metropolitan Opera. In the course of the five hour Farewell Gala, Alagna sang 'Je jette avec grace mon feutre' from Cyrano de Bergerac, and Flórez sang  'La speranza più soave' from Semiramide. Florez also sang at the Metropolitan Opera Guild Luncheon in Volpe's honour on April 20th. Here he is with some of his fellow luncheon guests, including Licia Albanese and Sherill Milnes.
(Source: The New York Metropolitan Opera)

The May 27, 2006 concert with José Carreras and Katherine Jenkins at Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton was cancelled along with the concerts at Reebok Stadium, Bolton (June 3rd) and Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield  (June 9th). The promoters, The Reduced Opera Company, cited poor ticket sales as the reason for the cancellations.
(Source: Wolverhampton Express & Star, 10.05.2006)

On May 3rd, 2006, Roberto Alagna received the 'Orphée spécial' from the l'Académie du disque lyrique  for his Luis Mariano CD C'est Magnifique! Other 'Orphée' awards went to Natalie Dessay for Delirio,  Anna Caterina Antonacci for Era la notte, and Lorenzo Regazzo for Vivaldi: Arie per basso.
(Source: Metro France, 04.05.2006)

While speaking to journalists after his concert in Manresa's Basilica Santa Maria de la Seu on May 2, 2006,
José Carreras
officially confirmed his recent marriage to Jutta Jäger.
Ecco gli sposi leaving the Basilica after the concert. 
(Source: El Periódico, 04.05.2006)

Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu were the 'surprise guests' at Los Angeles Opera's 20th Anniversary Gala.  He sang a Neapolitan song. They both sang the 'Brindisi' from La Traviata. And here they are doing some post-concert celebrating with Nadia Comaneci and a rather bemused Plácido Domingo.
(Sources: Playbill Arts; Los Angeles Opera) 

José Carreras was in the recording studio on June 12th - 14th 2006 to record a CD of Catalan songs with the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya conducted by his nephew David Giménez.

A role debut for Montserrat Caballé who is scheduled sing the Duchess of Krakenthorp in La fille du régiment, which opens at the Vienna Staatsoper on April 1, 2007, with Natalie Dessay as Marie and Juan Diego Flórez as Tonio.
(Source: Associated Press, 30.03.2006)

When Roberto Alagna left EMI for Universal Music France, he took all his solo recordings with him. The 9 recordings have now been remastered and are being reissued under the  Deutsche Grammophon label starting in late March, with the covers incorporating the old EMI photos as part of their new design. Says the French
publicity poster
for the 'new' series... "Roberto Alagna le ténor qui déchaîné le passions"
(Source: Deutsche Grammophon

According to his official web site, Roberto Alagna seems to be on the mend from the serious health problems that led to the  cancellation of the January 2006 performances of Manon Lescaut in Turin. However, tracheitis forced him to abandon the stage during the second performance of Cyrano de Bergerac in Montpellier on March 19, 2006.
(Sources:; OperaDataBase)

José Carreras has been awarded the 2006 Premio Ópera Actual in the category of
'Artista Consagrado'...
                    "for being one of the admired tenors of the last few decades
                    and for his artistic career which has written some of the
                    most important pages in the history of Spanish opera in
                    recent times."
The Ópera Actual prizes were begun in 2002 to celebrate the magazine's 10th anniversary and this year were presented in a ceremony on 28 February 2006. Previous winners of the prize have included Montserrat Caballé, Teresa Berganza, and Plácido Domingo.
(Source: Europa Press, 20.02.2006)

Juan Diego Flórez brought the house down... literally. During his rehearsal for the filming of the Latino DVD with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León in Valladolid's Teatro Lope de Vega,  a piece of the roof fell in. So far, a suitable new theatre hasn't been found and the filming has been postponed sine die
(Source: El Norte de Castilla, 18.02.2006)

The day after his concert in Madrid, Juan Diego Flórez appeared on the stage of the Teatro Real to take a bow with Antonio Moral, the Teatro Real's artistic director, following the screening of the January 2005 performance Il Barbiere di Siviglia. The Teatro Real  showed videos of  three of their productions on a giant 17 x 10 metre screen in the opera house on three successive Saturday mornings in February. Il Barbiere di Siviglia was the first and played to a sold-out house. The other two wereTosca and La Traviata.
(Sources: EFE 12.02.2006; Teatro Real Madrid)

José Carreras joins Portuguese fado singer, Teresa Salgueiro, on two of the tracks in her new CD Obrigado.
has sound clips from all 14 tracks on the album including those with Carreras - 'Haja o que houver' and 'Manha de Carnaval'.

Decca Classics, who rarely update their official Juan Diego Flórez site, went to town early in 2006 with a somewhat bizarre host of "tour dates" for 2007. Alas, they had young Flórez singing in Matilde di Shabran in Pesaro on 4 consecutive nights in July 2007 when the Rossini Opera Festival doesn't begin until... er... August, where he's actually singing in... er... Otello.  They also appear to be somewhat geographically challenged, listing a concert on June 23rd 2007 as taking place in "Lima, Paraguay" (!!!).
(Sources: Decca Classics,

In a press conference in Barcelona prior to his Christmas concert at the city's Palau de la Musica, José Carreras said that he has just finshed a recording session for a new CD which includes seven songs by Joan Massià set to poems by Tomás Garcés. His nephew, conductor David Giménez, provides the piano accompaniment.
(Source: Avui, 22.12.2005)

CulturArte has released the DVD of Roberto Alagna's 2004 gala concert in Puerto Rico. Titled Roberto Alagna and friends, it's available here.

José Carreras has released a charity CD, Together Strong, to coincide with his 11th annual Leukemia Benefit Gala in Leipzig. The Gala on December 15th 2005, raised $6.8 million, with an impressive chunk coming from Audi AG. The German car firm had donated an Audi Q7 SUV with all the latest gadgets to be auctioned on eBay. The winning bid was $101,000. Meanwhile, 'Bolsos para la Leucemia', the December 18th auction of unique handbags by Spanish designer Begoña Sobrecueva at the Palau de la Musica in Valencia, raised over $15,000 for the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation.
(Sources: Audi AG Press Release, 15.12.2005; Panorama Actual, 20.12.2005;

"It will be a very modern, revolutionary Aida, different from what I have brought to the world in recent years," says Franco Zeffirelli of the production that will open the 2006/2007 season at La Scala. (More characteristically, he also promises "lots of gold" in the set designs). Roberto Alagna is scheduled to sing Radames. It will be his third outing in the role. The first time was in Copenhagen in January 2005, and he's due to sing it again at the Chorégies d'Orange Festival in July 2006.
(Sources: Il Giornale, 20.11.2005;

Giuseppe Sabbatini, a double bass player himself when a student at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, joins the Austrian double bass quartette, Circus Bassissimus, for their quirky CD Back to the Bass. Sabbatini sings several tenor arias, including the group's arrangement of 'La donna è mobile'.

According to an interview in Le Temps, Roberto Alagna is writing a book about his family - from his great-grandparents to the early years of his own career.
(Source: Le Temps, 28.10.2005)

Juan Diego Flórez, was feted in Chicago at a party in his honour organized by Peru's Consul Efraín Saavedra and the president of the Peruvian Arts Society, Francisco Shapiama. His souvenir of the occasion was a silver plaque presented by Señores Saavedra and Shapiama, with his family and friends looking on.
(Sources: La Raza, 26.10.2005)

Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu duly performed their bits of Carmen, before Queen Sofia at the inaugural concert for Valencia's new Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía on October 8th, 2005. Interviewed between rehersals, Alagna said he was toying with the idea of joining his wife in Valencia for future productions of
and Ballo in Maschera.  He was also full of praise for the concert's conductor, Lorin Maazel, although note the somewhat alarming angle of Maestro Maazel's baton in this rehearsal photo.
(Source: Levante, 07.10.2005)

Gay City News critic David Noh bumped into Roberto Alagna at the Met's gala season opening, where Angela Gheorghiu was singing Act II of Tosca. Writes Mr. Noh...
                    "Gheorghiu's husband, tenor Roberto Alagna, was in the
                    audience, wearing a comme il faut white tuxedo jacket but
                    a pair of shredded, faded jeans underneath. 'Rock and roll!'
                    he told me, and I remembered how, for his Met debut as
                    Don Jose in Carmen, La Gheorghiu swept down the aisle to
                    her seat in a Nile-green ball gown, dripping bling from every
                    extremity, her impressive décolletage slathered with glitter, and
                    trailing a sable coat."
(Source: Gay City News, 06.10.2005)

The ECHO Klassik 2005 Award for Best Opera Recording (Arias & Duets) went to
Juan Diego Flórez  for Great Tenor Arias.
(Source: Deutsche Phono-Akademie)

The tenor and the cow... (No, it's not what you think!) José Carreras has signed a life-size metal sculpture of a cow. The bovine beauty, which will also be signed by other German celebrities, will be auctioned off in the city of Köthen at a later date, with the proceeds going to the German branch of the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation.

Round and about the 2005 Rossini Opera Festival... Juan Diego Flórez has bought a house in the hills above Pesaro near Luciano Pavarotti's villa, according to Il Resto dl Carlino. Meanwhile, at another villa, young Florez was among the guests of Rodolfo e Paola Tittarelli for their annual Gala Dinner. Simona Spagnoli of Il Messaggero breathlessly reported that "he was especially admired by the ladies present". Here he is with one of the smitten signore. He also gave a press conference towards the end of the run of Il barbiere di Siviglia.
He  looked
somewhat less thrilled with the reporters than he was with the dinner in Signora Tittarelli's garden, which (for the gastronomically curious) consisted of spaghetti allo scoglio, cous-cous, tripe, salmon, vegetable quiche, assorted cheeses, vegetables, and desserts, coffee, and liqueurs.
(Sources: Il Resto dl Carlino, 07.08.2005; Il Messaggero, 12.08.2005) 

One of Pesaro's most famous monuments, the Rocca Costanza, officially re-opened on July 28th 2005 after a lengthy restoration project. Bathed in the castle's newly installed outdoor illumination, Juan Diego Flórez cut the opening ribbon. A rather blurry photo of Juan Diego Flórez and his friend, Julia Trappe, at the event here.
(Source: Il Resto del Carlino, 29.07.2005)

Allons enfants de la Patrie... On July 14th 2005, Roberto Alagna, accompanied by the French Army Chorus,
sang the 'Marseillaise'
in the Bastille Day celebrations at the Place de la Concorde in Paris.
(Source: Service photographique de la Présidence de la République Française)

Juan Diego Flórez sang Rodgers and Hammerstein's 'You'll Never Walk Alone' with Vincenzo Scalera at the keyboard at the Berlin Live 8 concert on July 2nd 2005.  If you missed it, the DVD of the Berlin Live 8, including  'You'll Never Walk Alone' is now available from (among other places) If you want to sing along, the lyrics are here. Meanwhile, the Peruvian newspaper, La Primera reported that Peru's ambassador to Germany accompanied Juan Diego to the concert and found it very moving. However, La Primera also reported the title of his song as... 'You'll never walk again' (!!).
(Source: La Primera, 04.07.2005)

The (two out of )Three Tenors concert finally took place on June 4th 2005.  No Luciano but two Plácido's for the price of one (Plácido Domingo Junior composed a 'special hymn' for the occasion) plus plenty of chaos. As the concert was about to start, the seating collapsed in several areas of the hastily built arena including the 'Emerald', 'Gold' and 'Silver' zones causing several minor injuries. Many members of the audience couldn't find their seats due to a lack of ushers. Some gave up and went home. Others lustily shouted "Fraud! Fraud!", especially after the lighting and sound failed to work in some of the farther reaches of arena. The resultant noise and intense heat left the audience "struggling to concentrate on the music" according to El Universal - which is putting it mildly. Things apparently picked up in the second half with the arrival of ranchero singer Alejandro Fernández (aka 'El Potrillo'),
and a more Hispanic flavour to the offerings of José Carreras and Plácido Domingo. Incidentally, a couple of local papers listed Carreras' first name as "Jesús". (Has the curse of Seinfeld struck again?)
(Sources: El Universal, 05.06.2005; El Norte, 05.06.2005; La Crónica de Hoy, 05.06.2005)

In the June 2005 issue of Vanity Fair, Roberto Alagna models men's fashion (Calvin Klein in his case) along with his fellow Faust cast members from the Met, René Pape and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. The brief article is entitled 'Faust In Their Class'. See the photo.
(Source: Vanity Fair, June 2005)

On June 7th 2005 Roberto Alagna was presented with the Premio Francesco Tamagno in a ceremony in the Sala Napoleonica di Villa Ponti, Varese. Past awardees include Mario Del Monaco, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Carlo Bergonzi, Franco Corelli and Juan Diego Flórez.
(Source: Associazione Amici Della Lirica Francesco Tamagno)

The Académie du disque lyrique has awarded Roberto Alagna the 2005 Orphée du meilleur interprète (DVD) for his performance in Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac with the Orchestre de Montpellier and Choeur de l'Opéra de Montpellier conducted by Marco Guidarini and stage direction and set design by Frédérico and David Alagna.
(Source: Agence France Presse, 25.04.2005)

Honours in Peru for Juan Diego Flórez, who received the Medalla de Honor from the city of Callao where a future concert hall will bear his name, and for Ernesto Palacio,  who received the Orden al Mérito por Servicios Distinguidos en el grado de Gran Oficial from the Cancillería del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores. See the April 2005 photos.
(Sources: El Comercio, 23.04.2005; Press release - Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores del Perú)

Juan Diego Flórez has received the 2004 Opera Award from the Italian magazine L'Opera for the category Best Tenor for his performance in Le Comte Ory, Pesaro, 2003.  The other awardees include Anna Caterina Antonacci (Best Soprano for Vita, La Scala);  Sonia Ganassi (Best Mezzo-soprano for Moïse et Pharaon, La Scala); Simon Keenlyside (Best Baritone for Don Giovanni, Théâtre de la Monnaie); Roberto Scandiuzzi (Best Bass for Faust, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma)
(Source: L'Opera, December 2004)

The Peruvian Postal Service issued a set of stamps on November  29, 2004 honouring five contemporary Peruvian musicians - the rock group Libido, Susana Baca, Eva Ayllón, Gian Marco, and Juan Diego Flórez. 
By November 30th, the stamps  had already appeared on eBay. Click
here to see the Flórez stamp.
(Source: La República, 25.11.2004)

The new DVD label Bel Air Classiques will issue a DVD of Carmen with Beatrice Uria Monzon and Roberto Alagna performed at the 2004 Chorégies d'Orange Festival .
(Source: Agence France-Presse, 25.11.2004)

On October 22, 2004 Juan Diego Flórez received the 26th annual Piastrella d'Oro prize presented by the Amici della Lirica at the Teatro Carani in Sassuolo.
(Source: Il Resto del Carlino, 24.10.2004)

The  XII Premios de la Crítica (Barcelona) have been awarded to Simon Keenlyside and Natalie Dessay in
for the best male and female singers in a staged opera, to Deborah Voigt for the best singer in a recital, and to Juan Diego Flórez for the best singer in a concert. Sonia Ganassi was awarded the distinction of 'Cantante Revelación'.
(Source: Ópera Actual, 19.10.2004)

Bad hair day... In an interview on the day before the opening of La Bohème in Turin,
Roberto Alagna revealed that he had decided to dry his hair that day by driving around Turin with the car window open - with unfortunate results. (He still sang the opening night of La Bohème, despite having caught a heavy cold.)
(Source: La Stampa, 12.10.2004)

José Carreras has been named as an Honorary Ambassador of Spain for his work with the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation. The award, whose objective is to publicly recognize individuals and institutions who have contributed to strengthening Spain's image abroad, was given by the Foro de Marcas Renombradas Españolas, Spain's Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce and the Spanish Institute of Exterior Commerce (ICEX). Other awardees include the golfer Severiano Ballesteros and Valentín Fuster, President of the American Heart Association.
(Source: Europa Press, 12.07.2004)

While in Lima in April 2004, Juan Diego Flórez  received the Orden al Mérito por servios distinguidos en el grado de Gran Cruz from Alejandro Toledo, the President of Peru, as well as the Orden al Mérito Cultural de Lima, en el grado de Gran Cruz from Luis Castañeda Lossio, the Mayor of Lima. He was also made an Honorary Professor of the Universidad San Martín de Porres. On a somewhat less exalted note, he was selected by People En Español magazine as one of "the 50 most beautiful Hispanics" for their June issue.
(Sources: El Pais, 30.04.2004, Ojo, 30.04.2004, Hispanic PR Wire, 28.04.2004)

On February 11, 2004, José Carreras was awarded the Cruz de Oro de la Orden Civil de la Solidaridad Social for his work in the fight against leukemia by Queen Sofia of Spain.
(Source: EFE, 11.02.2004)

At the 11th annual Victoire de la Musique Classique awards, Roberto Alagna received the award of Artiste Lyrique de L'année (opera singer of the year). In addition, Carmen (Gheorghiu, Alagna, Plasson EMI Classics 557 4342 ) won the award for recording of the year. During the awards program, which was televised live on France 3, Alagna sang 'La fleur que tu m'avais jetée' from the opera. Photos here.
(Source: Agence France-Presse, 12.02.2004)

2004 Cannes Classical Awards - winner of the Critics Award for Songs and Vocal Recitals (19/20th century):
Juan Diego Flórez
«Una furtiva lagrima».
(Source: Classics Today, January 2004)

Giuseppe Sabbatini was awarded the Premio Aureliano Pertile at the Teatro Alfieri in Asti in November 2003. In April of that year he received the title of Kammersänger at the Vienna State Opera.
(Sources: Musicultura, 01.12.2003; Vienna Staatsoper)


This page was last updated on January 27, 2008