Roberto Alagna... Quote. Unquote.
Anne Midgette (New York Times March 26, 2003) on the Met's Faust with a new cast after Alagna and Gheorghiu returned to France...

"There's a saying that much is expected of those to whom much has been given. Criticism of the Alagnas' earlier performance is made on the basis of those expectations. But regarded in comparison with those of more modest gifts, the "love couple," even in absentia, shine bright indeed."


Alagna and Gheorghiu in Classical Singer when asked if they had any advice for singers...

AG: Not to lose the pleasure...

RA: The pleasure in singing is the most important thing. And to have a good soul - if you are negative, you will not go far in this profession.

AG: In Romanian, there is this special expression, hard to's not to be [fierce] in singing. Never lose the patience to study, to listen, and to listen to everyone! There are many young singers out there and even some of our colleagues who don't want to listen to anyone ever. Wrong! You can always learn. When you attend a performance, when you listen to a CD or see a video, it gets you to think.

RA: You analyze: "I should do it like this, and I didn't like that particular expression..." and so on. You can learn from anyone, because we all have a variety of ideas. Everyone should be respected and listened to at least once.


Alagna on singing with his wife, Angela Gheorghiu, in an inteview in the English edition of
(August 2002)...

"As a general rule, audiences seem to like the idea of a couple.They feel that somehow they can share in their happiness, they can participate in their game. There is a certain element of voyeurism there."


Alagna on the marketing of opera singers in the same interview....

"Opera is definitely facing marketing problems." At the same time, people accuse Angela and myself of being overexposed. There is diminishing interest in recording operas on the part of the companies and so it is up to the journalists and the critics to do their part. Nothing gets done, or sold these days without promotion and publicity and opera is no exception. It's just like with fashion, but it seems that only opera finds it shameful to do so."


Rodney Milnes on Alagna's performance in Il trovatore, Palermo, December 2002 (Opera, April 2003)...

"From the honeyed tone of his first off-stage lines, Roberto Alagna surpassed all expectations in the title role.  He never had to put on unwanted pressure, since Oren never made it necessary, even in 'Di quella pira', taken at a sensibly moderate pace (one verse only - shame!). 'Ah si, ben mio', also taken very gently, was as sensitively sung as I have ever heard it in the theatre, really shaped and thought about, with subtly phrased interventions from the clarinet intensifying the air of melancholy.  This, rather than the cabaletta, became the focal point of the role, and of the opera, which is seldom the case. Alagna's beautiful soft singing in the last act duet with his foster mother would (and did) melt the heart even of a critic."


Rodney Milnes in Opera, May 2003 on Alagna as Don José in Carmen (EMI 5 57434 2)...

"Alagna, as he must be tired of hearing, always seems at his best when singing in French, and French José's are not exactly thick on the ground, in the theatre or on record. He really sings words, makes the most of the recitatives, and is extremely impressive in both the third and fourth finales. His 'nous nous reverrons' chills the heart, and the last few minutes of Act 4 are quite terrifying. The only drawback is his reluctance to sing piano, which compromises such numbers as the duet with Micaëla and the Flower Song. But this is a mightily impressive interpretation."

Roberto Alagna on why there seem to be fewer singers in the French repertoire today (from a 2001 interview for Le Monde de la Musique)...

"Naguère, un compositeur pouvait baisser un air d'un ton ou d'un demi-ton, si cela permettait de mettre en valeur la voix de l'interprète. Aujourd'hui, on chante beaucoup trop à la lettre. Je préfère l'air des Pêcheurs de perles dans les versions de Caruso ou de Gigli, qui sont un ton plus bas mais qui ne sacrifient rien à la beauté du chant. A l'opposé, la voix de fausset peut être divine. Il ne faut pas en avoir peur. A condition de ne pas en abuser, bien sûr."


Roger Parker on Alagna's tights in his review of the 2000 ROH Romeo et Juliette for the UK magazine Opera...

"I should start with a word about Roberto Alagna's tights. They were an impressive 'carnival' accessory: the right leg had a large swoosh of colour, the left was a severe monochrome: these twin pillars were then articulated by a fine-looking codpiece which, in colour terms, dressed to the left. Hosiered thus, Alagna capered convincingly through the first three acts, sword fights and down-on-one-knee-with-one-arm-extended-backwards love duets included. The fourth act then opens in Juliet's bedchamber, the young lovers reclining languorously after what looked to have been a pretty strenuous nuit d'extase. All well and good, and certainly suited to the orchestral underpinning. Imagine the confusion, though, when Alagna gets off the bed. *He still has his tights on.* Was there a message embedded in this? Were we to imagine a strategic pocket?"

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This page was last updated on: May 31, 2004