Roberto Alagna


Roberto Alagna

Roberto Alagna (born June 7, 1963) is an French operatic tenor of Sicilian descent. He was born in Clichy-sous-Bois, Seine-Saint-Denis, France.

Early years

Alagna was born outside of the city of Paris in 1963 to a family of Sicilian immigrants. As a teenager, the young Alagna began busking and singing pop in Parisian cabarets for tips. [Citation
last = H.W. Wilson Company
first =
contribution = Roberto Alagna
year = 1997
title = Current Biography
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publisher = H.W. Wilson Company
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] Influenced primarily by the films of Mario Lanza, but also from recordings of many historic tenors, he then switched to opera, but remained largely self-taught. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Matinee Idol
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publisher = The Metropolitan Opera News
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url = http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/news/interviews/detail.aspx?id=3110
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] [cite news
last = Duffy
first = Martha
coauthors = Denbigh, Dorrie
title = So Happy Together
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pages = 83-84
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publisher = Time
date = 1996-04-29
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accessdate = 2008-07-03
]

Career

After winning the Luciano Pavarotti Voice Competition, Alagna made his professional debut in 1988 as Alfredo Germont in "La Traviata" with the Glyndebourne touring company.cite book
last = Cummings
first = David M.
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = International Who's Who In Classical Music 2003
publisher = Europa Publications
year = 2003
location = London, England
pages = 9
url = http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=48V3kmpJEEgC&dq=International+who%27s+who+in+classical+music+2003&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=IPfwurhN1-&sig=h15viBYlN3krXeKKxK3NlKWuxrM&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result
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] This led to many engagements throughout the smaller cities in France and Italy, mainly again as Alfredo, a role he would eventually sing over 150 times. His reputation grew and he was soon invited to sing at major theaters such as La Scala in 1990, Covent Garden in 1992 and the Metropolitan Opera as Rodolfo in 1996. His performances of Romeo in "Roméo et Juliette" by Charles Gounod at Covent Garden in 1994 catapulted him to international stardom. [cite news
last = Waleson
first = Heidi
coauthors =
title = Alagna Slated For Tenor Stardom
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pages = 1-2
language =
publisher = Billboard
date = 1995-11-18
url = http://wwww.ebscohost.com
accessdate = 2008-07-03
]

Alagna opened the 2006-07 season at La Scala on December 7, 2006 in the new production of "Aida" by Franco Zeffirelli. During the second performance on December 10, Alagna, whose opening performance was considered ill-at-ease, was booed and whistled from the "loggione" (the least expensive seats at the very back of La Scala), and he walked off the stage. The tenor's reaction to his public criticism was denounced as immature and unprofessional by La Scala management and Zeffirelli, who said, “A professional should never behave in this way. Alagna is too sensitive, it is too easy to hurt his feelings. He does not know how to act like a true star.” [cite news
last = Owen
first = Richard
coauthors =
title = Tenor who stormed off La Scala stage vows he will return
work =
pages =
language =
publisher = The Times
date = 2006-12-12
url = http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/european_football/article751154.ece
accessdate = 2008-07-03
] The role of Radames was taken over successfully for the rest of the performance by his understudy Antonello Palombi, who entered on stage wearing jeans and a black shirt. [cite news
last =
first =
coauthors =
title = Booed tenor quits La Scala's Aida
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pages =
language =
publisher = BBC News Online
date = 2006-12-11
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6169177.stm
accessdate = 2008-07-03
] In 2007 while at the Metropolitan Opera singing the role of Pinkerton in "Madame Butterfly", Alagna replaced the indisposed Rolando Villazon as Romeo in "Roméo et Juliette" opposite Anna Netrebko for two performances in September and two performances in December. His wife had flown to New York to be with him for the September engagements, and as a result was fired from the Lyric Opera of Chicago for missing her rehearsal dates for "La Bohème". Alagna was also engaged by the Metropolitan Opera at the last minute to cover for the indisposed Marco Berti in an October 16, 2007 performance of "Aida". After the performance, the audience gave him a standing ovation. [Deseret Morning News, 21 October 2007, page E9, Associated Press/Verena Dobnik, "Once-booed tenor wows the Met"] The December 15 performance of Roméo et Juliette starring Alagna and Netrebko was broadcast by the Met into 447 theaters worldwide in high definition and seen by about 97,000 people. ["Metropolitan Opera's broadcast is a digital gift." Newport News Daily Press, 23 December, 2007 [http://www.dailypress.com/features/dp-gl_david_1223dec23,0,6310904.column?coll=hr_features_home_garden_promo] ]

Personal life

Alagna's first wife, Florence Lancien, died of a brain tumor in 1994; they had one daughter, Ornella, who was born in 1992. In 1996 he married Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu. [cite web
last = Fuller
first = Amanda E.
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Alagna, Roberto, and Gheorghiu, Angela
work =
publisher = Encyclopaedia Britannica
date =
url = http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/232665/Angela-Gheorghiu
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-07-03
] The couple have sung together often onstage and have made many recordings together both of duets and arias and complete operas. The two singers also starred in a film version of Puccini's "Tosca" directed by French film director Benoît Jacquot. [Citation
last = Smith
first = Steve
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title = Love Story
newspaper = Billboard
pages = 16
year = 2002
date = 2002-05-11
url = http://www.ebscohost.com
]

References

* [http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/frame.htm MetOpera database]

External links

*
* [http://theoperacritic.com/singers.php?singer=roberto_alagna Reviews, articles, photos and future schedules from The Opera Critic]
* [http://sonybmgmasterworks.com/artists/robertoalagna/ Discography at SonyBMG Masterworks]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxyBxbGF-Qg Watch Roberto Alagna's stage walkout at La Scala]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNaA3ieNF0Y A video of Alagna in Massenet's "Manon"]


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