Columns linked to Roberto Alagna

Cavalleria - Pagliacci: Alagna's Great Tour de Force

Xavier Pujol

Christmas is coming and Liceu, like many other theatres, has decided once again to offer an attractive programme for the non-specialised audiences, who on these festive dates decide, perhaps for the only time in the season, to go for one night at the opera. On this occasion, the offer has consisted in the traditional double act integrated by Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci, the famous pair of short verismo operas, which tradition has transformed into an unbreakable matrimony. In...


Magnificent Central Trio in Andrea Chénier at the Royal Opera...

Sam Smith

Andrea Chénier of 1896 is by far the best known opera by Umberto Giordano (1867-1948), an Italian composer whose profile might have been higher today had not his considerable talents been somewhat eclipsed by those of his contemporary Puccini. It is loosely based on the life of the eponymous poet (1762-1794), who was executed during the French Revolution, while the character Carlo Gérard was inspired by Jean-Lambert Tallien, a leading figure in the Revolution. Sondra...


The Met makes a strong case for Alfano’s Cyrano

Ilana Walder-Biesanz

Operas are frequently derided for their weak plots. Many are based on melodramatic plays or novels that were once popular but have failed to stand the test of time. Franco Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac is a welcome exception. Alfano’s opera lacks musical originality, but it has both depth of emotion and great respect for Rostand’s theatrical masterpiece. It helps that Henri Cain’s libretto is more or less a shortened version of the play. While speeches and...


La Juive at the Bavarian State Opera, Munich

Helmut Pitsch

It is still a rare possibility to assist to this opera, even if it was once a big success in the whole Europe after its world premiere in Paris 1835. The subject of this Grande Opera seems more than actual and modern again. It demonstrates the fight between religions, prosecution and religious discrimination, linked with the fate of two strong competing men opposed and confronted by fatal love, faith power and a virtuous girl. It is a dark story with a tragic end : dark and...


Il trovatore at the Chorégies d'Orange

Emmanuel Andrieu

Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore is a legendary opera that returns often to the Chorégies d'Orange; older opera fans still remember the famous 1972 production featuring Montserrat Caballé at her zenith, the sonorous Lando Bartolini, the hair-raising Irina Arkhipova and thoroughbred Piero Cappuccilli in the principal roles. In 2015, the star for the evening is Roberto Alagna, who has appeared regularly on the stage of the Théâtre Antique since 1993, but who...


Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera, New York

Thibault Courtois

“Roberto Alagna and Jonas Kaufmann take turns playing Carmen’s desperate lover, Don José” may be a quote from the online brochure of the Opera House you started in one of your opera fanatic dreams. In real life, it is a quote from the Metropolitan Opera’s website. Jonas Kaufmann will be singing for the last two shows of the run early March while Roberto Alagna has covered the whole month of February. Any good vocal coach will tell you that French is the...