One of the greatest voices of this generation the legendary Roberto Alagna is to perform in Australia this July.
A sought after tenor and charismatic artist, his performing world includes the opera theatre, the concert stage, the recital hall and the recording studio. This will be Roberto Alagna’s debut tour of Australia, following a three-month season starring with the New York Metropolitan Opera in which he sang the role of Canio in Pagliacci and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly.
Appearing with Roberto Alagna will be German-based Australian soprano Siobhan Stagg, who has established herself as a rising star of the opera and concert stage. Siobhan Stagg is accumulating a string of impressive appearances which in 2015 included the role of Annina in La traviata at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, stepping in for the soprano soloist in Brahms’ A German Requiem with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Christian Thielemann, her Royal Opera House debut singing the title role in Luigi Rossi’s Orpheus and the role of Morgana in Alcina in Geneva this year.
Earlier this month Roberto Alagna covered for an ailing Jonas Kaufmann, to give his debut as Chevalier des Grieu in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut at the Metropolitan Opera. Later in 2016, he will sing Lohengrin in Bayreuth.
Of French and Italian extraction, Roberto Alagna has a performing background in cabaret – and that gives him a special versatility. For his Australian tour, Mr Alagna has created a program that will entertain as well as showcase his extraordinary talent. As well as performing some of the great operatic arias, he will sing popular songs that reflect his Sicilian, Neapolitan and French musical background.
Roberto Alagna’s career spans more than 30 years; he has a repertoire of over 60 roles (including two operas which were composed specifically for him) and his diverse discography is replete with gold, platinum and double-platinum sellers.
As a young man Roberto Alagna studied accountancy, sang in Parisian cabarets and released a pop album. Influenced by the films of Mario Lanza, he made the switch to opera, and in 1988, when Luciano Pavarotti went to Paris and was signing copies of his recordings Alagna pushed his way through the throng, stood before Pavarotti and told him he wanted to be an operatic tenor.
Amused, Pavarotti invited Alagna to sing one note. When he did Pavarotti was so impressed he invited Alagna to audition for a place in the finale of the Pavarotti Competition in Philadelphia. He won his ticket to Philadelphia, and went on to win the competition. His operatic career took off overnight. He was just 24.
Lead roles and acclaim at opera houses such as La Scala, the Royal Opera Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera in New York followed. As his career continued to gather momentum, his personal life swung from highs to lows. His first wife died of a brain tumour leaving him with a 2-year-old daughter. He then married another legend of our times, Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu and together they reigned as opera’s golden couple for over a decade. He recently married Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak and together they have a young daughter.
Conductor and pianist Stefano Miceli will conduct the Australian Sinfonietta Orchestra. Mr Miceli is currently working with the NYC Opera Renaissance and Bellini Opera Foundation in Michigan. He is a regular guest artist as pianist and conductor at festivals and theatres around the world.