The February issue of "Das Opernglas" contains a feature interview with Roberto Alagna (also the issue's "cover boy"). Some interesting items from that interview:
- He's had a total of three tumors removed in his career, including one in the sinus cavity and another in the chest. The procedure to remove the former sounds horrific -- jaw broken, teeth extracted, bone removed. He said this surgery disturbed the entire vocal apparatus, which one can well believe just from reading the description.
- In the "coming year" -- apparently the 2012/2013 season -- he and Draculette will be singing together in La Boheme at Covent Garden.
- He says he sometimes has problems in his relationship with her because she wants him to slow down a little, take some breaks -- but he wants to sing all the time.
- He's going to sing Verdi's Otello in Nimes in 2013. He contends that Verdi never intended this role to be sung by a big dramatic "half baritone" voice; this tradition developed in the mid-20th century. He will also be singing Calaf this summer in Orange.
- An unspecified composer is supposedly working on an opera for him based on Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's Les Variations énigmatiques. (Alain Delon created one of the two roles in this drama in the theater). The operatic version will likewise have only two roles, but instead of being written for tenor and baritone, both are being written for tenor. Alagna says he asked Vittorio Grigolo to sing the other role, but the latter was supposedly worried about the modern compositional style and said "no thanks." This interview obviously was conducted a few months ago, since Alagna says he plans to ask Jonas Kaufmann if he'd be interested when he sees den Jonas in New York. (Wonder what Kaufmann's response was). Another opera written for Alagna is titled Il mago Houdini.
- He also gives his version of the spat with Alain Lombard prior to the Paris Opera's staging of Faust. (Lombard claimed he left the production because of a conflict with the tenor.) Alagna says he was always courteous toward the maestro, but the conductor would only work with the singers on portions of the music -- there was never a full rehearsal. Alagna himself was going to drop out of the production because he felt the preparations were inadquate, but then "someone" persuaded Lombard to leave instead. Lombard came up with the tale of his conflict with Alagna to save face -- or at least so says Alagna.