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Interview with Roberto AlagnaBut clearly not by an arts journalist


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#1 Mashinka

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 04:39 AM

This interview with the French/Italian tenor is not without interest, but why wasn't an opera specialist sent to interview him? The piece is all on a personal level with far less about his current career than one would expect. His personal life is remarkable though, and I hadn't realized he came from such an unpromising background, also I can understand only too well the trauma of losing his first wife at such a young age as my sister's stepson also became a widower and single parent in his 20's - it is a devestating experience.

In the right repertoire this singer is superb and his on stage partnership with Georghiu justly famous (I can close my eyes and visualize every moment of them in Rondine) but his career has hit rocky patches and they seem glossed over here, for example there is nothing about his future relationship with La Scala or whether he will alter his repertoire choices accordingly.

It sounds as is the split from Georghiu is permanant, I wonder if they will continue to sing together and whether that old magic will be lost if they do.

http://www.independe...ve-1796003.html



#2 abatt

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 04:53 AM

It appears that they will not sing together. Angela & Roberto were scheduled to headline a splashy new production of Carmen together at the MET Opera, which will premiere on New Year's Eve. Angela recently cancelled all of her performances in the opera, except for two where someone other than Roberto will be singing Don Jose. (Angela's replacement in Carmen will be Elena Garanca). Oh well.

#3 dirac

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 01:15 PM

Thanks, Mashinka and abatt. The interviewer sounds a little dazed - maybe those 'sparkling blue eyes' got to her. I agree with you - there's nothing wrong with a little human interest but an article labeled 'The Big Interview' should be big enough to include more about art. It does sound as if the split is permanent, sad news on the artistic as well as human level.

#4 Mashinka

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 07:48 AM

The Telegraph sends it's opera critic Rupert Christiansen to talk to Angela Gheorghiu and this interview is on a more serious level than the one with Alagna.

http://www.telegraph...-interview.html

Looks as if her professional links with Alagna are completely at an end, and as Christiansen notes, she may lose out as a consequence. Personally I like her very much, a beautiful voice even if a little underpowered and she has real old style glamour but the partnership with Alagna was special and I've a feeling her career may suffer without him.

#5 richard53dog

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 09:18 AM

These two are both quite colorful, I think and the press has been following their ups and downs for years. There were rumors some years ago that they had separated but then they started taking engagements together again and they died down.

There are other interviews too, Angela was interviewed in Corriere Della Serra, the big Milan daily. It's in Italian, which I can read haltingly, but Gheorghiu comes across rather unsympathetically in this one.

http://www.corriere....44f02aabc.shtml


Just a bit:

"Vengo da una famiglia bene dov’ero trattata come una principessa; loro, gente umile, è venuta fuori la differenza, dispiace dirlo ma è la verità». La gelosia è stata la molla? ...... Non sa­pevo mai come comportarmi. .... Perché l’uomo non sopporta una donna vincente al suo fianco? Quan­do ho inciso Madama Butterfly , è sparito dieci giorni. Però mi faceva le poste per vedere se ero fedele».


"I come from a well to do family (her father was a train conductor!), I was treated like a princess; he (Alagna) comes from humble people. I'm sorry but the difference mattered."

Jealosy was a factor ....men can't stand a successful woman..... When I recorded Butterfly he vanished for 10 days.....But he checked up on me to make sure I was being faithful....


There are other snarky parts in this, she complains of how his daughter treated her and finishes mentioning that two composers are creating two new operas based on her a Bonnie and Clyde opera and a Draculette opera (two nicknames Mr and Mrs Alagna picked up in the press)

" If they are good, I will sing them, why not!?"

"All we need is a tenor" she finishes.

Obviously Bobby and Angie are both performers!!!!!!!!

#6 dirac

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 06:36 PM

Thanks for that, richard53dog. Ah, divas.

she complains of how his daughter treated her


It's interesting that as a rule stepmothers have a much harder time and are given a lot more grief from their stepchildren than stepfathers, and such friction has contributed to the demise of a surprising number of second marriages. So without knowing the facts, the stats suggest Angela might well have a point. Gheorghiu certainly sounds as if she's capable of being a problem stepmother, though. :clapping:

#7 canbelto

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 10:23 AM

I think at this point if the journalists are baiting these two rather eccentric personalities into saying wackier and wackier stuff. They make good print. Alagna seems to be trying to play up the heartbroken card, and she seems to be playing up the "I was always too good for this loser" card. Typical of bitter exes.

#8 Estelle

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 02:15 PM

Thanks for that, richard53dog. Ah, divas.

she complains of how his daughter treated her


It's interesting that as a rule stepmothers have a much harder time and are given a lot more grief from their stepchildren than stepfathers, and such friction has contributed to the demise of a surprising number of second marriages. So without knowing the facts, the stats suggest Angela might well have a point. Gheorghiu certainly sounds as if she's capable of being a problem stepmother, though. :thanks:


Actually, if I understand correctly (my Italian is not good at all), here is what is said about children
in the interview:

"Ha pesato il fatto di non avere avuto figli? «L’avevamo deciso dall’inizio. In fondo avevamo già due figlie. Mia sorella morì nel ’96 e sua figlia, Johan­na, è cresciuta con me da quando ave­va 1 anno. L’ho adottata: da sola. Ro­berto è sempre stato contrario al­l’adozione. Era vedovo. Ha una figlia, Ornella, che ho sempre considerato mia figlia, dopo dieci anni ha saputo che non ero sua madre naturale. Mai dato un regalo o una carezza in più a Johanna. Da qualche tempo Ornella non mi chiama più mamma, sono sta­ti i parenti di Roberto...È stato un grande dolore»."

Approximate translation:

[From the journalist]: "Was the fact that you didn't have children together among the causes for the separation ?
<<We had decided that together, from the beginning. In fact, we already had two daughters. My sister
died in 1996 and her daughter, Johanna, has been raised by me since she was 1 year old. I have adopted her: I did that alone. Robert has always been against adoption [I don't understand whether it means that he didn't want to adopt the little girl himself, of whether he didn't want his wife to adopt her]. He was a widower. He had a daughter, Ornella, whom I have always considered as my daughter, after ten years [or is it: when she turned 10 ?] she knew that I wasn't her birth mother. I've never given more gifts or hugs to Johanna that to her. Some time ago, Ornella stopped calling me "Mamma", it is because of Roberto's relatives [I'm not sure of that part]... It has been very painful for me>>.

#9 bart

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 04:07 PM

Thanks, estelle, for the translation. It reminds me to make a small correction of something posted earlier in this thread.:

"Vengo da una famiglia bene dov’ero trattata come una principessa

It's probably better to translate this simply as "a good family," without claims as to economic status. She IS claiming, beneath the words, that her background is more sophisticated than his.

Regarding family incompatibilities, it seems that a really fundamental one is expressed here:

He has the mentality of the clan. I am the exact opposite. [His family's nationality] is French but its Sicilian roots [blood] speak more strongly. I never thought about a career with him. It was he who insisted on our getting married. For me, it was okay to live together. He was free. I was not yet divorced from my first husband.

Imagine trying to live, work, travel, and market yourself as Ideal Lovers with a start like that.

#10 dirac

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 06:03 PM

Thanks for that, richard53dog. Ah, divas.

she complains of how his daughter treated her


It's interesting that as a rule stepmothers have a much harder time and are given a lot more grief from their stepchildren than stepfathers, and such friction has contributed to the demise of a surprising number of second marriages. So without knowing the facts, the stats suggest Angela might well have a point. Gheorghiu certainly sounds as if she's capable of being a problem stepmother, though. :)


Actually, if I understand correctly (my Italian is not good at all), here is what is said about children
in the interview:

"Ha pesato il fatto di non avere avuto figli? «L’avevamo deciso dall’inizio. In fondo avevamo già due figlie. Mia sorella morì nel ’96 e sua figlia, Johan&shy;na, è cresciuta con me da quando ave&shy;va 1 anno. L’ho adottata: da sola. Ro&shy;berto è sempre stato contrario al&shy;l’adozione. Era vedovo. Ha una figlia, Ornella, che ho sempre considerato mia figlia, dopo dieci anni ha saputo che non ero sua madre naturale. Mai dato un regalo o una carezza in più a Johanna. Da qualche tempo Ornella non mi chiama più mamma, sono sta&shy;ti i parenti di Roberto...È stato un grande dolore»."

Approximate translation:

[From the journalist]: "Was the fact that you didn't have children together among the causes for the separation ?
<<We had decided that together, from the beginning. In fact, we already had two daughters. My sister
died in 1996 and her daughter, Johanna, has been raised by me since she was 1 year old. I have adopted her: I did that alone. Robert has always been against adoption [I don't understand whether it means that he didn't want to adopt the little girl himself, of whether he didn't want his wife to adopt her]. He was a widower. He had a daughter, Ornella, whom I have always considered as my daughter, after ten years [or is it: when she turned 10 ?] she knew that I wasn't her birth mother. I've never given more gifts or hugs to Johanna that to her. Some time ago, Ornella stopped calling me "Mamma", it is because of Roberto's relatives [I'm not sure of that part]... It has been very painful for me>>.


Thanks for that translation, Estelle. Too much information from both sides, at this point, although there's a certain trainwreck interest in seeing couples fight out un-amicable divorces in public.

#11 Mashinka

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 02:12 AM

I think at this point if the journalists are baiting these two rather eccentric personalities into saying wackier and wackier stuff. They make good print. Alagna seems to be trying to play up the heartbroken card, and she seems to be playing up the "I was always too good for this loser" card. Typical of bitter exes.


The Telegraph legal dept had to take the red pencil to that interview I've been told, so it was very likely that Ms G. was coming up with very wacky stuff indeed.

#12 richard53dog

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 06:03 AM

http://ballettalk.in...st-numbered.gif


Thanks for that translation, Estelle. Too much information from both sides, at this point, although there's a certain trainwreck interest in seeing couples fight out un-amicable divorces in public.



This kind of thing always draws attention but in this case even more so. These two are just soooo "colorful". They have both been since they first came to public notice.

From the mid 90s, I remember both of them shooting off their mouth first then MAYBE thinking about it. Bobby with his homophobic comments and spats with journalists as well as Angie revealing hair-raisingly scary aspects of her personality.

And they separately as well as jointly have had lots of public scenes with opera impressarios, as recently as Alagna throwing his helmet down and walking off stage during an Aida at La Scala as well as Gheorghiu being fired for ducking Boheme rehearsals in Chicago to fly to New York to "support" her husband during rehearsals with Anna Netrebko (was he the only one who didn't trust his spouse?)

My favorite of their scenes was the dispute Gheorghiu had with Zeffirelli over the wig she would wear as Micaela in his production of Carmen at the MEt.
It was a standoff and GM Joe Volpe intervened and plunked down on Zef's side. "The wig will appear on stage, whether worn by Gheorghiu or someone else"

So "meekly" , Angie complied. She performed the role, with the wig, but each time she went onstage she carefully covered it up with a scarf!

All in all, I think Alagna has learned a bit at least to curb or temper his public outbursts, I think he realized that they reflect on him unsympathetically. The Aida flap was maybe a bit of a throwback to his earlier more reckless days. And he seems to want to be seen as a nice guy and perhaps this is why he is taking this slightly comical "heartbroken" approach to all the divorce publicity.

#13 dirac

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 11:15 AM

This kind of thing always draws attention but in this case even more so. These two are just soooo "colorful". They have both been since they first came to public notice.

From the mid 90s, I remember both of them shooting off their mouth first then MAYBE thinking about it. Bobby with his homophobic comments and spats with journalists as well as Angie revealing hair-raisingly scary aspects of her personality.


It would be a duller opera world without them, no question.

#14 dirac

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 11:03 AM

Endgame in the Alagna-Gheorghiu saga. Basta, indeed.

All that is now over. Earlier this year Gheorghiu went to Romania to get a divorce. “I was very kind with Roberto on this matter, because otherwise in France [where he lives] it would be a big problem for him,” she said. “In Romania I wanted it to be in the quickest way possible: you sign a few papers and it was ciao, arrivederci. Because I really wanted not to continue to have a relationship with this kind of person.

 

There are things in life you accept from your man, but I did not want to continue to live with the idea that your man is violent. Basta! I said everything, I did everything, until the last moment: I said to myself it is not true, I cannot accept it. OK, now I accept – so, basta. A person like that will never, ever change.”

 



#15 Helene

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:57 PM

Alagna's sister/agent's response was very different than an American PR response.


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