Saturday, May 10, 2008

Don´t blame the loggione! It was Roberto who screwed it!

The Independent:

It was plucky, not to say defiant, of Roberto Alagna to include the treacherous "Celeste Aida" in his Viva Verdi recital. This was, after all, the aria that precipitated his famous walk-out from La Scala, Milan, in December 2006, when elements in the audience showed their disapproval in the traditional manner. But if he sang it there as he did here, then I can't say I blame them.


But technically speaking, he is failing to adjust to the dramatic changes taking place in his voice, and that is worrying. "Celeste Aida" was just one of many instances where sharpening pitch suggested an uncomfortable push at the top. His intonation generally was dodgy, to say the least, and he opted for the cop-out alternative ending of this aria, with the lower repetition of the final line rather than the difficult but magical diminuendo on the final high B-flat.

There's also a positive side of this review:

But in the Macduff aria, the middle and lower registers came into focus, and it was amazing how much more Alagna was able to do with the voice at its darker, grainier, baritonal centre. Beautiful dovetailing, eternal sostenuto, seductively "covered" sound. That's where the swagger now lies, and in the Oronte aria from Verdi's I Lombardi, it was directed at his wife, Angela Gheorghiu, who made a conspicuous entrance in flouncy crimson – appropriate for an evening that included Johann Strauss's Quadrille on motifs from Un ballo in maschera.


Alagna, however, sang the final scene of that opera (***Otello***) rather wonderfully. At last the smoky sound and affecting catches in the voice were put to real dramatic purpose.

Da proofs:

Roberto Alagna singing Celeste Aida at the Barbican on May the 2nd 2008!

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mahler76 said...

πρωτη φορά με πήρε ο ύπνος σε Celeste Aida...

radames said...

Βρε parsi οπως και να καλυψει τη φωνη του,οπως και να πειραξει τα φωνηεντα παλι ενας λυρικος τενορος με ανυπαρκτο squillo που εχει δυσκολια να μεινει στο τονο , εχει wobble και ασχημο frassegio.Tωρα το baritonale χρωμα ειναι φτιαχτο δεν υπηρξαν ποτε λυρικοι τενοροι baritonale (o Villazon και ο Domingo ειναι περισσοτερο throaty παρα baritonale).Μπορει να κανει πολλα τρικ ενας τραγουδιστης για να ακουστει κατι που δεν ειναι αλλα σιγουρα δε θα αντεξει η φωνη του για πολλη.

Gert said...

I don't where Seckerson got the idea that Alagna's Otello was okay. To my ears it was even worse than this. De gustibus..!

Parsifal said...

I was terrible. If Alagna was singing in the 60's he would be Corelli's bitch...