Oh No He DIDN’T!!!! Or Did He? What Do We Make of This, Operagasm Public?
Posted by Melissa Wimbish
I hope Roberto Alagna is hiding in a tree. It’s going to take like, 10,000 beautiful high Cs before I can even look at him without shaking my head in disgust. And I don’t think he can even do those anymore. What do we make of this disheartening news? Opera critic, Rupert Christiansen seems a bit skeptical:
“…You can’t help liking them and even feeling a degree of sympathy for their ridiculous behaviour: both are warm, generous and volatile people from working-class backgrounds, who hit the big time fast and remain very sensitive to insults and slights and the possibility that they are being duped or exploited. I don’t think that at this stage we should pay too much attention to Gheorghiu’s outburst, which looks like nothing more than another bid for public attention.”
However, this interview from The Independent seems to be more than a mere “outburst”:
The world’s most celebrated female opera singer, Angela Gheorghiu, has been the victim of domestic violence in her marriage to the tenor Roberto Alagna, she has claimed.
In an interview with The Independent, the soprano alleged that Alagna would assault her in front of her family and his. The startling revelation will stun opera-goers around the world, as the pair – who recently divorced – were seen for years as opera’s glamour couple.
Alagna is internationally famous in his own right as one of the world’s leading tenors. Gheorghiu, hugely popular in Britain, is set to star in a production of Puccini’s La Rondine at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden on Friday.
When Gheorghiu married the French-Sicilian tenor Alagna in 1996, their romance was the hottest topic in the opera world. They sang together across the globe, as well as making many recordings. It was a stormy partnership from the start, with tales of high-profile tantrums and cancellations rife. But romanticism for a long time eclipsed all else: Gheorghiu and Alagna were dubbed the Posh and Becks of opera.
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.”
She continued: “He was actually violent – and in front of my family, and his family also. I lived through that. It’s the most black page of my life. I said for years that I cannot believe it, it will be fine – you say that all the time. But it’s like a malady. Even if you are the most angry person, to stand and give a clap on your wife, it’s impossible – and to do this in front of your father and your brother and they say not a word? This is my life.”
She added: “At first, when you are young and more energetic, you feel very bad. Crying and singing, singing and crying: maybe I cry more than I sing. And it was possible for me to sing. One day I said: I cannot sing. I was so tired – from screaming and crying, I was kaput completely. The first solution for me was not to sing together any more.”
When they initially became a couple, she says, after the death from cancer of Alagna’s first wife, she saw only what she wanted to see. “People of course told me, even colleagues around me, ‘Be careful’. But I really wanted to be with Roberto. I divorced my first husband for him. When you are in love, you are completely blind. And you don’t know, and you don’t want to know.”
She added: “I am different now. The day I accept that I must divorce Roberto, I was sure that the real me would be out. I cannot pretend. I was pretending too much and I suffered too much. Basta. Now it’s time to be really honest.”
When contacted by The Independent Marinella Alagna, Roberto Alagna’s sister and agent, declined to comment on the allegations, adding: “We do not have time for idiocy such as this.”