Friday, December 15, 2006
Opera Diva Quits, Then Demands To Come Back
This soap opera at La Scala has been going on for days. A new mounting of Aida got okay reviews and warm applause opening night. But singer Roberto Alagna was singled out as being weak and on the second night he got booed (opera fans are notoriously tough) and then stormily walked offstage in the middle of a performance. To his shock, La Scala is keeping the understudy in the role and refusing to let Alagna perform, insisting quite reasonably that when he walked off stage in the middle of a show he quit. Alagna won't hear of it. Now he's singing OUTSIDE La Scala before performances and taking pictures of himself, bemoaning the cruel way he's been treated and threatening to sue. No wonder opera fans are so passionate: even when they're bad, opera singers are still entertaining.