Gheorghiu and Roberto captivate audience with favorites together and alone.
It isn’t always easy being half of a couple, especially when you are Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna.
The opera world’s high-profile “golden couple” sang at Baalbek Saturday night, giving the audience a taste of what is considered the best of live modern-day opera performers.
Despite less-than-optimal conditions, Gheorghiu and Alagna persevered, delivering multiple encores with the support of an outstanding Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra led by Cairo Opera House director Giorgio Croci.
It was Gheorghiu, the widely acclaimed Romanian singer known to be the most dramatic soprano on stage today, who stole the show with passionate performances.
If it wasn’t clear from their duets, the program proved that Gheorghiu and Alagna are partners. Equality was strictly respected: Gheorghiu and Alagna had three solo performances each, and seven duos. Together they delivered performances that, while strong, did not make the ruins tremble.
Gheorghiu, born in 1965, graduated from the Bucharest Music Academy in 1990 and was a soprano star virtually from the start. Now in her mid-30s the age when voices are considered fully formed her honors have included the 2001 Classical Brit Awards’ Female Artist of the Year.
After years of struggling as a singer, Alagna’s critical acclaim came in 1994 when he played Romeo at Covent Garden. She performed there as well, and they married in 1996.
They have been virtually inseparable since, touring the world (the couple sang at Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee earlier this year) and making films such as the American Public Broadcasting Service’s version of Romeo and Juliet, which aired last month.
“We are like three artists,” Gheorghiu told La Scena musical columnist Norman Lebrecht in 2000. “There is Roberto, there is Angela, and there is the third artist, the couple. That is not easy to manage.” Al Bawaba.com
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