Roberto Alagna made headlines all over the world when he stormed offstage mid-performance at La Scala last December. So naturally the wags started to wag their tongues in anticipation of the turbulent tenor's next high-profile operatic appearance, as the Chevalier des Grieux in Massenet's Manon at the Vienna State Opera beginning March 3.
And this wasn't just any production: the staging is by avant-garde theater legend Andrei Serban, and singing the title role is soprano/glamour girl Anna Netrebko, who's a major media star in Austria. Baritone Adrian Er‹d and bass Ain Anger co-star, with Bertrand de Billy on the podium.
In the event, there seem to have been no fireworks that weren't planned in the score and libretto — so all we have to offer the curious are some glimpses of Netrebko, Alagna and their colleagues in action.
There are two more performances of Manon at the Staatsoper this season: next Friday and Monday, March 16 and 19. Details are available at www.staatsoper.at.
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All photos by Axel Zeininger/Wiener Staatsoper GmbH.