He is an operatic tenor of Sicilian descent, born in Clichy-sous-Bois, France.
His musical education began when he studied guitar with Raphael Ruiz and worked on the cabaret circuit in Paris as a singer. In 1988 he went to Philadelphia where he took part in, and won, the Pavarotti International Voice Competition and he went on from there to have a successful career in opera.
Winning recognition for his performance in Romeo and Juliet he won the “Outstanding Achievement in Opera” when he was awarded a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1994. He married the Romanian soprano, Angela Gheorghiu and they often appear together on the stage in operatic productions.
In 1998 he and his wife had their unsigned contracts for La Traviata withdrawn from the Met due to a disagreement about approval of production rights. They did, however, work there in 1999-2000 when they appeared in L’Elisir d’Amore by Donizetti.
Having been described as sensitive, and as “the greatest tenor alive” by Rene Koering, he has often been surrounded by controversy, and although causing a storm after walking off stage in Milan and not going back on, he is still extremely sought after and appeared in Sofia Coppola’s first opera staging in 2009 in Montpelier.
Robert Alagna recordings Adeste Fidelis (Frederick Oakley/John Francis Wade) London Symphony Orchestra Conductor – Robin Smith
The Abbey Road Ensemble recordings
Leroy Anderson Sleigh Ride EMI 56176 (CD: Our Christmas Songs For You)
Conductor – Jonathan Tunick
Soprano – Kiri Te Kanawa
Tenor – Roberto Alagna
Baritone – Thomas Hampson