I suppose it was inevitable that I'd end up posting about Roberto Alagna's early exit at La Scala on my blog. If you haven't heard what happened, you can read all about it here:
Initially, the rumour was that a young British female musician named after a Victorian moving image device was taking photos of the rehearsal on her mobile and in so doing had enraged the French tenor to the point where he stormed off, but it turns out that he was booed by the loggionisti instead.
I'm very much of two minds about this. I can only imagine how it must have felt to have been booed after singing Celeste Aida (and, to be fair, he is one of the finest tenors in the world). I'm very fortunate never to have been booed or had a bad review, but that's mainly because, as a young bass-baritone playing medium sized / relatively insignificant characters, my performances rarely get mentioned in reviews at all... ;-)
On the other hand, if I had been one of the audience members who had paid 2,500 Euros for a ticket, I'd have been pissed-off too.
I can see both sides of the story, and for some reason my instinct is to side with the artist. I can't imagine storming off in the way that he did, but then I've never been in a situation where I was under anywhere near as much pressure as he must have been, singing a tenor lead at La Scala in front of (allegedly) one of the most demanding audiences in the world.
Rather than making a judgement outright, I'm going to be open-minded (or, to put it another way, a bit of a coward) and sit on the fence on this one, choosing instead to ask what other people think. Any thoughts?