Roberto Alagna has signed an exclusive, multi-album recording contract with Sony Classical. The tenor, who has sold more than 5 million albums in France alone, announced: 'I am utterly delighted to become part of the international Sony Classical family. I have long since admired the label and its achievements and I look forward to a long and fruitful association in the years ahead.' His first album for Sony Classical will be released in 2018.
Alagna is a prolific recording artist and in 2001 won two Gramophone Awards: the Recital Award for his album of French Arias with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and conductor Bertrand de Billy, and the Opera Award for Massenet's Manon alongside his then-wife Angela Gheorghiu and with the Orchestra and Chorus of La Monnaie and Antonio Pappano.
Alagna rose to prominence in 1988 when he won the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition and made his professional debut as Alfredo Germont in Verdi's La traviata with the Glyndebourne Touring Company.
Gramophone's Alan Blyth, in his review of one of Alagna's first appearances on record (Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, conducted by Marcello Viotti, 1993), compared the tenor favourably with the young Pavarotti: 'For those who have yet to hear of him let me explain that Roberto Alagna is a French tenor of Sicilian parents who won the 1988 Pavarotti Prize and bids fair to succeed the big man if he is given space to develop in his own time. At the moment his singing reminds one inevitably of the younger Pavarotti on the 1971 Bonynge/Decca set, except that Alagna sounds even younger, even more vulnerable, certainly more so than Pavarotti's elder self (Levine/DG). He brought wonder to these well-tried ears when he sang Rodolfo at Covent Garden last year and here proves that that was no fluke.'
Of Alagna's new Sony deal, Bogan Roscic, President of Sony Music Masterworks, stated: 'Not only has Roberto Alagna been a leading operatic presence for many years, he has also become a true force outside of opera by possessing that quality so rare in the classical world - the ability to create music across genre boundaries - not by dumbing down any of those genres but by combining them in ways which are new, surprising and always of the highest quality. I couldn't be happier that he has decided to continue his recording work with Sony Classical.'