(I'm also not a doctor, nor do I play one on television or in an opera, though I have played one in the buff on occasion.)
Ok. That being said, this story about the Italian tenor -- Roberto Alagna, the "next Pavarotti" -- who stormed off the stage after being booed mid-performance at Milan's famous LaScala opera house, is more juicy than a rubanesque soprano. Check out some o' these nuggets from Reuters' coverage:
* "The incident, a first in the 230-year history of La Scala, forced a costumeless substitute to step in and carry on singing as some in the audience shouted 'Shame on you!' Organizers later apologized to the public."I know the word Diva originated in the world of opera, describing the egoism of the leading lady, usually the soprano. So does Prima Donna, or "first lady," for the same reason. But is there an analogous word for a male opera singer with a similar set of melodramatic traits, affectations, imaginary grievences, and overblown sense of self-importance? Perhaps Alagna will soon be such a word.
* A spokesman at La Scala told reporters that "a professional can only leave at the end of the performance or in case of serious accident. He left intentionally and therefore he broke his contract with the theater and the audience," and La Scala's artistic director Stephane Lissner said Alagna's behavior had provoked "a definitive split between the artist and the public that La Scala has no way of fixing." Instead, La Scala will not permit him to perform again.
* Alagna, in turn, said he had told La Scala he was ready to return to the show but the opera house "sent me a letter saying that the contract is annulled and that they are not going to pay my expenses. So I went to my lawyer today and we are going to sue them. I have been here for a month and I have worked very hard. This sanction is just too much."
* Alagna defended his bizarre decision to leave the stage by explaining, "They are treating me like a monster, but I have not committed a crime, I've done nothing wrong. I went there to sing, to give the audience joy and pleasure. But what was I supposed to do when some people started booing? What if they had thrown stones at me or some crazy person had attacked me? La Scala should have protected me, the show should have been suspended. Instead they carried on as if nothing had happened. After all, John Lennon ended up being killed."
And . . . straight from the mouth of the 21st Century's first true Alagna, speaking of La Scala's criticism that he doesn't properly respect the opera-viewing public:
* "They are the ones lacking respect toward the public if they don't let me go back. I have another five performances to do, and the audience is waiting for me."Ohhhh, I'm gonna have to agree with him on that last point! They're waiting for him, all right. My heartfelt advice to the folks at La Scala: Let him go on again.