Artist of the Week: Roberto Alagna & Aleksandra Kurzak

Real Life Couple Headline Teatro Massimo’s ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’ & Met Opera Concert

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Teatro Massimo di Palermo)

Opera in Europe continues to flourish with performances around Italy bringing mass audiences and acclaimed singers in some of their signature roles.

This week the Teatro Massimo di Palmero opened its “Cavalleria Rusticana” with Aleksandra Kurzak making her role debut as Santuzza and Roberto Alagna in his signature Turiddu.

It is a big week for the couple as they will not only perform Mascagni’s masterpiece but will also continue the Metropolitan Opera’s Live Concert Series from France. Alagna and Kurzak are well known for performing together throughout the world in opera and concerts. They have performed together to great acclaim in Paris, Vienna, New York, Barcelona, and Monte-Carlo, among others.

At the Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Alagna made his big return to Sicily, where his parents immigrated from. Turiddu is one of the tenor’s signature roles for which has received great acclaim and performed in Spain, France, Germany, and the United States. About his Turiddu, OperaWire noted, “he is an artist that pours every emotion into this work.”

Kurak was originally slated to perform the role of Santuzza for the first at the Arena di Verona. She was set to make history with her husband Alagna performing both “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci” on the same night. The couple will now perform both operas on the same night in 2021.

For those not in Palermo for “Cavalleria Rusticana,” the Teatro Massimo is streaming the second and final performance while the Met Opera’s concert will be streamed on its website.

After months of quarantine, this season the couple is slated to return to the Bayerische Staatsoper for “Madama Butterfly,” and the Wiener Staatsoper for “Pagliacci.” Alagna is also slated to make his role debut as “Lohengrin” in Berlin while Kurzak will return to the Polish National Opera for “Butterfly.”


For those who have not seen or heard the couple’s chemistry, Alagna and Kurzak recorded an album for Sony entitled “Puccini in Love”  and Massenet’s “La Navarraise” for Erato.

Here is a recent performance from Orange by the couple.

And here they are performing from the Metropolitan Opera’s historical online gala.

Here they are performing in a gala.


Artist of the Week