The American label adds the French star to a stable that already includes Jonas Kaufmann and Juan Diego Flórez.
In the latest move in what seems to be an increasingly volatile recording industry, Sony has wooed Roberto Alagna away from Deutsche Grammophon. A few months after the release of Malèna, his latest album of New Sicilian and Neapolitan Songs, the French tenor who toured Australia last year has apparently accepted a “long-term, multi-album deal”.
“I am utterly delighted to become part of the international Sony Classical family,” said Alagna, an artist whose past album sales in his native France alone top the five million mark. “I have long since admired the label and its achievements and I look forward to a long and fruitful association in the years ahead.”
In an international career spanning more than 30 years, Alagna has achieved cultural icon status at home where he is acknowledged as France’s most successful classical recording artist. He had a previous long-term relationship in the 1990s and 2000s with EMI. “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,” said Bogdan Roscic, President of Sony Music Masterworks, “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.”
The American label has also signed on Jonas Kaufmann and Juan Diego Flórez in recent years. Kaufmann was the first to jump ship, moving from Decca to Sony in 2015 ahead of his Puccini Album release. That move prompted an acrimonious exchange after his former label released a rival Puccini compilation in what some saw as an attempt to spike sales of Kaufmann’s new label debut. Sony followed up with the acclaimed Verdi Album, an award-winning Winterreise, a disc of German operetta hits and, most recently, a less well-received Neapolitan and popular song album.
Flórez, a Decca artist for 15 years, announced his move in June 2016, almost a year after the release of his Italia album of Neapolitan songs. Though no details have yet been announced by Sony, his first release has been given as mid-to-late 2017.
With Kaufmann, Flórez and now Alagna, Sony can now boast a trifecta that is the modern equivalent of Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras, all Universal artists when The Three Tenors were formed in 1990. Domingo, the only original member of the Three Tenors still recording, himself signed to Sony back in 2011.