Leading Italian tenor Alessandro Safina takes to the stage of the Theatre of Qatar National Convention Centre on the evening of Tuesday 8 October 2013, accompanied by a full orchestra.
Safina's breakthrough took place in The Netherlands in November 2000, when he performed at the prestigious "The Night Of The Proms" celebration. Following this performance, his single LUNA stayed at the top of the charts for 14 weeks.
He has since toured Asia alongside soprano Sarah Brightman and has shared the stage with fellow tenor Jose Carreras.
The 49-year-old has performed in front of the Queen Elizabeth II in London and recorded Elton John’s Your Song with actor Ewan McGregor for the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s film Moulin Rouge.
Ahead of his visit, artsQatar caught up with Alessandro and asked him a few questions about his forthcoming visit.
Q: You perform around the world - how do audiences differ, and in what way are they similar?
A: I think there’s no very big difference between the audiences, only in the way they let you know their appreciation.
In the Eastern countries for example, people express their joy and gratitude for an artist only at the end of a concert. If you don’t know, you may have the impression that your performance is not very appreciated… but then, at the end there’s the explosion!
Other audiences show their great enthusiasm from the very beginning. I think that the reaction of the public depends on the artist as well.
Q: What are you expecting from a Doha audience? Indeed, what are you expecting of Doha? Has it registered on your consciousness prior to knowing you were coming here to perform?
A: I was in Doha for a concert some years ago and I still cherish the memories. I think I have a very nice and varied concert program for you in mind of which I hope it will be highly appreciated by my audience in Doha. As always, I’ll do my utmost to make the concert a success.
Q: How aware are you of Arabic music, if at all? When you're not performing yourself, what sort of music do you listen to?
A: I like all kinds of music, Arabic music too. It sounds different, but very fascinating and charming. I love Haifa’s music, I listened to her songs lots of times, it would be a pleasure to make a duet with her.
But, in general, if the quality is good, I listen to many kinds of music.
Q: What attracted you to developing a career as a tenor? How influenced were you by other Italian singers and composers?
A: It was certainly a great Italian baritone from my native city Siena, Ettore Bastianini. He was one of the most beautiful voices of all times – a great artist. He has made me appreciate opera since I was a kid and given me the wish to become a singer. I still often listen to him.
Q: How important is image - and in particular breaking the image of a tenor being a large gentleman in formal attire?
A: The image is more and more important these days in every form of expression, so I think that a tenor should try to have a certain kind of image too. But, to be honest, I haven’t thought a lot about it or tried to find a certain image… I think it’s best to stay natural!
Q: The concert in Doha will mark the first time that many in the audience will have seen you live. What sort of show can we expect from you?
A: During my concert I will sing some of my own hit songs, as well as classical Italian and Neapolitan songs, like O Sole Mio and Volare. But also some international songs; the program will be very varied.
Q: What makes a show a particularly good one for you - one that gives you a sense of satisfaction at the end of the night?
A: Obviously, a very happy and satisfied audience!
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