Low note: Tenor blames Milan pollution for cancelling La Scala

Low note: Tenor blames Milan pollution for cancelling La Scala


norman lebrecht

April 08, 2019

Message from Marcelo Alvarez:

Dear Friends,

I am so sorry that I had to renounce to the last two performances of Manon Lescaut at the ‘Teatro alla Scala’ due to an allergic lung thickening caused by environmental pollution but now in the process of recovery. I hope to heal completely in the established healing times for this disease and return to sing as soon as possible.

With love



  • Anonymous says:

    Yup, pollution. That’ll be it. Absolutely. Nothing to do with his shonky technique…

  • Alexander says:

    to my ears he was in fact the best spinto tenor in the world, apparently he still is.

    • Manon says:

      If he had psychological stability and a decent technique, maybe he could be! Sadly, it is not the case, and his outstanding voice cannot do everything on its own – regardless of illnesses.

  • Novagerio says:

    The “Milanese pollution” was as bad in the golden days of Mario del Monaco, Franco Corelli, Giuseppe di Stefano and Carlo Bergonzi…

    • Steven Larsen says:

      Give him a break. He didn’t say he canceled because of the pollution, but because of an allergic reaction to the pollution.

      • Bruce says:

        NL for some reason seems to enjoy framing headlines to make singers look like prima donnas, particularly if they are tenors or sopranos. Allergies, food poisoning, etc. are all made to look like transparent excuses, where the real reason, clearly, is “I am a giant baby.”

  • barry guerrero says:

    Lung ailments are nothing to laugh about. There’s no, “tough it out, it’ll be fine” scenario to them. I know. For musicians who rely on wind, it can be work ending.

  • me! says:

    I am so sorry to hear of his Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis and some stupid uninformed people’s comments. I hope he is able to heal fully and well from this, and being on the alert to it prevent future occurrences. He is such a charming artist, seems such a nice man, I do nothing but support him in this health issue.

  • Singers as humans says:

    I think non singers on this chat and all blogs should not add snarky comments about these things until they walk in the shoes of a singer. The act of singing is an incredibly high art form, physically as well as everything else and as a professional singer myself, even with long term study and technique and all of it, we are not SUPER HUMAN. We are still human beings, are subjected to all sorts of things since we carry our instruments everywhere and are subject to EVERYTHING. Until you can sing like the person you are criticizing, you have no place to comment nastily. Please treat singers like human beings with some compassion, we are not machines!!!