Member of the cher public ellerveira informs La Cieca:
Juan Diego Florez has given several very fascinating interviews to the Spanish media while in Madrid for his two recitals that will replace his canceled performance of Rigoletto. He explained in some detail why he stopped singing Rigoletto (tessitura too low for his voice and if he kept doing it he feared it might damage his ability to sing his accustomed roles). He always tries to rest for at least two days between performances, something recommended to him by Pavarotti (which would explain why he canceled one of his London performances).
He went on to talk about the economic crisis and opera. Some houses are cutting back, especially in Italy, and asking singers to take cuts in their fees or to sing, say, eight performances for the price of seven. He hasn’t had any of his engagements cancelled but he has accommodated some requests for lower fees. Opera houses will at times give some financial aid to singers when they are having difficulties and singers in return need to cooperate financially with opera houses.
At the beginning of his career singers had little leverage with houses where the producers and stage designers controlled everything; now however popular singers have more say in matters since they bring in the customers. But singers now have to be as perfect as possible all the time since performances are recorded by people in the audience and almost immediately are made public on the Internet. He has sung at 8 in the evening and gotten an email from a fan with the performance on You Tube at midnight; thus singers have effectively lost control of publicizing what they do.
Other fascinating bits were his confessing that he could not eat Peruvian food before a performance since that would put him to sleep; instead he often has boiled quinoa, a kind of porridge; that one has to sleep at least eight hours before doing Rossini’s Otello, etc., etc. For those who read Spanish one of the interviews is here.