Cultural Life: Marcelo Alvarez, opera singer

Books
I am studying my contractual rights as an opera singer, so I am reading a lot of legal books, covering all of Europe. I read The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I've always been interested in philosophical and religious themes in books, and I studied these subjects at university. I enjoyed the way the author put Mary Magdalene back in the spotlight because the importance of the role of women in the Church is often ignored.

Music
I bought a sound system for my home in Tortona, Italy, and loaded it with more than 300 albums from the 1970s and 1980s. There is Rod Stewart, The Police, Queen, Pink Floyd, Kiss, Phil Collins, Paul Williams, the Alan Parsons Project and the American rock band Boston; I listened to them a lot when I was a DJ before I started my career in opera. They are probably the best band I've ever heard. I am also trying to collect all the videos for these bands.

Film
I like to watch dramatic films that make me cry. One was Munich by Steven Spielberg about the 1972 Olympic Games, when 11 Israeli athletes were killed by a Palestinian terrorist group. I don't go to the cinema very often because I don't have time. I only go if it is with my son, Lautaro, who's nine, to the Disney movies. I watch DVDs at home, especially from the 1960s. I love the spaghetti westerns. My favourite is the 1968 Sergio Leone film Once Upon a Time in the West.

Theatre/opera
I go to musicals when I'm in New York, such as Baz Luhrmann's production of La Bohème – although I saw The Phantom of the Opera in London. It is difficult to go as often as I would like because I don't like to go to musicals alone. I'm always on my own as I'm working. I'm never at home. But if I find somebody to go with I always go.

Visual arts
When I was in London for Tosca, I went to Caravaggio: The Final Years at the National Gallery. I love him. He is the best painter ever. The way he portrays people so vividly and naturally is something that I can't put into words.

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