Alex Luna first presented himself to the Ukrainian public on 9 November last year when he launched his first video ‘The Moonlight’ in Arena nightclub. Alex, however, doesn’t like the term ‘rising star’ saying, “I’ve been in showbiz for a long time now, since I was in my early teens. Mostly I’ve performed at corporate parties, and such events are largely governed by business of course, which was a good educational platform for me to learn the ways of the world.” Regardless of his time-served status, he piqued everyone’s curiosity when he launched his video due to his extravagant eyecatching image and the fact that he sings a very sweet countertenor – the male equivalent of soprano. As we all know, showbiz rubs shoulders with big business, and on many occasions the business element is far stronger than any artistic elements. So with such a strong image, and such an unusual voice, the first thing I wanted to know was how much of all this was really him, especially the voice. Alex seemed unnerved by the question, but after a glance towards his manager, he relaxed and denied any such allegations. “I could not imagine how anyone could perform to someone else’s voice. The Russian Duma adopted a law saying any artists who perform using canned music will be put in prison. I wish we had a similar law here in Ukraine.” We can’t comment on his view of the Russian pop penal system, but there is a ring of truth to his statement, and when one remembers his words at his first press conference when he said, “I want to make opera popular with the Ukrainian people,” we should maybe give him the benefit of the doubt. The art of opera is, to a large extent, beyond the understanding of the general public, and for it to be reborn it needs an exquisite character. Alex Luna is such a person and with his fashionable style, and feminine good looks, if anyone can re-popularise the art, he can. There is no doubt his first video, directed by Anhel Garcia (who has worked with the likes of Madonna) and including the phenomenal Todes Ballet, was a first class effort. “I am very demanding when it comes to everything around me: friends, clothes, style. I think it’s an important quality for any man, and even more so when it comes to music. The new video, however, due for release towards the end of March, is directed by a Ukrainian filmmaker and won’t feature any celebrities except the singer himself. “I think the first one went far enough down that road. The singer himself must eventually catch the eye of the viewer, and not to use other stars to get people watching. Having said that, I would quite like to see some top Russian celebrities in my videos, but I know I haven’t reached that level yet. But I am working on it,” Alex explains. His new video tells the story of famous skaters of both modern and Soviet times, with performances from two young and yet unknown ice-dancers. While Alex may be demanding when it comes to those he works with, this does not extend to his audience. “I will perform to any audience if it likes me. I don’t care whether it is in Zhytomyr or La Scala.” This view is refreshing and it shows the young man has an outstanding love for performing and for his audience. At the moment, Alex doesn’t really see he has much competition in Ukraine, and he is sorry for the fact. “I would like to have more people I felt I was competing with. It would give me the desire to work harder, which in turn would allow me to develop more rapidly. The absence of any real competition can make an artist relaxed and a little lazy.”
Expanding His Repertoire
Alex is currently working on his first album, and when asked if all the songs will be operatic in style, he says he doesn’t rule out the inclusion of pop. “I don’t mind if there are some pop songs on there. We aren’t that strict with the orientation of the music. I simply perform the songs I love,” he says, which is a sensible approach to take when it comes to young, up and coming singers. And if he moves into the pop arena, he will find himself faced with the tough competition he so desperately wants. Before the release of his first video, Alex was known to only a very few people, but now his popularity has rocketed which has left him facing a very tough schedule. “People recognise me on the street now, and just about everywhere I go. They stop me and ask me to sign cards and the like. It is very flattering. I like
He piqued everyone’s curiosity when he launched his video due to his extravagant eye-catching image and the fact that he sings a very sweet countertenor – the male equivalent of soprano
it, and I don’t believe those artists who say it bothers them,” he says, expressing a genuine affection for his fans. The next move for Alex is to head east to Volgograd to perform at a special event dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the battle of Stalingrad (the Soviet name for the city). “The battle changed the political map of Europe and was a landmark in Soviet history. I’ve got a long term relationship with the event, and it’s a great honour for me to take part in it especially when guests will be coming from all over the world to see it. Russian president Vladimir Putin will also address the audience, and I am really looking forward to singing for him. I’ll be there representing the wonderful city of Kyiv,” he says, excitedly. “After Russia, conquering Europe comes next,” Alex declares, proving what an ambitious chap he is. “Don’t be surprised. I’ve had the desire to be a star since I was very young. I was born with it.” The one thing noticeable about Alex, is that behind all the image, designer clothes and the rest, there is a regular guy just trying to make his wishes come true. “I like bars and discos, but it is rare for me these days to get out with my friends. Usually, I have had such a tiring week that I just stay home at the weekends and catch up on my sleep,” he laughs. There is no doubt Alex’s style and voice make him stand out from the crowd, but no one can know for sure if the Ukrainian audience will embrace him as completely as he hopes. People here have become accustomed to the norm, and anything that shakes their world, as Alex certainly does, may just be a little too much for them. However, anyone who has the guts to try and raise awareness and popularise opera has our respect!