He may look like a punk rocker, but Alexander Gradsky, a Russian tenor whose voice has a range of 3 1/2 octaves, is also a singer of arias from classical operas. Known throughout the former Soviet Union as a singer, composer and poet, and named Best Voice of Russia, Gradsky, who also plays 12 musical instruments, will be making his solo recital debut Friday at Carnegie Hall.
Although this is his first New York performance, the singer is not new to the United States or to American performers. John Denver - whom Gradsky met in Hollywood and with whom he performed in Moscow in 1984* (when they recorded Denver's "Let Us Begin") - gave the tenor his guitar. Now the man who has been dubbed in the West as the "phantom of the Russian opera" is bringing Denver's guitar to New York. "I want John Denver's guitar to play again in his homeland," said Gradsky.
(This article is accompanied by a picture of Gradsky, long hair flowing and wearing dark glasses, playing what I assume is the guitar John gave him.)
(*Actually, it was 1986 when they recorded "Let Us Begin".)