Abu Dhabi: The voices were overwhelming as tenor Roberto Alagna and soprano Nathalie Manfrino, along with the Syrian National Orchestra under the guidance of Maestro Giorgio Croci, entranced showgoers during their performance at the Emirates Palace Auditorium recently.

Their performance was presented by Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation as part of French Season, which is organised by the French Embassy and the Caisse des Dépôts.

Alagna immediately set the tone for the evening with a powerful performance of Vainement Pharaon from the opera Joseph by Mehul. He also sang J'ai perdu mon Eurydice from Orphee et Eurydice by Gluck.

While at first it seemed that Alagna might overshadow Manfrino, she dispelled any doubts with moving and captivating performances of Fotune ennemie, also from Orphee et Eurydice, and Dis-moi que je suis belle from Thaïs by Massenet.

The Syrian National Orchestra's superb performances of the overture from Orphee et Eurydice and Mediation from Thaïs allowed the audience to rest their eardrums.

However, the duets chosen, Viens suis un epoux from Orphee et Eurydice, and Oh messager de Dieu& from Thaïs seemed not to be a good fit. Both singers' voices are exceptional in their range and strength, and seemed as though they were overpowering each other and the orchestra.

Ever the perfectionist, Alagna insisted on re-doing Oh messager de Dieu& because he felt that it was not up to par. "I would like to repeat this because it was not perfect and I want to present a perfect performance," he explained to a slightly confused audience.

The second half of the evening progressed much more smoothly, with the duets Ange adorable and Va! Je t'ai pardonne from Romeo et Juilette by Gounod saw Alagna and Manfrino give poignant and delicate performances that was greatly received by the audience. Alagna surprised the audience once again when he appeared on stage and began to spray something that was at first thought to be perfume before Alagna clarified that it was eucalyptus spray for his throat.