Last night I attended the San Francisco Opera's Rigoletto
with the second cast: Marco Vratogna as Rigoletto, Albina Shagimuratova as Gilda and Arturo Chacón-Cruz as The Duke of Mantua.
Vritogna is the same guy who sang Iago in 2009
. I thought his voice was a bit light for Verdi then, and I almost still do now. Looking at his performance history, professionals in the business don't seem to share this opinion. He sings a lot of Verdi. Rigoletto
is considered early middle Verdi, almost bel canto, and can be sung lighter than Otello
. Vritogna was the best of the cast, and when the role called for him to rise, he rose to meet it. His "Cortigiani" was conducted a bit fast by Maestro Luisotti, but was intense and lyrical nevertheless. As a human being, Rigoletto is a mess. He already hated his boss before the deflowering of his daughter, but deep down inside he is very warm and sweet. We saw this in this performance.
Shagimuratova was Queen of the Night in the recent Flute
. I liked her a lot more as Gilda. Perhaps a curvy softness fits her character better than the sharp corners of Queen. The tenor was ok, I guess. My friend liked him. I thought he sounded muffled. The chorus was terrific.
I put in this picture of the staging so you can see the low stimulus nature of the sets and costumes. Roman arches. Occasional patches of color. That's it. The acting was also very low stimulus. Lots of standing around doing nothing. I've been watching Eurotrash a lot lately, and they keep everyone pretty busy and the sets quite messy. They are going for high stimulus, low cost.
Something odd is going on at the San Francisco Opera. Until September 29 nothing is playing except Rigoletto
. After that it gradually evolves back into the normal style for a repertory house, which is what the San Francisco Opera has always been.
It is important to know there were a lot of empty seats.
[See Kinderkuchen History 1850-70
I completely disagree. By your definition, you are insinuating that La Scala is a second class house. That is a ridiculous claim. In fact, many people would consider La Scala to be as good if not better than the Met.
Stagione works in Europe simply because of the abundance of opera houses and classical music venues. In most cities in the US (i.e. except NYC), if the major opera house does not produce multiple operas in a week, one has no other option.
Also, repertory can mean many things as well. European houses include other forms of art such as ballet and dance in their schedule, using the same theater. Though they may have only one opera, they have to switch this for other types of performances.
My experience of opera doesn't include a lot of Italian houses. Indoors I have been only to the Rome opera which is stagione. They run an opera, then rehearse the next one. Perhaps they have no rehearsal stages. If you arrive at the wrong time, there is nothing playing. In the winter there are no other houses in Rome. I go to Rome for love, not opera.
At the Arena di Verona they move the sets out into the parking lot when another opera is playing. I haven't been to La Scala. My guess is that stagione is the Italian tradition. This matches the Wikipedia article.
Outside of Italy even the Ulmer Theater was repertory, and the rotation included plays and ballet. There was a rehearsal stage in the attic. I think they are under new management.
The Zurich Opera is repertory. The Wiener Staatsoper is repertory. The ROH is repertory. And, yes, many of these rotations include ballet.
The Paris opera now uses two houses. The short time I was there I saw three operas and a ballet--two in Bastille, two in Garnier.
In America the Met is repertory and San Francisco has always been repertory. Sacramento Opera, Berkeley Opera, these types of companies are all stagione. Our tradition is different from Italy. The places I have been outside of Italy are all repertory.
It has been said that Gockley is doing this thing with Rigoletto because it costs money to move sets. I think the empty seats say everything.
His "Cortigiani" was conducted a bit fast by Maestro Luisotti, but was intense and lyrical nevertheless. As a human being, Rigoletto is a mess. He already hated his boss before the deflowering of his daughter, but deep down inside he is very warm and sweet. Great stuff!
Post a Comment