Conductor; Alexander Joel
Duke of Mantua:
My local cinema brought me Rigoletto
from the ROH in London. They are attempting a realistic Rigoletto
. The duke's court is an actual orgy with nudity and obvious sexual brutality. No wonder Rigoletto wants to keep his daughter away from them. Usually the duke makes it with everyone but the rest of the court are relatively well behaved. The story makes a lot more sense this way.
Michael was his usual fantastic self, but vocally I didn't get excited about the other singers. If you want to understand this opera, this is the one.
We had about 50 people at our local Denver "art" theater. I found the production trashy and quite unnecessary (and I'm definitely not a prude!), but here was yet another example where the brilliance of Verdi's music can overcome even the worst stage design. My wife and I disagreed vehemently (but politely) regarding Crowe's voice. She felt the soprano's upper register was weak, but I thought she was very good. I began a snarky comment by saying, "Maybe if you didn't only listen to Anna Moffo sing this role...", but then thought it best not to continue. Did you like the presenter? I thought she was quite annoying, although I could have listened to the Maestro Joel discuss this opera for at least another 30 minutes! He offered some terrific insights. While Platanias managed to pull off that hideous outfit and acting style without detracting from his singing, I had a hard time imagining Hvorostovky (who reportedly was expected to share this role prior to his death) lowering his dignity sufficiently to wear that costume.
The presenter is their standard announcer. Maybe she's from the BBC. Dmitri would wear it but you wouldn't believe it.
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