This summary contains the complete plot of the opera Rigoletto by Guiseppi Verdi. Rigoletto is a jester in the court of the Duke of Mantua. He has a hunch-back and he's rather unattractive,... See full summary »
This is one of the best performances of Figaro in recordings. Bohm's conducting is superb, it's an outstanding cast overall, they work well together, and the recorded sound is great. The only drawback to this tape is that the arias were recorded separately and lip-synched (or, often, not even lip synched) in the video. I guess Ponelle's idea was to convey the concept that the arias were the thoughts of the character, and not spoken aloud. However, the effect is distressing, particularly Cherubino's first aria. Notwithstanding, the voices are all solid here. Prey [Figaro] has a wonderfully hearty voice and plays the character with swagger. Freni [Susanna] is the embodiment of the sweet servent girl who gets wised up to the facts of life. Fischer-Diskau is great as the menacing count. Listen to the duet scenes between him and Freni, they've both taken such care to blend in together. The Countess is one of Te Kanawa's signature roles, and she plays the part elegantly. Also, the duet's with her and Freni are particularly wonderful. If they took the soundtrack to this film, and put it on CD, it'd be the best CD recording of this work. If you can deal with the lip synch, you'll really like this.
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