I love opera and Verdi. Rigoletto is one of my favourites for many reasons the most obvious being the amazing music but also for the vivid and complex characterisation of Rigoletto and for the dark, moving story. This production is excellent, the orchestra are superb and play with intensity and ferocity particularly during Cortigiani and the final trio, likewise with the conducting.
The costumes and sets look beautiful and the lighting is suitably atmospheric particularly in act 3 while not falling into the trap of being too dimly lit(unlike productions of Il Trovatore I've seen). Staging is very effective, Rigoletto and Gilda are very tender and the meeting between Rigoletto and Sparafucile spine-tingling but I was most impressed with the staging of the Quartet, all very expressive and understated.
The performances are terrific. Patricia Wise is very good as Gilda, and while past prime Alfredo Kraus brings everything he is admired for(beautiful phrasing and ringing top just being two of these) to the role of the Duke of Mantua. Miguel A.Zapater is a sinister Sparafucile, but I have to give top honours to John Rawnsley's superb and very moving Rigoletto.
All in all, excellent. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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