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Verdi: Rigoletto [Blu-ray] (2006)

 NR |  Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

Price: $9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: Italian, French, Spanish, Korean
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Arthaus
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008O2T3O0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,199 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

An exhilarating live recording from the Opernhaus Zurich stars acclaimed baritone Leo Nucci as the namesake of the opera, alongside the inimitable Elena Mosuc as his daughter Gilda, Piotr Beczala as the Duke of Mantua, and Lazslo Polgar as Sparafucile. Another 130+ minutes of samples from 45 opera, ballet, and documentary productions on Blu-ray make this an even more attractive!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rigoletto--film or staged version ? April 20, 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
For many opera fans the favourite Rigoletto on dvd remains the 1983 film version starring the young Pavarotti as the dashing Duke, his irrepressible singing and high spirits contrasting sharply with the gut wrenching wretchedness of the jester played by Wixell almost to perfection,and of course the inimitable Gruberova as Gilda the jester's daughter.(For me this together with the Domingo/Migenes 'Carmen', and the Domingo/Stratas 'La Traviata' represents the best of opera films). Now comes the 2006 production of Rigoletto, staged by the Zurich Opera House with Chorus and Orchestra wonderfully conducted by Santi, recorded in High-Definition and transfered to an Arthaus Blu Ray disc of breathtaking quality. I'm not exaggerating. Even by today's Hi-Def standards, the picture quality here is simply stunning: inky blackness, realistic night time scenes accurately rendered with proper light and shadow effects, atmospheric blue lighting, and the sets and costumes show up in vivid pop-up colours with razor sharp contrasts. The audio is no less exemplary, with the DTS HD MA 7.1 presenting a wide and believable soundstage within which the singers' voices are clearly 'imaged'. No balance problems here. In fact, this disc is technically a near reference recording which will warm the hearts of audiopliles and videophiles everywhere. But what about the performance itself? Well, here Leo Nucci steals the show, his rich and dark-toned voice and excellent vocal characterisation both satisfy and convince. In Act 1, he is the cynical court jester and is nasty cockiness personified. Come Act 2, his is the voice of the enraged father hell bent on vengeance against his Duke and in the final Act we hear the sobs of a broken man cradling his dying daughter Gilda. Read more ›
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This is too brief to be called a review, and I intend to come back with something more substantial. But for the moment.

We are in a period where directors far too often want to modernize the setting; sometimes it works, other times it is terrible misjudgement. Then there are productions geared to display a star performer. And so often producers/directors forget that if the composer wrote a work in the form of an opera, it was intended to be seen, so the acting, both visual and through the singing, is an important part of the production. This has, in the past, not always been given its due.

Well in this production, none of these failings are present. First, let me say, a composer wrote his opera for the stage, and that is where it should be performed. This production boasts a cast of uniform excellence, where the beautiful singing of Verdi's great score rates among the very best. But the performers, soloists and chorus have been directed to fully bring out the dramatic aspects as well, i.e., to act as well as sing. Musically, both chorus and orchestra are in top form, under a conductor who has a full grasp of the total perspective of the score, both musically and dramatically.

Sets and costumes cannot be faulted, and all is enhanced by excellent lighting design. All of this gushing is due to the fact that it is rare to find all the elements of an opera production at such a uniformly high standard and unified so that not one thing stands out and hits you as "not quite right", and nothing emerges above the totality to warrant special praise. There are operas I have reviewed with enthusiasm, but few have created the impression this performance gives (and it isn't even one of my favorite Verdi operas).
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection October 11, 2009
Format:Blu-ray
I've only recently been buying opera on blu-ray, and this is by far the best I've seen. Very often, when one sees contemporary opera on DVD, a viewer finds himself sitting through a "Euro-trash" version of the opera, where the director runs riot, ignoring the original intentions of the composer and librettist, and doing nothing except drawing attention to himself. But here is a Rigoletto that I imagine Verdi would have loved. Combined with exemplary audio and sound, it would be hard to give a higher recommendation to this disc.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
This review is of the specially priced issue of a previously issued full-priced disc. It comes with a great number of bonus samplers of other Arthaus releases so, in effect, this disc also acts as an Arthaus advertisement. It is important to be sure to buy the much cheaper version rather than the full-priced issue, which is still available, as the Rigoletto part on both discs is identical.

The performance is very secure with good solo singing by the experienced Leo Nucci as Rigoletto, Piotr Beczala as the duke plus two attractive female leads in Elena Mosuc as Gilda and Katharina Peetz as Maddalena. Laszio Polgar is a suitably dark Sparafucile. The other solo parts are also reliable as is the chorus.

The staging and production could be described as traditional and verging on the effective minimalist. The camera work is very clear and of good colour definition. The sound is presented in DTS 7.1 and stereo and is also very clear. The orchestra plays well under the firm guidance of Nello Santi.

For many this has proved to be close to the ideal performance, production and recording. There are others who disagree and have suggested that this is rather a routine performance with poor acting, only passable singing and generally dull. The full range of reactions is fully documented by many reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic.

I personally feel that this is better than just routine but, for me, it is all just a bit too clean - some might describe it as lacking in the necessary nastiness. This is not a nice story. The duke is amoral and presides over a dissolute court. Abduction and rape is commonplace (see Gilda's treatment) as is 'legalised' murder (see Monterone's fate) and contract killing (see Rigoletto/Sparafucile).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Not A Bad Actor Among Them.
I loved this production from beginning to end. Leo Nucci as Rigoletto is a treasure; Elena Mosuc has it all- beauty, talent, and stage presence. Read more
Published 3 months ago by jutta joines
2.0 out of 5 stars At first I thought this production was a parody, but it's not
For about the first 20 minutes or so, I thought that this opera was a parody, that some change of scenery, some *Verwandlung* would soon reveal this to be a production within a... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Stephen McLeod
2.0 out of 5 stars Static
This production seems to me to be very static, and the singers might as well be doing this work in concert mode. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Htwaits
3.0 out of 5 stars I did not like Gilda...
I keep posting this complaint, but I mean, for Blu Ray or DVD, the characters should be believable in my opinion. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Goldberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent opera on DVD
Great singers, excellent audio/video. Staging hard to understand due to director's decisions re costumes. Otherwise excellent performance and wonderful entertainment
Published 18 months ago by Zoltan Annau
4.0 out of 5 stars Sobria
La representación es sobria, sencilla: ofrece todo el escenario para que Elena Mosuc, la soprano, se luzca. Poco expresivo y poco convincente Leo Nucci.
Published 19 months ago by Doris
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth THe Price.
This was most enjoyable in that the HD 7.1 sound and HD video was truly fine as was the stage direction,sets lighting,orchestral performance and conductiong. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Chuckroast
1.0 out of 5 stars No subtitles
The product said their would be English subtitles and if their is it's difficult to do. Very disappointing, looks like it would've been very nice.
Published 20 months ago by asantino
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than I expected
Leo Nucci has been around for many years and has not made too many recordings recently. I was not sure what to expect as Rigoletto is no easy opera to produce. Read more
Published 20 months ago by John Chandler
4.0 out of 5 stars Close to Perfection - if it weren't for the acting
There is very little that i can add to what has already been said about this disc. But i just wanted to add my two cents. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Juan Morales
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