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Verdi - Rigoletto / Luciano Pavarotti, Ingvar Wixell, Edita Gruberova, Victoria Vergara, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Riccardo Chailly

4.5 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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(Jul 04, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Luciano Pavarotti, Ingvar Wixell, and Edita Gruberova star in this Verdi opera filmed on location in 1981 in Italian Renaissance landmarks including the Castello di San Giorgio in Mantua, the Piazza Duomo in Cremona, and the Teatro Farnese in Parma. Ricca

Special Features

  • Sung in Italian with optional Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, and Chinese subtitles

Product Details

  • Actors: G. Verdi, Wiener Opera Philharmoniker, Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Italian (DTS 5.1), Italian (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: July 4, 2006
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EQHHJW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,326 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Verdi - Rigoletto / Luciano Pavarotti, Ingvar Wixell, Edita Gruberova, Victoria Vergara, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Riccardo Chailly" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
This video is not Rigoletto at Verona, it is the opera produced as a film in Mantua, the actual setting of the opera. The town, the river, and the splendid ducal palace are the settings for what is really a gorgeous and thrilling production. In addition to Pavarotti as the duke, the cast features Ingmar Wixell as a superb Rigoletto and Edita Gruberova as an ethereal and convincing Gilda. The horrors of the story are powerfully and movingly played out through tremendous singing and a terrific production job. Fabulous, and haunting.
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Format: DVD
Okay, first off, it's a FILM version of the opera, so one can't quite judge it by the standards of a recorded live opera. After being a devoted opera fan for over 20 years, I need to mention that ANYONE, not only "newbies" will enjoy it. What I immediately noticed was the fact that the opera score is here without omissions, a problem that haunts many attempts of making a good opera film. "Otello" or "La Traviata", for instance, are superbly staged, but they suffer from many scene omissions, which can be upsetting to the fans. Not the case here, at least I could not find any without having to retrieve my copy of the score and compare it line by line.
The absolute revelation for me was Mr. Ingwar Wixell. I've heard his voice many times, particularly on early Verdi recordings brought to life by Lamberto Gardelli. Well, here he sounds even better, plus he proves himself as one of the best singing actors I've ever seen. At the first scene at Duke's palace, Rigoletto is plain disgusting, no wonder Monterone curses him. By the way, Monterone is played by Wixell as well, and I was surprised by the sonority and great low register that his baritone is able to produce. Later, he's a obsessively loving father and a mischievous "vendicator". Loved Feruccio Furlanetto's Sparafucile! I could not believe it was him under all that makeup, but the pitch-black quality of his voice is unmistakable. Edita Gruberova has long been one of the world's leading high coloratura sopranos. Indeed, to be able to accurately negotiate Gilda's tessitura, one needs a spectacular high range. Sutherland also had that kind of high register, but Gruberova was a better choice cinematically, I suppose. Still, I wished for a subtler portrait of Gilda, but it had to do.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is an excellent performance of Verdi's "Rigoletto" based upon Vicor Hugo's "L'Roi S'Amuse (The King Amuses Himself) and is one of his finest operas. From start of finish this is a masterpiece. All the singers are well-polished and highly convincing. Ingvar Wixell's portrayal of the deformed court jester Rigoletto (renamed from Hugo's "Triboletto") in the court of Mantua was the best that I have ever seen. Pavarotti, who plays the Duke himself, is in top form as always (although such a pudgy Don Juan may seem slightly out-of-place, his acting is superb), and Edita Gruberova does as astounding job as Gilda, Rigoletto's daughter. The settings look genuine, the music is excellent and Wixell truly manages to capture the pain and humiliation of a man forced into being a fool by his deformities and social position. The history of the opera makes for an interesting study in censorship as well. Hugo himself preferred this opera to his own story that it was based on! The quartet at the end is partuclalry memorable and the murderer was so scuzzy and grungy looking that he was almost comical, although his deep bass was beautiful. Finely acted, visually appealing and great music. What more could one ask for?
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Real opera lovers are a wee tad finicky, as the one- and two-star reviews of this DVD demonstrate. Real opera lovers seem to have a Platonic Ideal of the opera in their cavernous consciousnesses, a template of what Joe Verdi intended, from which any deviation is risky. Real opera lovers don't take well to 'film' productions of their idolized operas. Even if they are now ultra-pecunious enough to sit in the orchestra, they recall their youthful evenings in 'paradise' (the highest balcony) as the best of their lives, and they need that distant, almost inaudible timbre in the tenor's voice to sustain their enthusiasm. Real opera lovers KNOW whose performance, attested only by repute or perhaps by a tinny recording, was sans pareil for all time.

Me? I'm just a guy who goes to the opera for the fun of it, and I'm ready to be pleased. I'm also a musician by trade, which leads me to cut quite a lot of slack for the professional sisters and brothers, and inclines me to care more about the sounds I hear, the music itself, than about the staging or acting. Yes yes, I know opera as an art aspires to totality, to the sublime unison of drama and music. But realistically, friends, the unison is most often imbalanced: wonderful music, dopey libretto. Can you earnestly argue otherwise? Particularly about the operas of Giuseppe Verdi?

Case in point: Rigoletto! The script is a squalid and improbable melodrama. Without music, it would be snored off the stage. Rigoletto is a horrid little beast, deformed as much in mind as in body, and he's more convincingly gullible than devious. The Duke of Mantua is an odious tyrant. Everyone in the cast is besotted with evil except Gilda, Rigoletto's cloistered daughter, whose purity of being must be taken on faith.
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Verdi - Rigoletto / Luciano Pavarotti, Ingvar Wixell, Edita Gruberova, Victoria Vergara, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Riccardo Chailly
This item: Verdi - Rigoletto / Luciano Pavarotti, Ingvar Wixell, Edita Gruberova, Victoria Vergara, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Riccardo Chailly
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