Verdi: Rigoletto, The Metropolitan Opera
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Piotr Beczala was a perfect duke, singing with style and the smiling assurance of a guy who knows he looks good in a dinner jacket (Bloomberg.com)
Piotr Beczala as the Duke was a breezy, sleazy leader of the Rat Pack, a Frank Sinatra-type lurching from bender to hookup. His arias were winning and convincing ... (Washington Times)
New DG signing, one of the greatest tenors in the world, Piotr Beczala, is the womanizing Duke in this new production of Verdis Rigoletto from the Metropolitan Opera.
Zeljko Lueiæ sings the title role and Diana Damrau sings Rigolettos daughter Gilda
This DVD release appears in the Verdi year 2013, as music lovers around the world celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Italys beloved composer
Director Michael Mayer has placed his new production of Verdis towering tragedy in Las Vegas in 1960 an ideal setting for this eternal conflict of depravity and innocence
[Piotr Beczala is] one of todays most exciting young singers . . . Tall, trim and handsome, with a Hollywood smile, he also emits some of the most beautiful sounds to be heard on the current opera stage. (Opera News)
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The absolute highlight was the "Bella figlia dell'amore" quartet....and Oksana Volkova and Stefan Kocan deserve special mention in this regard.
All in all....superb!
Everything from the Duke in a white dinner jacket to Sparafucille, the assassin, in his lair with a pole dancer worked. Friends looks at me blank stares when I told them Gilda was found not in a canal, but in the trunk of a Cadillac!
The Met always has perfect casts, the music is always glorious, and most of the time the sets are works of genius. Not always, but in this case YES!
Do not be turned away by what you think of a modernized Rigoletto. Relax, let yourself go, and enjoy.
Somehow I felt I understood the plot better after seeing this version, even though I have seen Rigoletto many times in the opera house. The cognoscenti are calling this the "Rat Pack Rigoletto".
Finally, it's the Duke of Juan Diego Florez which puts the frosting on the this delicious cake. He sang this role first in Lima, and followed it up in this Dresden production. He reportedly decided after these Dresden "Rigoletto" performances that he didn't feel "vocally comfortable" with it (this role is somewhat weightier than the Rossini-Bellini-Donizetti "bel canto" operas that he specializes in) and has not undertaken it since. While I commend him for the care and attention he pays to his magnificent "tenore di grazia" vocal endowment, I can emphatically say that he sounds as fabulous as ever without a hint of strain or effort. His Duke is truly young, energetic, and superbly sung. Florez may well again decide to sing this role at a later time, but how fortunate that he is captured here on this great DVD.
I cannot recommend this performance strongly enough. Yes ---- it's THAT good!
Most recent customer reviews
I am normally not a fan of updating settings and costumes to this level of extreme, but this production works brilliantly.Mad Men: Season 1Read more