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Verdi;Giuseppe Rigoletto [Import]

Leo Nucci , Inva Mula , Pierre Cavasillas , Rosina Stefanini    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive June 20 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One always rates any performance of Rigoletto against that done by Pavarotti, Sutherland and Milne back in 1971, it simply cannot be helped. Even so, this version does not disappoint.

Although it seemed to start a little on the weak side, you could hear the performers coming into their voices as the show progressed sounding stronger and more pronounced. Why they don't mike everyone is still frustrating but you forgive this as the you are entertained with a noteworthy presentation.

Marcelo Alvarez's gave not his best performance but he pulls it off quite effectively. As Verdi is such a demanding composer it is a true pleasure to hear a soprano like Schafer pick up the gauntlet and hold her own . Gavanelli as Rigoletto is outstanding. Be prepared for some stellar acting on his part. The quartet is done to near perfection.

The set design was very good and the debauchery of the court was depicted well. As this is my favorite opera, and as previously mentioned I judge it against the greatest performance ever I came away with goosebumps and tears.

Worth the money and worth the time.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Adults Only Jan. 6 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Be aware that despite its quality, this production of one of Verdi's most celebrated operas depicts the first orgie scene very explicitely, including full front nudity.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bravissimo Nov. 27 2009
By Steve Perlowski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This 2009 Arthaus version of the 2001 Verona production with Nucci, Mula, and Machado is the same production as the more expensive 2002 TDK version which is listed below. [Arthaus Musik bought out TDK in 2008]. It is very good, and you probably should consider reviewing the comments for the TDK version, since they are just as apt for this much cheaper [but technically superior] version of the selfsame Verona opera.

There is a lot to like in this production. Inva Mula is a delightful Gilda, and Leo Nucci sings wonderfully as the jester, Rigoletto. Nucci's acting, however, leaves something to be desired; his big eyes seemed to be locked on the conductor instead of Gilda (more often than not) during his tender duets with her, although I would note that it's not likely that the thousands in attendance at this massive outdoor amphitheater--beyond the first few rows--would be able to notice what the cameras were able to pick up on film, and I would be remiss not to mention that the audience (quite deservedly) "required" them to encore one of Verdi's great duets, "Piangi, fanciulla," as it shifts to Rigoletto's vow of vengeance, "Si, vendetta, tremenda vendetta," at the stirring conclusion of Act 2. [Finicky note: I was also surprised that Arthaus did not see fit to fix the many English (subtitle) misspellings (primarily in Act 1) from the original 2002 TDK release].

I now own eight different DVDs of this opera, and my favorite--in spite of the hideous costume that Carlos Alvarez (Rigoletto) was required to wear--is another TDK (2006) release of a 2004 production from the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. This widesceen production also features the Gilda of Inva Mula, the beautiful Albanian soprano whose pure, rich singing voice is an easy match for her good looks, and Marcelo Alvarez whose Duke makes for a more credible cad than Machado. [Arthaus Musik has also produced a 2010 version of this TDK release].

For some reason, the various productions of Rigoletto seem to attract a wider array of disparate and contradictory comments/reviews than other operas, but--if you're looking to purchase your first copy of this great opera--I would recommend that you take a peek at the two five-star reviews of the Barcelona production by two of Amazon's more prolific classical reviewers, Toni Bernhard and J Scott Morrison. Otherwise, not many will be disappointed with this Verona version.

UPDATE (11-4-13): Since Amazon will frequently lump reviews from various productions together, I would mention that this review is dedicated to the Verona production with Nucci, Mula and Machado ... NOT the David McVicar production at the Royal Opera House (w/Gavanelli and Schafer) with which it has been "lumped."
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paolo Gavanelli !!! Jan. 22 2012
By tom c. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Verdi's brilliant Rigoletto is an opera not to be missed ... and so is the magnificent baritione Paolo Gavanelli as the title character in this David McVicar production. The sound of his voice is truly awesome, and I find it a pity that this is the only opera DVD on which he appears. His acting is captivating as well.

Christine Schafer is wonderful as Rigoletto's daughter Gilda. Together, they display a splendid chemistry.

The duke is performed admirably by the ever capable Marcello Alvarez.

Normally, I'm not a big fan of Kultur releases ... in fact, I had to check and see if my copy was from Kultur, or the Opus Arte release also available through amazon (for 2 or 3 times the $). The video seems fine, although the audio is at times a little uneven (and this was also pointed out by another reviewer concerning the Opus Arte release as well).

However, Paolo Gavanelli's breathtaking baritone and Ms. Schafer's ever reliable and inspiring effort make this a favorite among the 30 or so operas in my collection.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Sexy Production Aug. 30 2013
By Aaron Adair - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Wonderfully creative production. The mood is somber, but sensual. The singing is strong. If you want to listen to Rigoletto, select another production. But, if you want to listen AND watch, this version is spellbinding.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cheap, ugly. Sept. 25 2012
By W. Gillham - Published on Amazon.com
Marcello Alvarez is about as harsh and unlistenable a bellowing tenor as you will find. Grates on the nerves like the cheap, ugly "chicken wire" fence that provides the visual focus for the production. Stark, drab, black/white "scenery" and costumes underscore the overdoing of Rigoletto as monster insect [canes attached to both arms as he "crab-walks" about the stage]. Gavanelli seems to have a good voice, but once you have heard Sherrill Milnes in the part, with his beautifully expressive voice, giving us a Rigoletto as flawed, but touchingly vulnerable, you will probably be unsatisfied with crude black/white versions. Is the director on an absurdly tight budget, or is he afraid that current morality might miss the point that the Duke and company are immoral?
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Rigoletto Production I have seen March 10 2013
By Vicente A Ramirez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a DVD reproduction from an original VHS recording of the opera therefore the sharpness of the images is not as good as a digital recording; but the superb acting makes up for any of the technical shortcomings
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