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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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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
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
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."

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