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  • Verdi;Giuseppe Rigoletto [Import]
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Verdi;Giuseppe Rigoletto [Import]


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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Catalan
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Arthaus Musik
  • Release Date: June 8 2010
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003IP2YIK

Product Description

Amazon.ca

If there are lingering doubts about the Royal Opera House's artistic renaissance after its mid-1990s doldrum years, David McVicar's gritty and sexy production of Rigoletto should blow them all away. One of the principal reasons is McVicar's decision to emphasize the tyrannical nature of the Duke (beautifully sung by Marcelo Alvarez), and the appalling social injustice that springs from a corrupt leader: his court is a place of physical and sexual abuse (graphically, but by no means gratuitously, depicted). This violence throws the dual nature of Paolo Gavanelli's energetic, insectlike Rigoletto into relief, making his sycophancy seem all the worse and his vengefulness all the more sympathetic.

The singing and acting are first-rate. Christine Schafer has a gorgeous voice and an intelligent sense of phrasing, and plays Gilda as a frail, morbid creature whose ultimate self-sacrifice is as much an act of neurotic despair as of love. The production is also a visual and orchestral success. Michael Vale's set is a masterpiece of economy and Edward Downes draws some stunning playing from the Royal Opera Orchestra. This is undoubtedly the best Rigoletto committed to DVD thus far. --Warwick Thomson

Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carl M. on Jan. 25 2004
Format: DVD
The acting of this opera is so good that it's difficult to describe. The combination of acting, costume, and direction as it comes together especially in the performance of Paolo Gavanelli as Rigoletto is the very definition of artistic vitality and "realism." The post modern edge, the grittiness of the performance is aided by the nudity although I'm somewhat troubled by being drawn into an operatic production in part by shapely breasts, and how that affects the general prospects of opera. I'm most familiar with Christine Schafer through Hyperion's Schubert edition and Schumann songs, but she's certainly excellently warm of voice and well suited to this dramatic role. What does disturb and disappoint is the lack of technical facility involved in recording the audio of this performance, which is after all the central point. The sound is weak at a time when the art of recording live performances has generally been mastered. Not using the center channel for a track in a surround version where the front channel needs the help for voice in no way "limits" the disaster. I'd like to kick
someone for doing this to a performance that defines why one should see opera.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John G. Gleeson Sr. on June 4 2002
Format: DVD
Oh those naughty Brits! Who would ever have thought that nudity would be a part of a Verdi opera? Well, it is, in the first scene of Act I, and it is for this reason that I caution prospective buyers. But if you know the story of the libertine Duke of Mantua (originally the tenor part was to be King Francis I of France, but Italian censors said "no" to that), you will understand that the nudity and behavior of the Duke's court is that of a totally corrupt ruler. And although I was unprepared to see naked people in one of my favorite operas, it is, vocally, visually and sonically the very best operatic performance I have yet experienced on DVD. All of the singers are simply superb. Soprano Christine Schaefer is perfect in the role of Gilda; she is visually ideal as a young woman, and her vocal skills and interpretation are first rate. Marcello Alvarez, one of the two top tenors of today (the other is Ramon Vargas)is vocally stupendous as the Duke, yet from the outset, you will hate the character while loving Alvaerz' vocal interpretation. This Duke is a spoiled, arrogant, womanizing wretch! Paolo Gavanelli sings the title role brilliantly. His is a demanding part that requires substantial acting and vocal skills, and aside from an occasional excessive vibrato on sustained mid-voice notes, Gavanelli is simply great. Edward Downes conducts with both sensitivity and authority. The digital picture is first rate, but in this performance, the Dolby 5.1 sound has to be heard to be believed. It give a stunning depth and richness to the music, yet one is able to differentiate between instruments, and localize soloists on stage. So if you tend to the traditional, you may find the nudity and sexuality to be too much. But if you want to experience a vocally stunning and dramatically effective performance, you will not find better opera on DVD. But you may want to alert the neighbors, because this is one disc that will demand a boost in the volume control.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Archie (Ottawa Canada) on Dec 5 2002
Format: DVD
Come on, chaps. Relax. Do not get hung up on a little bit of nudity. In the context, it is most appropriate.
The Duke is not a nice man. His courtiers are not nice people. What goes on is not nice. This is a very powerful visual representation of what is going on; and the orchestra bopping away in the background in the first scene heightens the on-stage tension.
Not to put too fine a point on it, this is a truly great interpretation and production. It is all of a piece. The singers can act (or should it be the actors can sing) and it fits together musically, dramatically and visually.
I would consider it a "must" buy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Plaza Marcelino on June 28 2002
Format: DVD
Be prepared for a startingly novel view on this old warhorse. McVicar's production for London's Royal Opera brings out unabashedly all of the libretto's sexual tensions, usually only hinted at in traditional productions, stunningly laid out and planted before the viewer's very eyes throughout the whole work which characterises the production's conception. In purely vocal terms the very accomplished cast is led by the immaculate Gilda of Christine Schäfer (yes, the same one you encountered "singing" Pierrot Lunaire exemplarily for Pierre Boulez on a DG cd, of all people), prudently set apart by McVicar as apparently the only sane person in the whole lot of characters in spite of her falling for "Gualtier Maldé". The Argentinian Marcelo Álvarez is an outstanding Duke, cynical, libidinous and unhinbited as perhaps any other recent exponent of the rôle, his physical presence no doubt visually supporting this. Gavanelli is a Rigoletto vocally in the grand Italian tradition, right in timbre in spite of some occasional rapid vibrato but exemplary in his diction, a rather deranged character in McVicar's view who walks about the stage in crotches; one quickly sees why he's rightly sought after by the world's leading opera houses for this rôle. The other important parts, those of Sparafucile and Gilda, are also very well cast, especially the latter who must be one of the horniest Gildas on record. Visually, the production subscribes to current visions on the ways of people of wealth of four or five centuries ago: exquisite fabrics enrobing people who appear not to have visited a bathtub for many months (gone seem to be the days in which period plays, operas and movies showed immaculate participants).Read more ›
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