Let's begin with the sunny side of the show. Hearing is much better than looking at this DVD. Marcelo Alvarez can sing the Duke, without much elegance (his costumes doesn't help much in this regard), but I would say he's good at it. The other Alvarez, Rigoletto, does a fairly good job from the standpoint of a singing actor, and delivers lots of power and intensity, though IMHO his voice cannot be considered a beautiful instrument. Inva Mula is the star of the show, she sings with intensity and ringing power, portraying a much more strong character Gilda than the usual. Sparafucile Konstantinov is awful in Act 1, but gets better in Act 3, where he appears to manage a Techno-Bar-Whorehouse. Sister Maddalena Surguladze is quite hot. Lopez-Cobos and the Liceu forces deliver standard, decent performance.
Now the dark side. Stage director Vick presents us not the renaissance court in which Verdi inspired (a too "obvious" layout?), but a strange place instead, difficult to locate in space-time, where everything is somewhat unpleasant, or just plainly ugly. Vick's success on the point is complete: this is the ugliest Rigoletto I've experienced. Bad taste floods the stage, and our attention is permanently distracted towards unimportant but sordid details. Let me tell you about.
Poor Rigoletto, in addition to be a hunchback, suffers from neurofibromatosis (remember the Elephant Man?), so his head is badly deformed also, and some bloody tissue hangs around his right eye... Yeah, you don't want to look at Rigoletto's close ups, believe me. In Act 1 duet with Gilda, he pulls his shirt away so you can watch his naked hump (a huge one), and then his daughter gets a sponge and some water and tenderly washes it (yes, the hump). And so on. Monterone appears on Act 2 not between two guardians, but surrounded by five or six "cortigiani", who are laughing and playing their swords against him, like a bunch of naughty boys. Thus, his imposing personality and his tremendous effect on Rigoletto is lost. Finally, when Sparafucile gives Rigoletto the bag with Gilda's severely wounded body inside, Rigoletto repeatedly punches the bag, hard, very hard, with fists and feet! So it's a miracle how can she still sing "Lassu in ciel" before dying.
Widescreen picture is rather low-definition, sound image is OK. Dolby 5.1 and DTS will throw to your speakers every damned bump or thump generated on the stage, so put them away and stick to PCM Stereo.
If you're looking for a serious, heart touching, no-nonsense Rigoletto on DVD, you're out of luck. MacNeil at the Met could still be the best one around, and that's to say nothing interesting came along in the last 30 years. Let's keep on waiting.