Kent & Opera International present
Verdi Rigoletto at The New Theatre from
September 18-20, 2003.
always concerns me when I see any theatrical production being promoted
by reference to the glamour of the sets and costumes.
me, theatre is about drama - not the design.
I was prepared to be charitable towards the Ukranian National Opera
and their production of Rigoletto.
constructed a masterfully tight blend of melodrama and stirring
music that is always going to stir deep emotions in an audience.
is with much regret that I have to report that this production served
Verdi very badly indeed.
sets and costumes could have been taken from a provincial pantomime.
The acting (such as there was) was laughable.
may have been spoiled by seeing opera productions where every detail
has been thought out and integrated into a coherent view of the
work, but I could see very little evidence of any thought in what
transpired on the stage.
orchestra, though often too loud to allow the singers to be heard
with clarity, gave a creditable account of the score.
survived the attempts of the singers to set their own tempi.
must also be given to the chorus who sang with great precision and
tonal beauty. Three principals stood out - Dmytro Pavlyuk (Sparafucile)
and Madezhda Stoianova (Maddalena) have excellent voices and were
the most convincing people on stage.
Agadi was a powerful Rigoletto. While he often resorted to fortissimo
instead of vocal finesse, he managed to convince the audience of
his passion and devotion.
was hard to tell that the opera was being sung in Italian. Too often
the singers gave an indistinct and rough approximation of the libretto.
have to admit that I feel that opera, in general, and Verdi, in
particular, have been very ill-served by this tour.
harks back to standards that ceased to be acceptable in the late
1950's. I am only glad that we have WNO and Glyndebourne coming
in the next few months to restore my faith in Opera.