Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Next weekend: Rigoletto a Mantova

After Tosca in Rome, La Traviata in Paris, RAI TV is preparing Rigoletto in Mantua (very close to Verona) that will be live broadcast to more than 100 countries next weekend. The show will be split in two days and the broadcast is scheduled for Saturday 4 [at 20:30 (cet)], and Sunday 5 September [at 14:15 and 23:30 (cet)]. Check your local listings...

It is supposed to be fully live and it will be directed by Marco Bellocchio. Even though Marco is a brilliant film director, I don't expect much from his operatic adventure as these mammoth-size projects are regularly in the claws of traditionalists.

Rigoletto is not my fave Verdi at all, but since this will be a global operatic event I wouldn't want to miss it either.

The RAI Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Zubin Mehta, and Placido Domingo will be  Rigoletto (!) for the whole weekend. Julia Novikova will be our Gilda, Vittorio Grigolo  The Duke of MantuaRuggero Raimondi Sparafucile, and Nino Surguladze Maddalena.

The above pic is a collage of 4 photos taken during the rehearsals by C. Giglioli, and below is one with Placidone, plus a 'long' trailer.

Ed: Videos available on YouTube - click here

And so we saw the first act last night. Opera definitely does not marry well with the film.  It is awkward. 
Sound is and always will be a problem. 
A "historical" approach to Rigoletto doesn't make too much sens to me. If the idea was to walk us through the palaces and places that motivated Maria Piave's libretto, maybe they should have made a visual show a bit more spicy for today's spectators. Done as they presented it last night, Act-1 is downright boring.
Among singers, Grigolo did a good job, Novikova OK, whereas the presence of Domingo and Raimondi was incomprehensible: they should have avoided this embarrassment and retired with all the glory they most certainly deserve.  
But hey, 2 more Acts to go!

Act 2:  Why is Domingo doing this to himself? It's not money. It's not glory. It's not... What is it?

Act 3 was a little bit better but Domingo and Raimondi were still not good. 

OK, that was Rigoletto. Marco Bellocchio will hopefully stick to the movies rather than opera. As for a good production of this opera go to Komische Oper Berlin


  1. I think it was a MASTERPIECE!
    Video and sound was superb! Amazing!!!
    --View from Norway

  2. I'm glad it worked fine for you ;)

  3. how is this a review?

  4. No, it is not!
    It was the anouncement I posted a few days ago. Now, after I saw the thing I wouldn't want to comment it further on as I might spoil the pleasure to those who liked the whole thing. OK?!

  5. Have you had a hearing test recently?