My Year of Opera 20: Rigoletto

COMING SOON! The Met HD broadcast is going to be on Great Performances tonight. I missed the broadcast in theaters this past February but I’m not missing this one. I’ll be live-tweeting from my couch tonight starting around 9 PM EDT. Join in if you’d like or just let me clog your Twitter feed for 2.5 hours.


I really enjoyed Rigoletto. It is the kind of Verdi that engages me. Aida, for all the adoration that people pour on it, hits me as dull. Rigoletto and La Traviata have the right amount of plot and scene separation for my brain. I’m a fan of segments. I think this is why Germanic operas are a bit lost on me.

The production was solid but I don’t really get anything out of the “update” to a Rat Pack era casino. There didn’t seem to be any reason for it, other than adding a stripper pole to the Duke’s bedroom in Act III. The Peter Sellars stagings of Mozart provided a very interesting context for the operas. Don Giovanni shoot up heroin, for example, makes a statement. But was great understanding of the story achieved by putting this in a casino? And updating the subtitles to include 50s slang? The story is simple enough as it is and it communicates in any setting. I didn’t find this staging particularly insightful.

I have GOT to get some comedies happening on this blog. I’m growing tired of all this morose tragedy. Wagner’s 200th birthday is this week, though, and he is not known for comedic flair. I suppose I could watch Meistersinger but it really doesn’t appeal to me. We will see what happens.

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