Rigoletto (Opera Explained CD)

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Item:636943804827

Description

Rigoletto (Opera Explained CD)
by Thomson Smille (Author), Thomson Smillie (Author), David Timson (Narrator)
Series: Opera Explained
Audio CD: 1 pages
Publisher: Naxos Educational (May 1, 2002)
Language: English

Rigoletto is simply wonderful entertainment. It is uncanny to listen to the opening ten minutes or so and recognise a dozen superb tunes. It is also much more a daring (for its time) attack on aristocratic privilege, a tender love story, and an impassioned appeal on behalf of the disadvantaged, all set to music of such wealth and beauty that, with its sister operas La traviata and Il trovatore, it has almost defined Italian opera for 150 years.

Overcoming initial trouble with the censors, Verdis Rigoletto was a smash hit at its premiere and has not been out of the repertoire since. Its not hard to see why. From Thomson Smillies accessible account, the opera comes alive on just one CD. As he tells us, Verdi captures the gaiety of the court in Mantua: it to borrow a famous phrase, shines like rotting mackerel by moonlight it glitters and stinks.

David Timson is the perfect exponent of Smillies vivacious writing, securing a thoroughly entertaining and informative disc.

History

One of the most popular operas in the repertoire, Verdi’s riveting drama was first seen in 1851 at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice. Together with his next two works, Il Trovatore and La Traviata, it formed the basis for the composer’s lasting success. For his new production, director Michael Mayer has moved the action from 16th-century Mantua to 1960s Las Vegas: “I tried to imagine a recent world that captures the decadence of the Duke’s palace, where the participants are in pursuit of power, money, and beauty,” he says. Las Vegas in the ’60s is such a world, where a kind of prankster energy could go bad.”
 

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