Catalogue No: OA0829D
Shop Product Code: 2101914
Verdi’s drama of revenge, in its stunning new production by David McVicar, is filled with some of the composer’s most celebrated music. Edward Downes conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House with a cast which includes Marcelo Alvarez, Christine Schäfer and Paolo Gavanelli. Contains nudity.
Paolo Gavanelli, Marcelo Alvarez, Christine Schäfer, Peter Auty, Graeme Broadbent, Dervla Ramsay
Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House / Edward Downes
Stage Director David McVicar
TV Director: Sue Judd
VERDI THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS – BBC centenary documentary
Director David McVicar talks about his production of Rigoletto
24 page illustrated booklet with biographies in English, French and German
‘David McVicar’s engrossing and perceptive production of Rigoletto last year at Covent Garden caused something of a stir…
…a performance of thrilling commitment on all sides, bespeaking long and productive rehearsals, and conviction among the singers that this is the way to do the piece. That happens all too seldom today in opera houses so Covent Garden is to be congratulated on achieving it and the BBC for preserving it on film.
At its centre is the arresting portrayal of Rigoletto from Paolo Gavanelli, probably the best acted and most sensitively sung, in terms of variety and colouring of tone, since Tito Gobbi essayed the role in the same house 35 years ago. …Christine Schäfer’s Gilda … is particularly moving in the final act. Throughout, her singing, though not Italianate in colour, is musically shaped and technically flawless. Marcelo Álvarez is the very epitome of a selfish, macho ruler, and his brilliant, confident singing seconds his acting, yet he is rightly aware of the need for delicacy as well as attack in his part, his Act 3 aria finely shaped. Eric Halfvarson is a suitably sinister Sparafucile, Graciela Araya a properly sensual Maddalena.
Downes, with all his long experience of, and love for Verdi conducts a well-nigh faultless account of a familiar score in terms of tempo and balance, bringing out, more than I can ever remember, the significance of the string figures that underpin several numbers. The orchestra plays splendidly for him. Sue Judd has the cameras in the right places at all times.’
‘David McVicar’s finely observed production of Verdi’s revenge tragedy opened the Royal Opera’s 2001-2 season…Tanya McCallin’s Renaissance costumes are particularly splendid. It’s a dramatically vivid version, with plenty of detail in the interaction between the characters and a stage orgy that for once looks credible.
The cast is a strong one: Marcelo Alvarez makes a plausible and vocally stylish Duke, and though Paulo Gavanelli may not possess the richest of Verdi baritones he employs it to powerful effect. Christine Shäfer’s Gilda is cool but correctly sung, while Edward Downes’s conducting is masterly. The smaller but vital roles of the hired assassin Sparafucile and his temptress sister Maddalena are memorably undertaken by Eric Halfvarson and Graciela Araya.
There are some worthwhile extras. The booklet contains cast biographies, photos and a synopsis (by McVicar). Included on the disc are a substantial interview with the director, who reveals a keen understanding of the drama, a 17-minute tribute to Verdi in the centenary year of his death, and another synopsis, illustrated with stills from the production.’
BBC Music Magazine
Awards & Accolades:
Diapason D’Or de L’Année 2002
Gramophone Awards Nomination 2002
CAT NO: OA 0829 D
REGIONS: All Regions
PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: 169 MINS
SOUND: DOLBY SURROUND/ DOLBY STEREO
NO OF DISCS: 1
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