Rigoletto at the Chicago Lyric

I was glad that we were watching early Verdi, and not Wagner at the Opera on Monday, for at least then I had a chance to muffle my bursts of coughing in between the audience’s applause. Bleah, I’ve been trying to shake off this latest cold for the past week already, and haven’t had a voice for the past 4 days.

Anyhow, it was an enjoyable evening at the opera house. E&S, whom I convinced to watch the performance, enjoyed themselves too. In particular, Eug was most impressed with Albina Shagimuratova’s soaring pianissimos; not so much with Duke’s, who unfortunately cracked his voice during the seduction duet with Gilda and thereafter seemed to lose his nerves in tackling high notes.

The performance started off at a plodding pace, in the Duke’s bedroom, where he pranced somewhat foolishly around the stage in an open robe and tightey-whiteys, belting out the famous Questo o Quella without much subtlety. But the pace of music and drama picked up in the second scene at Rigoletto’s, where we were treated to a beautiful duet between Rigoletto and his daughter Gilda. From there on, it was mostly hit after gorgeous hit.

So looking forward to catching the Met’s encore broadcast of its newest Rigoletto production that’s set in 1960s Vegas. 🙂 That’ll be fun to compare!


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