Rat Pack Rigoletto

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I had wanted to catch the Live in HD screening Michael Mayer’s new Rigoletto production at the Met, but missed both screenings.

Happily, there was a performance the weekend we were in New York, so I snatched up some tickets. Too bad we missed the first cast of Zeljko Lucic, Diana Damrau and Piotr Beczala. Ah well.

It was a fun evening though. The production had been updated to 1960s Vegas, complete with bright neon lights, a stripper pole and a sole half naked woman. Someone had the inspired idea to refresh the translations as well – I’ve never been more amused by the surtitles, which had Rigoletto referred to variously as funny man and Quasimodo.

The cast had no problems with voice projections – everyone sounded strong and assured over Marco Armiliato’s vigorous conducting. I thought however, that the duke’s two signature arias, Questo o Quella and La Donna e Mobile was waaay too rushed. Grigolo seemed to be tripping up over his words as he spat them out; he seemed in a desperate hurry to get the arias over with. Ah well, everyone else lapped it up though.

I remember Lisette from Miranda in The Enchanted Island – I enjoyed her singing here a lot more, particularly the affecting duet with Rigoletto after her leaving the duke’s chambers.

Fun evening! Joe, Jeff and I left the theatre humming various aria snippets.

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