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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo!
Be prepared for a startingly novel view on this old warhorse. McVicar's production for London's Royal Opera brings out unabashedly all of the libretto's sexual tensions, usually only hinted at in traditional productions, stunningly laid out and planted before the viewer's very eyes throughout the whole work which characterises the production's conception. In purely vocal...
Published on 27 Jun 2003 by Plaza Marcelino

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good production spoiled by poor scenery.
When I first inserted the disc into my player it came up with the message "non-compatable disc". It turned out to be an NTSC recording, not PAL. Amazon did not mention this. Fortunately my player can be programmed for NTSC, but this involves a fairly complex procedure, then I had to go through the whole rigmarole again to change back to PAL.

The disc...
Published 7 months ago by Shad


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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo!, 27 Jun 2003
By 
Plaza Marcelino (Caracas Venezuela) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Verdi: Rigoletto [DVD] (DVD)
Be prepared for a startingly novel view on this old warhorse. McVicar's production for London's Royal Opera brings out unabashedly all of the libretto's sexual tensions, usually only hinted at in traditional productions, stunningly laid out and planted before the viewer's very eyes throughout the whole work which characterises the production's conception. In purely vocal terms the very accomplished cast is led by the immaculate Gilda of Christine Schäfer (yes, the same one you encountered "singing" Pierrot Lunaire exemplarily for Pierre Boulez on a DG cd, of all people), prudently set apart by McVicar as apparently the only sane person in the whole lot of characters in spite of her falling for "Gualtier Maldé". The Argentinian Marcelo Álvarez is an outstanding Duke, cynical, libidinous and unhinbited as perhaps any other recent exponent of the rôle, his physical presence no doubt visually supporting this. Gavanelli is a Rigoletto vocally in the grand Italian tradition, right in timbre in spite of some occasional rapid vibrato but exemplary in his diction, a rather deranged character in McVicar's view who walks about the stage in crotches; one quickly sees why he's rightly sought after by the world's leading opera houses for this rôle. The other important parts, those of Sparafucile and Gilda, are also very well cast, especially the latter who must be one of the horniest Gildas on record. Visually, the production subscribes to current visions on the ways of people of wealth of four or five centuries ago: exquisite fabrics enrobing people who appear not to have visited a bathtub for many months (gone seem to be the days in which period plays, operas and movies showed immaculate participants). Sir Edward Downes' conducting with swift, vigorous tempi provokes inspired playing from the ROH's Orchestra and the sound really justifies your connecting your dvd player's audio output to a quality sound system if you still haven't done so: it has to be heard to be believed. Décors & staging take full advantage of the ROH's recent refurbishing, Rigoletto's and Spafucile's respective dwellings depicting a timeless and appropriate shantiness of tin roofing and carton walling that recall today's third-world capitals' misery belts. Camerawork is very good, and curiously the BBC take great pains in making you believe this was taped live by inserting applause at the "right" places (like after arias and ensembles or at Sir Edward's entrances to the pit at the beginning of acts); only when this applause tends to sound the same one time after the other you begin to suspect and your suspicions confirm at the end --or at least so seemed in my case-- when applause de-synchonises with what's actually happening on stage when curtain calls are taking place once the work has finished, but this is only a minor quibble. And for a change, and this is a big plus, this opera dvd does bring extra material, with a plot lecture and an enlightening interview with the producer. If you are one of those who don't make totems out of the big figures of old but are rather looking for a current, up-to-date version of Rigoletto, look no further. Mind, though, that the production is far from the "good-to-introduce-the-kids-to-opera" world.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Rigoletto, 23 Mar 2003
By 
This review is from: Verdi: Rigoletto [DVD] (DVD)
Although the nudity in1st act maybe the reason some people will buy and other people won't buy this DVD,the main reason for buying David Mc Vicar's production of Rigoletto should be the outstanding performance by the main characters.Both the acting and singing are first rate,with the only exception of Marcelo Alvarez as the Duke which disappointed me a bit.
Christine Schaefer is perfect as Gilda,
Paolo Gavanelli is a great actor and a wonderful singer in one of the best Rigoletto performances I've seen.
Both the sound and visual are of very good quality making the purchase of this DVD a good bargain.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The saddest opera, 23 May 2009
This review is from: Verdi: Rigoletto [DVD] (DVD)
Quite simply the most moving production of Rigoletto I've seen. After an earthy start showing the true decadence of the Duke's court, and a rather nervous opening aria from Marcello Alvarez the production suddenly steps up a gear with the appearance of the peerless Paolo Gavanelli as Rigoletto, the hunchbacked jester who weaves his way across the stage like some malevolent spider, his sticks becoming extentions of his body as he moves about. The scenes between Gavanelli and Christine Schaefer as his doomed daughter Gilda are spine tingling, the duet between Alvarez and Gilda is moving and beautifully sung, in fact the longer the opera goes on the more assured Alvarez becomes. Rigoletto's cry for vengeance-'Vendetta' is stirring and of course, the quartet and La Donna Mobile never fail to excite. The searingly tragic ending-surely the saddest in all opera-never ceases to leave me tear stained and emotionally drained. A triumph.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of Callas and Gobbi, 5 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Verdi: Rigoletto [Paolo Gavanelli, Marcelo Alvarez, Christine Schäefer, David McVicar] [Opus Arte: OAMO6005D] [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
This production, the singing, sound quality and the staging place this DVD at the very highest level of operatic performance. I have always thought that Titto Gobbi was the definitive Rigoletto with his dark, dramatic and angry interpretation. Paolo Gavanelli is his equal in attack and drama. Christine Schaefer is a wonderful Gilda and the equal of Callas in this performance. The other principals are also outstanding.

The opening staging may be controversial, with bare breasts and brief nudity, but it is justified in emphasizing the dissolute and depraved atmosphere of the court that can allow the ruin of a courtier's daughter and the kidnapping of Rigoletto's supposed mistress. It is a dark and unpleasant land where at night one can be approached by an assassin offering to kill the person of your choice for 20 scudos. The staging underscores the story-line and the lyrics with dark, run-down sets.

The sound quality was outstanding. I played digital 5.1 through my amplifier and thought the quality of sound the equal of any CD.

This is the best staging of an opera I have ever seen and I doubt anyone will be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good production spoiled by poor scenery., 24 May 2014
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This review is from: Verdi: Rigoletto [Paolo Gavanelli, Marcelo Alvarez, Christine Schäefer, David McVicar] [Opus Arte: OAMO6005D] [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
When I first inserted the disc into my player it came up with the message "non-compatable disc". It turned out to be an NTSC recording, not PAL. Amazon did not mention this. Fortunately my player can be programmed for NTSC, but this involves a fairly complex procedure, then I had to go through the whole rigmarole again to change back to PAL.

The disc opens with a menu where English sub titles can be switched on or off, chose between stereo or suround sound, a synopsis with still pictures, 'Verdi through the looking glass' (very interesting), and an interview with David McVicar the stage director.

The story opens with an orgy at the Duke's palace. A very drab and sombre scene and I felt that surely the Duke would have had a bright and colourful ballroom to create a party mood for his guests. This depressing scenery continued throughout the opera. This is obviously to create an atmosphere for what, after all, is a tragedy, but I would have liked to have seen scenery showing the architecture of the period, not what looks like chicken wire!

I suppose really I like my entertainment to have a happy ending, and in future I will stick to light hearted romps like 'The Marriage of Figaro.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great peformance and reliable reseller!, 11 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Verdi: Rigoletto [DVD] (DVD)
This item was sold out but I just wanted it to have this superb Rigoletto performance.So I had to buy a preowned DVD, The result was excellent. A very well preserved DVD condition.at a pretty good price!

The service was also quick and reliable!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The" Rigoletto, 15 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Verdi: Rigoletto [Paolo Gavanelli, Marcelo Alvarez, Christine Schäefer, David McVicar] [Opus Arte: OAMO6005D] [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
What a performance !!!
Gavanelli is a Rigoletto that I don't think can be beaten.---totally believable performance
Top quality Royal Opera production
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love at first sight, 4 May 2011
By 
I. Zaneres (west midlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Verdi: Rigoletto [DVD] (DVD)
Well I suppose it is more love at first hearing. This is for Christine Schafer whose sweetness of tone, and portrayal of Gilda is the best that I have seen and heard. This is not to detract from the other two main characters, Alvarez is in his fine ringing tenor mode, and portrays a wonderful amoral Duke. Gavanelli is perhaps also the best Rigoletto, bringing home to me the characters dual standards in a way that I had not picked up before. The famous quartet is again absolutely wonderful, with the wide range of tonal qualities enhancing the different emotions of the characters.
The sets are somewhat spartan, but this does not detract as the acting of the support chorus aand minor characters overides any static scenery. The opening scene of the Dukes wild party makes others that I have seen look like a church outing. David McVicar is not always to everyones taste, including mine, but this is brilliant. I recomend
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rigoletto, 13 Mar 2014
This review is from: Verdi: Rigoletto [Paolo Gavanelli, Marcelo Alvarez, Christine Schäefer, David McVicar] [Opus Arte: OAMO6005D] [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Absolutely rivetting production. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Well worth the purchase. Am now passing it around to all of my friends.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive Rigoletto, 16 Nov 2007
By 
D. Robinson "Opera Dave" (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Verdi: Rigoletto [DVD] (DVD)
Rigoletto is one of my favourite operas, yet I hadn't found a DVD version that really got to me, until this one. Everyone I know recommends it, with good cause.

The start is rather risquee, but not in such a way as to lose credibility. As McVicar explains, he has taken a fresh look at how to show what a seedy, misogynistic world is being portrayed. The nudity is with this in mind, rather than cheap titilation. Right, that's that out of the way, onto business.

Because this DVD is all about the superb acting, singing and orhestration that sets it above other Rigolettos. Throughout the acting is first class, particularly of Gilda and Rigoletto, and the show has one strong voice after another - it really is a dream cast. I was really impressed with Gilda, who plays her innocent character well and really belts it out in the mesmerising Act 3. The orhestra performs to perfection: I haven't heard finer on any studio CD.

Altogether, my advice is to get it right first time, and buy this one.
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