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Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto Story (DVD)2005,
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This review is from: Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto Story [DVD]  (DVD)
The Opera is performed at night in the very impressive Plazza del Campo,Siena, on a partly open air stage with sets designed by Alberto Andreis. After clever daylight lead in shots during the short Overture, the court of the Duke of Mantua opens in a colourful celebration with costumes designed by Vivienne Westwood. Marcelo Alvarez (tenor) is in fine voice as the Duke expressing his passing delight in many beautiful women, compared to the love he feels for one not at court. In contrast to the blue feathers, large red check tunics, and striped tights evoking the splendour of 16th century Italy, the Duke's costumes tend to be simple black and white.
Roberto Serville (barritone) acts his Rigoletto hunchback deformities very well, better than his humour as Court Jester. Although under an improbable curse from an offended Noble man, he seems to labour the dramatic Verdi arias as he expresses concern for his daughter's safety and purity. Inva Mula (soprano)sings beautifully as Gilda his daughter already secretly in love with the Duke. Her beautiful elegant white dress is exchanged for an exciting red creation in later scenes when her innocence and purity may have been compromised.
Andrea Silvestrelli (bass) plays the assassin Sparafucile, hired by Rigoletto to kill the Duke, with villainous gusto, aided by his seductress sister (Svetlana Sedar)(mezzo soprano).
Verdi contrasts the well known Aria "la donna mobile" sung by the Duke in disguise, expressing the fickleness of women, with the true love of Gilda, who also in disguise, gives her life in place of his, during the last act.
As this is an excellently filmed version of a stage performance, there is applause, and breaks between the Acts, when Keri Lynn Wilson can be viewed, conducting the Toscanini Foundation Orchestra. Because of the shots of the beautiful brick architecture and the muted lighting of the Plazza, the dark fatefull undertones of the action are underlined, so the continuity is not disrupted.
The sound quality is clear, and there is a choice of subtitles. This is an enjoyable film of a memorable, atmospheric, fresh, though sometimes laboured performance.