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Typical Met fare of the 70s and 80s
on 1 March 2007
This performance is typical fare from the Met from the past 30 years - big names in semi-naturalistic settings in a fairly routine production.
The singing is good - but not great - from all the cast; Cornell MacNeil may play Rigoletto with conviction, but it comes across as pantomimic, a comic book portrayal with little subtlety or shading of character. His voice is belted out at a constant forte, which becomes rather wearing, particularly when he occasionally sings off the note. Domingo's youthful Duke is superficial but copes well with the set pieces. Cotrubas' rather mature Gilda is charming but lacks the youthful sparkle the role really needs to be convincing. All the supporting roles are adequately taken, most notably Isola Jones as Maddalena.
The scenery is rather chunky, but at least it reduces the huge arena of the Met stage to an intimate space; the costumes very opulent but a little too shiny and pristine to convince - all very fancy but too self-consciously "stagey" - contrast this with David McVicar's Covent Garden staging which is more earthy and gritty, or the Jonathan Miller ENO Mafia version which adds bite to the story - maybe not as authentic but much more engaging.