Verdi's Rigoletto

« previous episode | next episode »

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Joseph Calleja as the Duke in Rigoletto Joseph Calleja as the Duke in Rigoletto (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

The title role in Verdi's Rigoletto is one of opera's more fascinating figures, a hunchbacked court jester torn between good and evil whose world eventually crumbles. The Italian baritone Giovanni Meoni takes up this challenge, after having made his Met debut in the role of Ezio in Verdi's Attil last season.

This solidly traditional Met staging dates to 1989, yet several artists are making their Met debuts or singing major roles for the first time with the company. Nino Machaidze makes her Met debut as Gilda, and Joseph Calleja returns as the Duke, the role of his Met debut in 2006. Kirstin Chávez and Stefan Kocán add new roles to their Met repertory as Maddalena and Sparafucile respectively.

Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Text in Italian by Francesco Maria Piave, after Victor Hugo’s play Le Roi s’amuse

The Cast

Conductor: Paolo Arrivabeni

Gilda: Nino Machaidze

Maddalena: Kirstin Chávez

Duke of Mantua: Joseph Calleja

Rigoletto: Giovanni Meoni

Sparafucile: Stefan Kocán

Approximate running time: 3 hrs. 0 min.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.

Comments [5]

concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

I misspelled desperate. Sorry

Jan. 23 2011 06:31 AM
w.pagenkopf from flushing, ny

The best Gilda I can recall was
Erna Berger. I have a recording on what is probably out of print, LP...........

Jan. 22 2011 05:04 PM
concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

Very thin voiced Gilda. Where is it written that the Gilda must have such a high pitched voice? The best Gilda I ever heard was a German soprano named Inge Camphausen. Wonderful color to the voice and she got the two high e flat notes with no effort whatsoever. Clear as a bell and no screaming. The recording I have is from the 1950s. Today's Gilda was very unconvincing and her cries for help did not sound too desparate. I still think this opera is lurid.

Jan. 22 2011 03:09 PM
Barry from Brooklyn

A couple slightly patchy moments in the aria but otherwise she nailed it. Even despite the obnoxious coughers in the audience.

Jan. 22 2011 02:04 PM
concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

Despite some beautiful music, this opera is still lurid.

Jan. 22 2011 01:26 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.