Great Performances: Rigoletto From Mantua
Airs Sunday, July 17, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. on KPBS TV
Friday, July 15, 2011
From Andrea Andermann comes a visually and musically spectacular production of Verdi’s "Rigoletto," filmed last September on breathtaking locations in and around the Renaissance splendor of Mantua, Italy, in the places and hours specified in the libretto.
Starring tenor Plàcido Domingo in the traditionally baritone role of 16th-century court jester Rigoletto, Julia Novikova as his innocent daughter Gilda, Vittorio Grigolo as the womanizing Duke and Ruggero Raimondi as the assassin Sparafucile, the production is directed by Marco Bellocchio, and the RAI National Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Zubin Mehta.
Tenor Domingo has a special relationship to “Rigoletto.” It was the first opera he ever heard; the character of Borsa was his first operatic role; he sang the Duke many times; and he has conducted the work on numerous occasions.
Domingo had qualms about taking on the titular baritone role. “When Andrea Andermann invited me to interpret the part of Rigoletto, I replied that there were so many good baritones in the world who could sing it. But Andrea said that he wasn’t looking for a baritone, but rather for the Rigoletto [that I] could bring to life.”
Now, he gives voice and soul to Rigoletto, a court jester, who after publicly ridiculing a nobleman, Count Ceprano, is tragically punished by the courtiers for his unforgivable insolence.
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