by Melissa Wimbish
Arthur Kaptainis of The Ampersand cuts into The Canadian Opera Company’s recent presentation of Verdi’s Rigoletto which runs through October 22nd if you want to see for thine own self. Check out the Operagasm review rundown!
Toto, we’re not in Canada anymore: “There is no press release, but consider it official: The Canadian Opera Company is a European house. All the hallmarks are there: good soloists, a reliable orchestra, a sturdy chorus, intelligent, committed conducting. And, of course, ridiculous stagings.”
Copycats!!!: ”Indeed, this allegedly new Rigoletto (for which Michael Levine, sets and costumes, and Duane Schuler, lighting, are given partial credit) bears more than a passing resemblance to the Alden version that was junked by the Lyric Opera of Chicago after an unpopular run in 2000. As in that production, the action takes place not in 16th-century Mantua but a 19th-century men’s club with dark paneled walls, chairs, sofas, newspapers and a heavily coffered ceiling.”
And the business: “It would be pointless to recount all the follies of this presentation, or to delve into such mysteries as why so many close encounters unfold with the characters stationed at opposite corners of the stage, why so many people spontaneously disrobe, why Rigoletto is confined for minutes on end to a downstage chair removed from the action, or why Giovanna, Gilda’s nurse, at one point spoon-feeds the Duke like a baby. The necessary act of cognition is not to sort out which of Alden’s inventions should be scanned as parodistic and which sincere, but to unearth the opera behind all the nonsense.”