All I can say this time is that the Royal Opera did it again, with a complete cast change, although the standout performances this time around were in different roles.
Last time it was Lisette Oropesa’s stunning performance in the tragic role of Gilda that was brilliantly impressive; this time the Italian soprano Rosa Feola in the same role was almost as good, although her voice had a little less emotional power.
However, fellow Italian baritone Luca Salsi sang and played the title role to perfection, with great support in all the other lead roles.
The tragic plot is based on a play “Le roi s’amuse” by Victor Hugo which takes place in the city of Mantua, which is ruled by a powerful and evil duke. The hunchback Rigoletto is the Duke’s jester, gaining pleasure by mocking the Duke’s victims until one of them curses him.
His daughter, whom he has kept hidden for her own safety, is kidnapped by courtiers who think she is his mistress, and the Duke, who has already taken a liking to her, has his way with her. . Rigoletto swears revenge and pays the assassin Sparafucile to assassinate the Duke, but it is Gilda who is killed instead.
Besides a beautifully powerful voice, Salsi brings out Rigoletto’s tortured character perfectly, while tenor Francesco Demuro brings real mischief to the role of the Duke of Mantua. Evgeny Stavinsky makes a convincing professional assassin as Sparafucile, while Aigul Akhmetshina was delightfully slutty as his murderous sister Maddalena.
Rigoletto has the most gripping plot of any Verdi opera, and this cast brought out the drama perfectly. An exceptionally fine interpretation of a great production of a superb opera. Animation of a wonderful evening.
Tickets: roh.org.uk or 020 7304 4000
Remaining performances: March 8 and 12, 2022.