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Verdi: Rigoletto / Demuro, Nucci, Machaidze, Zanetti [blu-ray]

Verdi / Demuro / Nucci / Machaidze
Release Date: 03/26/2013 
Label:  C Major   Catalog #: 723304  
Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Alessandro BianchiniEzio Maria TisiMauro BuffoliRoberto Tagliavini,   ... 
Conductor:  Massimo Zanetti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Teatro Regio OrchestraParma Teatro Regio Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
Blu-ray Video:  $39.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Note: This Blu-ray Disc is playable only on Blu-ray Disc players, and not compatible with standard DVD players.

Also available on standard DVD

Giuseppe Verdi
RIGOLETTO
(Blu-ray Disc Version)

Il duca di Mantova – Francesco Demuro
Rigoletto – Leo Nucci
Gilda – Nino Machaidze
Sparafucile – Marco Spotti
Maddalenna – Stefanie Irányi
Giovanna – Katarina Nikolic
Il conte di Monterone – Roberto Tagliavini
Marullo – Orazio Mori
Matteo Borsa – Mauro Buffoli
Il conte di Ceprano – Ezio Maria Tisi
La contessa di Ceprano – Scilla Cristiano
Un
Read more usciere di corte – Alessandro Bianchini
Un paggio della duchessa – Scilla Cristiano

Parma Teatro Regio Chorus and Orchestra
(chorus master: Martino Faggiani)
Massimo Zanetti, conductor

Stefano Vizioli, stage director
Alessandro Ciammarughi, set and costume designer (after Pierluigi Samaritani)
Franco Marri, lighting designer

Recorded live at the Teatro Regio di Parma, 16, 20, and 22 October 2008

Bonus:
- Introduction to Rigoletto

Picture format: 1080i High Definition
Sound format: PCM Stereo / DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Subtitles: Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese
Running time: 131 mins (opera) + 10 mins (bonus)
No. of Discs: 1 (BD 50)

R E V I E W: 3713160.az_VERDI_Rigoletto_Massimo.html

VERDI Rigoletto & Massimo Zanetti, cond; Leo Nucci ( Rigoletto ); Nino Machaidze ( Gilda ); Francesco Demuro ( Duke of Mantua ); Marco Spotti ( Sparafucile ); Stefanie Irányi ( Maddalena ); Katarina Nikolic ( Giovanna ); Roberto Tagliavini ( Monterone ); Parma Teatro Regio O & Ch C MAJOR 723304 (Blu-ray: 131:00 opera + 10:00 bonus) Live: Parma 2008

& Introduction to Rigoletto


This Rigoletto was recorded at the Teatro Regio in Parma in October of 2008. It seems unusual that the C Major label would wait this long to release it, especially with hot, young, soprano star Nino Machaidze in the cast. This release however, is a part of the Tutto Verdi series, and the high definition productions of all 26 of the composer’s operas are being released in 2013, the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth. This set also features the veteran baritone Leo Nucci (66 at the time of this recording) in his third foray in the lead role on video, and young Italian tenor Francesco Demuro as the Duke of Mantua.


The Parma staging seen here is apparently not new, but it is one of the most successful among the 17 operas I have now reviewed in this series. Sets and costumes are traditional and ornately colorful. Instead of partying in a hall of the Duke’s palace in act I, the revelers are apparently partying in the Duke’s lavish bedchamber itself. Many of the male courtiers are in bedroom attire romping playfully with similarly attired young maidens. This setting can’t help but further emphasize the licentious nature of the Duke and his court. Instead of just talking about Monterone’s dishonored daughter, there she is, in the middle of the big bed. Rigoletto hauls her out for her father’s inspection then cheekily disrobes her of her nightdress with his jester’s scepter, to her great embarrassment, the rage of her father, and the general merriment of the crowd. Rigoletto is nearly the only one dressed for work, with traditional hunchback, cap and bells, and large ruffled collar. Other scenes of the opera, Rigoletto’s home, Sparafucile’s inn, and the darkened streets of Mantua, are also depicted in fine detail. In some instances stage director Stefano Vizioli uses a split stage to change scenes quickly, bringing up the lighting on one half and down on the other. When Rigoletto and the courtiers are apart from the Duke (busy in the bed chamber with Gilda) they congregate in a large hallway outside his ornate bedroom door. It is all quite well done and looks very good.


The singing is also quite good. Machaidze, just coming from her breakout roll of Juliette in Salzburg, looks young and radiant and sings better than I have yet heard her. She is the best singer here, and if her very top notes are still a bit unlovely, it is but a niggling complaint. She is, in general, lovely to listen to and gives us plenty of youthful high notes (as does the tenor). She looks properly like Rigoletto’s naïve young daughter (she’s young enough to be his granddaughter) and her vivacious interactions and acting skills make this one of the best Gildas on video. The singing of young Italian tenor Francesco Demuro in the role of the Duke is also quite good. Demuro has a vocal timbre similar to Pavarotti’s, but his voice is lighter than the great Italian star and every now and then he exhibits a slight quaver in his tone never heard from Pavarotti. He sings all of the Duke’s tuneful music with aplomb, sprinkling interpolated high notes here and there. Demuro’s bearing is properly self-assured while losing none of the Duke’s rakish insouciance, he is a great asset to this production. Leo Nucci has been doing the role of Rigoletto seemingly forever, and it shows. I have seen his schtick before; I reviewed a performance from Zurich with Nucci recorded in 2006. He takes much of it with him from show to show with broad expressions, broad gestures (the quavering hand is a favorite), and exaggerated body positions to aid his portrayal. He still sings pretty well for a soon-to-be septuagenarian, but he continues to employ the typically Italian technique of sliding up to nearly all of his high notes, as if to say “look how hard I’m working to get these for you!” Verdi didn’t write it that way, it is a bad vocal habit and spoils most every legato passage, but with Nucci I’m afraid it’s a question of the old dog who likes to do it his way. The Parma audience certainly doesn’t mind, they applaud and applaud, treating Nucci like a rock star. Perhaps I am a dissenter of only one. If so, so be it. The two other featured roles, the assassin Sparafucile and his sister Maddalena, are filled more than competently by Marco Spotti and Stefanie Iranyi. There is a curious sound problem in the last act quartet when midway through it sounds like the Duke’s mike stops working, and from there on we only get a trio. You would think the sound engineers could have used one of the other performances to fix that. Otherwise, the sound is first-rate, as usual, with more house ambience in the surround format. Chorus and orchestra are fine, also as usual, and guest conductor Massimo Zanetti is proving to be one of the best in the series. Verdi’s masterful score seemingly goes from highlight to highlight and Zanetti guides it flawlessly, and with good forward impetus. A few minor cuts are taken.


This set surpasses the Zurich set, also with Nucci, with better sets and better acting. Machaidze noticeably outperforms the rather stiff Elena Mosuc as Gilda, although Mosuc sings just fine, but Zurich’s Piotr Becza?a gets the singing nod as Duke of choice. I think Nucci sings a bit better here, but that is a judgment not made by a fan. There are surprisingly few other major contenders in the 15 or so commercial video recordings available. This C Major rendition is quite a strong one and the only one on high definition Blu-ray disc. Despite my reservations about Nucci, this production deserves a strong recommendation.

FANFARE: Bill White
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Alessandro Bianchini (Bass), Ezio Maria Tisi (Bass), Mauro Buffoli (Tenor),
Roberto Tagliavini (Bass), Leo Nucci (Baritone), Stefanie Irányi (Mezzo Soprano),
Nino Machaidze (Soprano), Marco Spotti (Bass), Katarina Nikolic (Mezzo Soprano),
Francesco Demuro (Tenor), Orazio Mori (Bass)
Conductor:  Massimo Zanetti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Teatro Regio Orchestra,  Parma Teatro Regio Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
Date of Recording: 10/2008 
Venue:  Teatro Regio di Parma 

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