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Giuseppe Verdi: Rigoletto [Teatro Regio di Parma] Blu-ray Review

verdi-rigoletteo-teatro-regio-di-parma-blu-ray-cover

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: PCM 2.0; DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio  
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Running Time: 148 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: C Major
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 26, 2013
  • List Price: $39.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

 

The Performance

[Rating:3/5]

title

Rigoletto has always been one of Verdi’s most popular operas, blessed by a great score, numerous vocal highlights, and a reasonably straightforward storyline. The present performance comes from the Teatro Regio di Parma in the continuing Tutto Verdi series and was recorded in 2008.

Rigoletto (baritone Leo Nucci) is the hunchbacked court jester to the lascivious Duke of Mantua (tenor Francesco Demuro). In the opera’s first Act, Rigoletto publicly ridicules Count Monterone (bass Roberto Tagliavini) who places a curse on the jester’s head. Later, we find that Rigoletto has a beautiful daughter, Gilda (soprano Nino Machaidze) whom he has sequestered in his house. Gilda has fallen in love with the Duke (disguised as a poor student). Unwittingly, the jester is tricked in helping kidnap his daughter who is spirited off to become another of the Duke’s conqests. When Rigoletto finds that Gilda has been ravished by the Duke, he engages the assassin Sparafucile (bass Marco Spotti) to exact revenge. However, Gilda gets word of the plot and sacrifices her own life to save the man that she loves. At the final curtain, Rigoletto is holding his dying daughter, knowing that the Count’s curse has been fully realized.

Baritone Nucci has sung this role so many times, that he probably sleeps in the jester’s costume. However, at the time of this recording, while his characterization captures this role’s complexities, his voice has evidence of much of wear and tear. Soprano Machaidze turns in the performance of the evening, conveying the youth and innocence of her character, yet bringing Gilda to more life than this role usually receives. The downer of this production is tenor Demuro’s uninformed, rather characterless Duke whose voice lacks power, a bottom end or much inflection.  Youthful conductor Massimo Zanetti does a nice job leading his forces and dealing with the protean elements in this alternately dark and effervescent score.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

rigo2

This is one of the best videographed productions that I have yet seen in the Tutto Verdi series. Colors are often eye-popping, and the many close ups have such detail that they appear holographic. Stage coverage is very good.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

count

The Teatro di Parma is a very voice-friendly house and we get to hear the singers quite well. Orchestral detail is also well captured with better ambience surround track.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

gilda

The Tutto Verdi series provides both synopsis with clips from the production and background information on the opera’s composition. A nice booklet also has some synopsis and background material. Trailers for other C Major releases in this collection round out the extras.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

quatet

This being Leo Nucci’s third video in the title role and second Blu-ray, his Rigoletto competes with himself. Having reviewed his previous Blu-ray version, a 2006 Zurich Opera production, there are some important points for comparison. The Nucci voice is in better shape for the earlier version but more importantly this Blu-ray has the Duke of Polish tenor Piotr Beczala that is leagues better than what we get on the current release. The Gilda of Elena Mosuc is decent in the Zurich production if not as characterful as what Machaidze gives us here. What makes the earlier Blu-ray Disc the choice is the absolutely idiomatic conducting by Verdi veteran Nello Santi, and to sweeten the deal, a $9.99 sticker price.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Verdi: Rigoletto on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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duo

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Purchase Verdi: Rigoletto on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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