Magazine article Opera Canada

Spain: Madrid

Magazine article Opera Canada

Spain: Madrid

Article excerpt

The great Italian baritone Leo Nucci arrived at the Teatro Real in Madrid last June for Rigoletto and in his suitcase was his own hump! There had been some concern he would cancel his one performance due to the minimalist production of Monique Wagemakers--originally from De Nederlandse Opera--and erratic conducting by Roberto Abbado, nephew of Claudio. However, the baritone made his mark on both the cast and orchestra for a historic evening. Act III is a Verdi miracle, that slow, intense crescendo of a father's emotions, the humiliation that ends in rage--all of this was expressed by Nucci in a gripping vocal and theatrical performance. The applause at the end of the vendetta cabaletta was deafening, and surpassed after he repeated a furious "Si, vendetta, tremenda vendetta," the first bis at the Teatro Real since it reopened.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Canadian Michael Levine, as scenographer, can take considerable credit. In this refined Rigoletto of Rothko colors, the action takes place on a large hydraulic platform within a neon-lit frame. By clearly demarcating the space, the feeling of imprisonment is dramatically effective. …

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