February 11th, 2014


RIGOLETTO In The Rain....

Horrible manky morning.I just can't shake this weir, low-grade cold lurgy, which is getting worse loads of throaty/nosy mucous and misery. Think I'll turn in early tonight. Wore my new red parka thingie, which feels 'too small', but H and S assured me it's OK. Unfortunately, I unobservantly sat in a seat soaked with piss on the homeward bus. Yuck. Now I'll have to wash it. Can't feckin' believe it...
H and I have seen the fabulous Jonathan Miller 'Mafia' RIGOLETTO, countless times, with about half a dozen casts, and don't feel anything could ever top it.ENO's new co-production  with Canadian Opera Company works quite well, though. I was a bit baffled at first. The entire action seems to take place in the Duke's plush Victorian hangout, and characters, especially Giovanna, keep wandering in and out of scenes they don't belong in. Eventually, I twigged that it's all Rigoletto's dream, as he revisits the unhappy events from his armchair. I found Graeme Jenkins' tempi a bit slow in the first act, but everything picked up in the second half as things got ever darker and weirder. By the end, I was 'gripped and moved, as they say. The cast was solid. Tenor Barry Banks, hardly the answer to the average maiden's prayer has the voice and confidence to be quite believable as the dashing lothario.Anna Christy made a sweetly neurotic, vulnerable Gilda, and Quinn Kelsey's Rigoletto stole the show. It's nice to see the old ENO on such a roll this season; one topnotch production after another, despite all the financial woes.
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