Reviewed by Paula Citron
October 12, 2011
Canadian Opera Company
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi
Conducted Johannes Debus
Directed by Christopher Alden
Performed by Quinn Kelsey, Ekaterina Sadovnikova, David Lomelí, Kendall Gladen, Phillip Ens, Robert Pomakov and Megan Latham
Four Seasons Centre
Sept. 29 to Oct. 22, 2011
Christopher Alden, “The Brat of Opera”, has brought his new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto to the COC.
Alden tends to over-symbolize and over-metaphor. You never get bored watching an Alden production because you never know what’s going to happen next – in other words, what weird tangent he’s going to veer off in.
Designer Michael Levine has created a posh gentleman’s club where the Duke holds court, and this is where all the action takes place. The second act works better,, for example, with all the men gawking at the Duke’s rape of Gilda. But as a whole, it’s a pretty bizarre production that purists will hate.
The musical values are strong, with astute maestro Johannes Debus in the pit. Baritone Quinn Kelsey as Rigoletto has a rich, rolling Verdian voice, while tenor David Lomelí as the Duke goes fearlessly for the money notes. Soprano Ekaterina Sadovnikova’s voice is a bit thin for Gilda.
Rigoletto continues at the Four Seasons Centre until Oct. 22.