Saturday, 14 February 2009

HOT: Rigoletto, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden WC2E 9DD

It was fitting that my Valentines Day night was spent in my most-loved London building, the Royal Opera House, and for my last ever ROH performance (weep).
As a result of my packing anxieties and mental exhaustion, I didn't have time to study up on the storyline for Rigoletto, which meant the opening scene of nudity, fornication and debauchery was not at all what I was expecting. I also couldn't work out which characters were doing what. Luckily, Shani came to the rescue with an old program so in the interval I studied up on the intrigues of the deformed jester Rigoletto, his beautiful daughter Gilda and the corrupt womaniser the Duke of Mantua.

Ekaterina Siurina's ringing high notes had a beautiful pearly tone that even a recording of Maria Callas (which Shani insisted I listen to) was no comparison for me. Rigoletto also received many 'bravos' for his performance, especially at the climax when he discovered Gilda's body. Unfortunately, my enjoyment of the most recognisable aria in the opera 'La donna รจ mobile' was marred by memories of the jingle for Leggo's Pasta Sauce ("Leggo's Authentico....").

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