Saturday, April 18, 2009
Last night was the opening night of the opera Rigoletto, which in itself is quite an experience. I had never been to an opening night. All went well! I was fully engaged in the story, but the music was beautiful, moving and extremely demanding of the singers. The stars of the opera are Rigoletto, played by Scott Hendricks, the Duke of Mantua, played by Eric Cutler, and Gilda, daughter of Rigoletto, played by coloratura soprano Albina Shagimuratova.
The set was very intriguingly done. A hard "curtain" with a storm-clouded sky greeted us. When the opera began, the center receded like an old box camera seen from the inside, with smaller and smaller parts, til the final square was at the rear, which then opened to reveal a red lit room, from which poured the courtiers.
Later two of the other sides moved to center stage, to reveal Rigoletto's house (simply a door, a window, a wall and a staircase), and Sparafucile's house, which was composed of wooden shutters, revealing all inside yet giving a sense of enclosure. When these sets were not in use, they receded to leave the space open for the main settings. This was designed by Michael Yeargan for the Dallas Opera, I believe. When the cloudy parts moved, there were clouds projected onto it, giving the illusion of moving clouds.