27 Mar 2012
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“Any production of Rigoletto that is not daring is not doing its job. It’s not that I’m out to shock but to honestly present a good argument about the piece. I listen to the music, look at the work from the audience’s point of view and try to take them along and propel them out at the end of the night with something.” [Lindy Hume, Director]
The NBR New Zealand Opera’s new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto, being performed in Wellington (19–26 May) and Auckland (7–17 June), is a fine example of the company’s policy of bringing old war horses to life again.
Verdi’s heart-breaking tale of love and deception has been a popular favourite of the operatic repertoire ever since its première in 1851, and amid its gorgeous music, it features one of the most recognisable arias in all opera, ‘La donna è mobile’.
On programming this popular work, Aidan Lang, General Director of The NBR New Zealand Opera, decided to bring in Lindy Hume, whose 2007 Lucia di Lammermoor so thrilled its audiences, to direct a new production and inject new life into the opera.
“This Rigoletto will be bracing and fresh,” Lang says. “Lindy is essentially giving the opera an acid bath – she’s removing the trappings of the traditional look of Rigoletto and being true to the heart of the story and what the composer sought to project.
“By engaging the characters and drama in a much more dynamic and meaningful way, Lindy will force an active rather than a passive experience for the audience – they won’t just get a pretty costume drama.”
The core issues at the heart of Rigoletto are as pertinent today as they were in Verdi’s time, so it’s fitting that this production, with its stunning design by Richard Roberts, is set in a contemporary environment, in a world the audience will recognise, if not always like.
Hume has a reputation for productions that are intelligent and well thought out theatrically, and her approach enables her to achieve exemplary performances from her singers. This production will be no exception.
by Giuseppe Verdi
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
Conductor WYN DAVIES
Director LINDY HUME
Production Designer RICHARD ROBERTS
Lighting Designer JASON MORPHETT
Rigoletto WARWICK FYFE
Duke of Mantua RAFAEL ROJAS
Gilda EMMA PEARSON
Sparafucile ASHRAF SEWAILAM
Maddalena KRISTIN DARRAGH
Count Monterone RODNEY MACANN
Count Ceprano JAMES CLAYTON
Matteo Borsa DEREK HILL
Cavaliere Marullo MATTHEW LANDRETH
Countess Ceprano EMMA FRASER
Giovanna WENDY DOYLE
The Usher MOSES MACKAY
Accompanied by the Vector Wellington Orchestra and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
With the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus
Sat 19, Thu 24 & Sat 26 May – 7.30pm, Tue 22 May – 6pm
Thu 7, Sat 9, Wed 13 & Fri 15 June – 7:30pm, Sun 17 June – 2:30pm
Single Tickets: $49.50 to $189.50. Concessions available for benefactors, senior citizens, students and group bookings. Service fees apply.
Bookings: NZ Opera Box Office, Tel (09) 379 4068 or (04) 499 8343, or:
Wellington: Ticketek, Tel 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 538) or www.ticketek.co.nz
Auckland: The Edge, Tel 0800 BUYTICKETS (0800 289 842) or www.the-edge.co.nz
Further information: www.nzopera.com