OPERA STEPHEN POL­LARD

The Jewish Chronicle - - Arts & Entertainment -

Royal Opera House, London WC2

THERE is one com­pelling rea­son to see this re­vival of David Mcvicar’s 11-year-old pro­duc­tion of Rigo­letto. He is called Sir John Eliot Gar­diner.

Gar­diner’s con­duct­ing is not merely thrilling — he strips the score of the ac­cre­tions of tra­di­tion (which Toscanini cut­tingly de­scribed as a fool’s mem­ory of the last bad per­for­mance), al­low­ing ev­ery line to breathe and Verdi’s or­ches­tra­tion, so of­ten taken for granted, to emerge in its glory. An elec­tric cur­rent runs through ev­ery bar.

Eka­te­rina Si­u­rina’s Gilda is beau­ti­fully sung, but the vo­cal star is Greek bari­tone Dim­itri Pla­ta­nias in the ti­tle role. If any­thing, his voice is too beau­ti­ful, lead­ing to an un­der­char­ac­terised first act. But in the sec­ond and third acts he claims the role as his own. As for Vit­to­rio Grigolo’s Duke: ham act­ing and preen­ing vo­cal tricks com­bine into a per­for­mance of ut­ter vul­gar­ity. He once seemed so promis­ing. But his good looks and beau­ti­ful top reg­is­ter ap­pear to have been squan­dered.

Mcvicar’s pro­duc­tion, which was once mildly shock­ing, now seems tired. But this is Gar­diner’s show. ( Tel: 020 7304 4000)

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