Jason Howard as Rigoletto and Simone Osborne as Gilda
Reviewed by James Karas
*** (out of five)
Can you set Rigoletto, in a high-rise apartment building, in modern dress, without popping any of your credulity strings? Probably not but that is what Opera Hamilton has done in its production directed by Michael Cavanagh.
During the overture, Rigoletto, a court jester, walks on stage dragging a large duffel bag from which he pulls out a puppet that he will use to mock the courtiers. We will see the duffel bag again.
The opening scene of the opera is a ball in the Duke of Mantua’s palace. In this production we are in an apartment or office in a high-rise building with a view of a city’s skyline in the back. A bunch of businessmen change from their black suits into Halloween costumes. They are going to have a wild party. Women are sexual objects, at best, and morality does not exist even as a word.
My full review of this production may be read here:
Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi opened on October 20 and will be performed four times until October 27, 2012 at The Dofasco Centre for the Arts, Hamilton, Ontario