Sunday, October 23, 2016

October 23, 2005: Rigoletto in Nordfjordeid

2005-10-23 Rigoletto (Verdi), Opera Nordfjord

Monterone = Knut Skram
Rigoletto = Thorbjørn Lindhjem
Gilda = Trude Helen Binderø
The Duke = Gardar Thor Cortes
Maddalena = Anna Einarsson
Sparafucile = Trond Gudevold
Borsa = Gunnar Domstein
Marullo = Morten Kvaal
Count Ceprano = Bjørn Gisle Seter
Countess Ceprano / The Page =
Ann Magritt Bjørnsen
Giovanna = Solfrid Bjørkum

Michael Pavelich, conductor

First time as opera director, famous Norwegian actor Toralv Maurstad is making his debut with the tragic opera Rigoletto by Verdi in Opera Nordfjord. In my opinion this must be one of the most successful productions of this opera. With two veteran baritones Thorbjørn Lindhjem as Rigoletto and Knut Skram as Monterone, no wonder it works out well. This Monterone is truly impressive, and this Rigoletto is very dramatic and real. Soprano Trude Helen Binderø as Gilda is more than just a beautiful voice. Duke of Mantua is sung by tenor Gardar Thor Cortes from Iceland, a great promise with not only beautiful voice but perfect diction, and a great actor, too. The Swedish mezzo-soprano Anna Einarsson sang Maddalena and what a great mezzo voice it was, very impressive. Trond Gudevold as hired murderer Sparafucile was another great find. How wonderful to find people who can act in such a natural way, that is sometimes missing in the Sparafuciles of the world. Also Gunnar Domstein as Borsa impressed me much, imagine that he is not a professional opera singer. Marullo sung by baritone Morten Kvaal did not impress me in the same degree but then Marullo is not often marked upon when you see this opera. Bjørn Gisle Seter as Count Ceprano was vocally underpowered and not always quite there as an actor. Ann Magritt Bjørnsen who sang both Countess Ceprano and the Page did a good job though I did not quite agree on the interpretation of Countess Ceprano but that must be the director's fault, or maybe it is just my impression.

The known scenography and costume designer John Kristian Alsaker was responsible in making this RIGOLETTO such a great success.

And conductor Michael Pavelich lead this Rigoletto to a successful end. Strangely this time the orchestra was not together all the time as yesterday. But that is just blue-berries.

***On an earlier post about Rigoletto someone tried to tell me that I wrong about feeling that either Morten Kvaal or Bjørn Gisle Seter was not great (which was my impression) or that I was wrong in state that one of them was even singing. Well, what can I say, I only have the role list from Opera Nordfjord and no one told me about a change in casting.***

Of course, I am interested in knowing who really sang what, but to just say I am wrong or even rude when I personally find such or such singer underpowering, that is a bit too much, isn't it?

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