Post Cards from the Edge GIUSEPPE VERDI’S RIGOLETTO - January 28, 2012, 7 pm - Florida Grand Opera | Welcome to Fred’s Home Page

GIUSEPPE VERDI’S RIGOLETTO - January 28, 2012, 7 pm - Florida Grand Opera 

I first saw Rigoletto in San Francisco in 1997 and it is my favorite opera.  What’s not to love!  It has intrigue, drama, murder, and one of the best scores in opera with some of the most melodic and most recognized music in opera. 

I have to admit I was a little edgy with Florida Grand Opera’s performance with the San Francisco production in my mind.  I was pleasantly surprised by the FGO production.  The cast was impressive with some familiar faces.  Raymond Aceto was cast as Sparafucile and I had just seen him in SFO’s production of Turandot where he was great in the roll of Timur. 

I did not recognize Nadine Sierra from her roll in SFO’s production of Heart of A SoldierShe played Juliette in that opera.  Additionally, I had seen Michael Fabiano in SFO’s production of Lucrezia Borgia as Gennaro. He was excellent in that role and in this role. 

Two things stood out to me in FGO’s production.  The entire cast was a little nervous and off in the opening scene.  It seemed no one really knew what to do as the curtain opened and they just wandered about the stage. The voices were shaky.  I thought at that time it was about to be a disastrous performance.  However, as they act continued, they worked into their roles and their voices finally warmed up. 

The second thing that struck me was the chorus.  They did an excellent job. 

I admit I did not like Ms Sierra’s voice at first.  It seemed edgy to me and that she was struggling.  However, by the end of the performance, I had been won over.  She really hit the high notes quite beautifully and seemingly effortlessly. 

Mark Walters has a beautiful tenor voice and he was outstanding for most of the performance.  Unfortunately, by the time he got to “La Donne e Mobile” he was having trouble with the final high notes.  To be fair, he had done an outstanding job up to that point with excellent timbre and projection.  I suspect he’ll hit the final high notes on Sunday night.  I’ll pay to hear him sing anytime. 

Mark Walters was very good as Rigoletto and brought a great tenderness in the final scene when he discovers the death of Gilda. 

The stage set design was well done.  The image is from the Florida Grand Opera web site.

© Fred Searcy 2017