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2014-12 + 2015-6, Vienna, Rigoletto




Composer: Giuseppe Verdi Venue and Dates:

Vienna, Staatsoper 20, 23, 27, 30 December
2 January 2015

17, 20, 23, 26 and 30 June 2015 – cancelled

Conductor: Myung-Whun Chung (Dec+Jan) except 27.12.: Guillermo García Calvo
Director: Pierre Audi
Designer+ Costumes: Christof Hetzer
Lighting Designer: Bernd Purkrabek


Rigoletto: Simon Keenlyside/Paolo Rumetz (23.12.+27.12.+30.12.)/George Petean (2.1.15)
Gilda: Erin Morley
The Duke of Mantua: Piotr Beczala
Monterone: Sorin Coliban
Sparafucile: Ryan Speedo Green
Maddalena: Elena Maximova
Giovanna: Donna Ellen
Marullo: Mihail Dogotari
Borsa: James Kryshak
Il Conte di Ceprano: Marcus Pelz
La Contessa di Ceprano: Lydia Rathkolb

Click here to see the list of all cinemas which will broadcast the openening night.

 Photo Gallery

Sound bites

Maria Useynova, Operanews.ru

” … It turned out that the main excitement and experience of this evening was not due to the theatrical tragedy of the ducal jester but to the real drama of the singer who interpreted the role. The darling of Vienna, British baritone Simon Keenlyside, could not continue to perform because of voice problems in the middle of the opera after the aria “Cortigiani …”What was worse, they did not interrupt the performance, i.e. Rigoletto actually didn’t sing the remaining duet scene. After so dramatic an end of act II, the stormy indignation of the audience, the successful exchange of the main hero – the emotional degree of the performance sank. ……   Simon Keenlyside is not only an extraordinary actor who pays attention to every detail but the owner of a unique voice. His ability to express the most tender lyricism as well as “coarsen” his voice to characteristic hoarseness provides for an unlimited range of vocal acting, and his total commitment as an actor makes practically each work of the singer outstandig. In this Rigoletto there was more of Wozzeck’s sick, crippled soul than of the Commendatore’s vengeful irritability. Keenlyside is one of those actors who – giving their all – can die on stage. That is why the interpretation of “Cortigiani” with an already weakened voice didn’t especially surprise anybody – this was not just an aria full of rage, it was a veritable wailing song, vocally imperfect but dramatically organic. When I saw the piece I understood why the singer didn’t ask for the curtain to be dropped: The end of act II is the intellectual climax of the whole production and Simon hoped to maintain the psychological unity built up by the director to the end. It didn’t work – his voice failed , but he definitely deserved a medal “for shown courage” (Medal of Honour?) …”
















Gerhard Persché, Opera Magazine, March 2015

“It happened on the first night of the new Rigoletto at the STAATSOPER (December 20). Having just sung ‘Cortigiani, vil razza dannata’ in an extremely intense, demanding way, Simon Keenlyside lost his voice in the scene with Gilda (Erin Morley), and left the stage. After some time – while Myung-Whun Chung had the Staatsopernorchester playing on in a merciless ‘music minus one’ manner – Keenlyside reappeared, and basically marked until the end of the act. The third act was sung by his standby Paolo Rúmez, … Rúmez did a brave but rather conventional job, not to be compared with the English baritone’s outstanding, gripping interpretation of Verdi’s jester. Keenlyside’s Rigoletto was highly sensitive, his aggression towards the people around him making him an outsider at court. And it became quite obvious that even in the supposed safety of their home, Gilda feared her father.  Pierre Augi’s production revolved around Keenlyside and lost its centre when the baritone retired sick. Otherwise it was somewhat traditional in movement and gesture, with costumes giving a hint of the Renaissance and with bare, gloomy décor mounted on a revolving stage – a sort of backyard duchy. …”


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gudrun November 27, 2014 at 4:28 pm

The December issue of “Prolog”, the magazine of Vienna State Opera is online, with several articles on the new Rigoletto production, including one by Simon himself.


Lieneke Effern March 10, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Rigoletto at the Vienna State Opera will be a new production, director is Pierre Audi.

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