Rigoletto (Dmitri Hvorostovsky) enters, a scaly leather beetle, his crutches wielded like pincers, his mouth spewing venom at everyone’s expense – including his own. Hvorostovsky quickly shows us much more of the pain that lurks beneath, though, and this wonderful singer – master of the long legato – unrecognisable physically but unmistakable vocally, colludes with Verdi to show us the misguided father whose love imprisons his daughter Gilda (Patrizia Ciofi). Their duets together exude tenderness but when Rigoletto’s dark heart turns to vengeance his humanity deserts him. It is at these moments that Hvorostovsky pushes his lyric baritone to unsettling extremes, the terrible bitterness of his cry of “Joy” over the dead body be believes to be the Duke as painful as it is chilling.
Вот появляется Риголетто(Дмитрий Хворостовский), как чешуйчатый кожаный жук, его костыли работают, как клешни, его рот извергает яд на всех вокруг- включая его самого. С его появлением мы осознаем всю бездну скрытых страданий, и этот изумительный певец- мастер долгого легато(протяжного звука)- которого невозможно узнать физически, но и невозможно не узнать вокально-- как бы вступает в тайный сговор с самим Верди, чтобы изобразить введенного в заблуждение отца ,чья любовь всецело принадлежит его дочери, Джильде (П. Чиофи). Их дуэты полны нежности, но когда темная сторона души Риголетто обращается к мести, человечность оставляет его. Именно в эти моменты Хворостовский посылает свой лирический баритон в наивысшую, неизмеримую крайность, ужасна горечь его крика"Joy" над телом того, кого он считает герцогом,она вызывает боль и потрясает.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky first took up the title role in this production some five years ago and again turns in a touching and often beautifully sung performance. While the glamorous baritone is physically persuasive with hump and uneven walking sticks, the voice still sounds rather too smooth and suave than is ideal for the role. He deals with the dramatic challenges head-on, however, and is not afraid to rough up the vocal velvet.
Rigoletto is played by Dmitri Hvorostovsky, among the most noble and handsome of baritones, cast against type as the deformed, tragic jester. With the abandonment of glamour, however, comes tremendous dramatic freedom. He whirls about athletically on his crutches like some hideous parasitic insect. But we sense his soul's latent beauty in his scenes with his daughter, and watch in something akin to horror as the virulent treatment he receives from others erodes the remains both of his mental stability and moral integrity.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky was riveting in the title role. Whoever said he was wooden on stage? (Oops, guilty). Slung over a pair of crutches, he scuttled across the stage like a black leather spider, repellent yet pathetic. He sang as beautifully as the role allows, never forced, never straining for effect. His innate nobility and elegance should be all wrong for the part, but somehow he's magnetically perfect, even better than his last outing in this production about five years ago.
Dan Ettinger made an uneventful debut in the pit. The overture was raucous and scrappy, and followed by an offstage band so quiet I could barely hear them in the amphitheatre (the section with the best acoustics, too). The rest was pedestrian at best, and flawed by repeatedly imprecise brass playing. Perhaps it'll improve with practice. The singing at least was enthusiastically received by the sort of audience who applaud over the orchestra.