Sunday, February 17, 2013
I did something very exciting and special yesterday!  I attended  a matinee of Verdi's Rigoletto that was telecast to theaters around the world.  It was broadcast live to 1,900 movie theaters and I was present to share in that experience!

Our group arrived an hour before showtime, no sooner did we get settled when the screen took us to the opera where we saw the workers preparing the set.

We also saw the people arriving, getting settled in their seats as we had done.

Renee Fleming To Host Metropolitan Opera's Live In HD Broadcast Of Verdi's Rigoletto Featuring Piotr Beczala, Željko Lucic, Diana Damrau.

Before the opera started the HD host Renne Fleming interviewed the producer Michael Meyer who spoke about how he felt Rigoletto could be transformed from the 16th century Mantua to a 1960 hotel and casino on The Strip in Las Vegas.  Both had plenty of shady characters, drinkers, gamblers and womanizers in their towns.

When it came to casting "The Rat Pack" was a natural - The Duke of Mantua was the 60's "Old Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra (wearing a tuxedo most of the time).

I've never been to the opera or had much exposure to the music so seeing it in a modern setting was an ideal way to get familiar with it.  I wonder how the died in the wool opera goer feels about that.

I read the story of Rigoletto beforehand, but you know how that goes.  It's like a twisted soap opera.

What helped a lot was that there were subtitles throughout the entire performance so I was able to put two and two together.

Between the three acts there were 15 minute intermissions where Renee Fleming interviewed various cast members.   To see them as individuals and hear  them speak after having seen them perform was a treat.  And Renee herself is no slouch.  What a charmer she is!

The high drama takes place in the last act.

I don't have to say that the following is a spoiler because if you are familiar with the story line you know that Gilda, Rigoletto's daughter, dies at the end but it's the way she dies!  She's stabbed to death and is placed in the trunk of a car.

Dad finds her in the trunk and is devastated, sings to her, she's dead but she responds - Then she dies!!!


Now that I've seen Rigoletto I'd like to see and hear more of the music that I just experienced!

I'd love to hear from fellow bloggers who are opera goers or have been to an HD presentation.

Millie, a year or so ago my husband wanted to go to a live broadcast of the NY Met doing Carmen. I thought it was going to be dreadful but went just to humor him. Was I ever wrong! It was just marvelous. I loved the backstage visits almost as much as the opera itself. What a wonderful way to experience something I would never get to see in person at the Met!

I've only been to one opera - at the Kennedy Center 17 years ago. It was enjoyable but I was lost. I understand how it prompts more interest though. Seeing a theater production of Fiddler on the Roof made me want to buy the CD and listen to the music again and again. I didn't though. :)

What an fun experience for you!
sounds like a great experience
Awww, Millie, you've been horribly spammed.
I've not been to a real opera - just to musicals like HMS Pinafore, Fiddler on the Roof, etc which I've attended for years and years. Neither have I experienced opera on HD as you did. Fortunately, some radio stations do carry live opera, which I usually enjoy.

Cop Car
Year after year, I bought tickets to live performances here in Washington DC. Year after year, my husband fell asleep during the performance. Now he listens to opera on the car radio. No more opera tickets for me...too pricey. Dianne

PS, happy you enjoyed your HD performance.
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