[Met Performance] CID:266310

Metropolitan Opera House, Mon, October 19, 1981

Debut : Richard J. Clark, David Sell

Rigoletto (583)
Giuseppe Verdi | Francesco Maria Piave
Matteo Manuguerra

Judith Blegen

Duke of Mantua
Juan Lloveras

Isola Jones

Jerome Hines

Richard J. Clark [Debut]

Dana Talley

John Darrenkamp

Count Ceprano
Norman Andersson

Countess Ceprano
Loretta Di Franco

Batyah Godfrey Ben-David

Joyce Olson

Glenn Bater

Giuseppe Patanè

John Dexter

Tanya Moiseiwitsch

Lighting Designer
Gil Wechsler

Norbert Vesak

Stage Director
David Sell [Debut]

Rigoletto received twenty-three performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Speight Jenkins in the Post

A new Rigoletto who rings the bell

In Matteo Manuguerra the Metropolitan Opera last night found a real Rigoletto. The Italian baritone did not just sing the role well, he eloquently used his voice and his body to convey the character's anguish, frustration and pain.His voice is large and well focused, but other baritones have more orotund voices. Indeed, the slight edge in Manuguerra's instrument makes Verdi's Jester that much more real.

What makes him special is how much he makes you care for the character. One insight after another painted the deformed hunchback who loves his daughter so unwisely if so well. Invariably, he synthesized word and tone unforgettably in his abject plea for the courtiers' mercy in Act II and his later vow of vengeance at that act's curtain. His cry against the curse at the opera's end seemed not a vocal expression but the annihilation of a spirit. Giuseppe Patane, in his seasonal return to the Met, aided him in every way, conducting a brisk, intelligent performance that never lagged and had lots of temperament. No routine came from the pit.

As Gilda, Judith Blegen sounded more intense and Italianate that I can remember her, singing a lovely "Caro Nome" (with a wonderful final trill), a passionate close of Act II and a moving, well-phrased death scene.

Opera is rarely Eden and the drawback in this performance was one Juan Lloveras, the Duke. After two acts of slurring most of his phrases and singing invariably loudly, however, he turned out a stronger final act with better high notes and some blending in the quartet.

Richard J. Clark made a sonorous debut as Monterone, and Jerome Hines sang a malevolent Sparafucile. Tanya Moiseiwitsch's set still looks like the Witch's house in "Hansel and Gretel" on a bad day. But nothing could detract from the vocal drama of Manuguerra.

Search by season: 1981-82

Search by title: Rigoletto,

Met careers