Opera Australia Blog

Insights from a leading lady: Emma Matthews on Rigoletto rehearsals

We asked Emma Matthews to share her thoughts from the rehearsal room ahead of Rigoletto opening at the Sydney Opera House next week.

Dominica Matthews and Emma Matthews take a selfie in the Rigoletto rehearsal room.

Dominica Matthews and Emma Matthews take a selfie in the Rigoletto rehearsal room.


Today is the Rigoletto Sitzprobe…

Gianluca Terranova (the Duke) has just nailed ‘Questa o quella’… Just awesome! The AOBO under Renato Palumbo are on fire… Now this is how Rigoletto should sound!

Gianluca Terranova in the Rigoletto rehearsal room. Snap by Emma Matthews.

Gianluca Terranova in the Rigoletto rehearsal room. Snap by Emma Matthews.

Wow! I am grinning, how glorious it is to be in the midst of such artistry.
Giorgio Caoduro (Rigoletto) now starts “Quel vecchio maledivami”… Such colour.. His voice brings tears to my eyes…
I just had my go with ‘Caro Nome’ (the big soprano aria in Rigoletto).
First go with the orchestra with the fiendish added cadenza at the end of ‘Caro nome’… It was OK. I’m going up to the top E, pianissimo at the very end. It’s incredibly difficult (and not usually sung!) This is an aria I learnt in my 20s… It’s as if I become that nervy 20-year-old every time I sing it.


Emma Matthews with Giorgio Cauduro at the Rigoletto Sitzprobe.

After the break we did Acts 3 and 4.. So many different ideas from Maestro Palumbo… Giorgio Caodoro’s ‘Cortigiani’ is incredible…
And then we have the incredible duet that tears at my heart…

Straight into the last Act. David Parkin (Sparafucile) is nasty as hell, and what low notes… Phwoar..

What an amazing Sitzprobe. AOBO sound wonderful. I’m exhausted… and still tonight’s technical rehearsal to go. Yay!!!!

Emma Matthews will be sharing her thoughts from the Rigoletto rehearsals and first few performances over the next few weeks.


4 Responses to “Insights from a leading lady: Emma Matthews on Rigoletto rehearsals”

  1. zsazsa

    Thank you so very much for the great photos and very interesting report! We are so very much looking forward to hear more and more about the rehearsals, (Behind the stage) and photos of this!! Many, many thanks dear Leading Lady, Emma!

  2. Andre Coffa

    Thank you Ms. Matthews for your report and the photos. We attended the 12 July performance. I took my father as a 76th birthday present for his first opera at the Sydney Opera House. He’s Italian and we both adore opera lirica but he’d never made it to this house. Rigoletto is one of our favourites and our standard is the Tulio Serafin recording with Di Stefano, Callas and Gobbi. So we have pretty stratospheric expectations, I’m afraid. But I must say that you all did a comparable job. It was absolutely stunning. I was in disbelief for most of the third act, especially the quartet and the trio after La donna e mobile. I closed my eyes and just let that power and raw passion blow me away. When I opened my eyes I couldn’t see a thing due to the tears there. It was breath takingly good. Congratulations! Please pass on our heart-felt thanks to all the cast, especially Giorgio Cauduro. I have not heard a baritone voice like his since Gobbi. And that is not an idle compliment. I lost my voice shouting “Bravo!” and “Barvi!” during curtain call. Well done!!!

  3. Glenn & Lisa

    We just love Emma Matthews- we had the pleasure of attending last night- 12th July and I once again Ms Matthews sang so delicately beautifully! Bravi!


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