Opera Australia Blog

The week in opera: Rigoletto opens and San Diego gets a reprieve

Rigoletto opens in Melbourne. Photo by Jeff Busby.

Rigoletto opens in Melbourne. Photo by Jeff Busby.

Close to home

As one masterpiece marches in, another flutters out.

By Charlotte Moore

The brand new production of Rigoletto opens in Melbourne tomorrow night. Gloriously dark and deliciously gothic, expect a luxurious period production from director Roger Hodgman.

And after breaking hearts six nights a week, Tokyo will gradually be dismantled as the celebrated Madama Butterfly winds up.

Around the web

  • There have been reports from the US that pro-Russian protestors broke into the local opera house in Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine, believing it to be the town hall.
  • Classical music’s richest award was awarded to The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra this week. The $1 million dollar Birgit Nilsson prize is presented to ap erformer, institution or production for outstanding achievement in classical music annually, particularly opera.
  • The legendary British bass-baritone John Shirley-Quirk passed away on Monday at the age of 82. He is regarded as one of the world’s greatest Britten interpreters and was responsible for debuting many of the composer’s greatest roles.
  • Last minute cast changes are a common occurrence in the opera world, but soprano Kristine Opolais experienced a record breaking operatic marathon this week. The Latvian soprano had just debuted the role of Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera on Friday evening when she received a invitation to performed Mimi in La Boheme to replace ill soprano Anita Hartig. After performing the role that afternoon, she managed to clock up two Puccinis in 24 hours.
  • The pinnacle of Australia’s operatic talent picked up a swath of awards on Monday with the legendary tenor Stuart Skelton named best male singer and creative visionary Barrie Kosky named best director at the International Opera Awards.
  • The campaign to save San Diego Opera ramped up this week with board member Carol Lazier pledging a generous $1 million in support. Will it be enough to save the company? Only time will tell.

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Cheat sheet: Rigoletto

Everything you need to know about the opera many consider Verdi's masterpiece.