Opera Platform's newest addition to their operas available for streaming is the Opera Stuttgart Rigoletto. I just finished it and first of all I want to say this is IMHO one of the best sung Rigoletto's I have heard in a long time. The young baritone Tito You is terrific as Rigoletto, but he is not alone the rest of the cast is excellent. Atalla Ayan sings a great Duke and Mirella Bunoica is a very tomboyish Gilda. Liang Li is wonderfully sonorous as Sparafucile and the biggest surprise of the performance is the outstanding Monterone of Roland Bracht. The Maddalena of Stine Marie Fischer was very well sung, but I found her characterization to be the most confusing of the production. What was her attitude towards the Duke? She didn't seem to like him at all, but yet she talks her brother into saving his life - why? The chorus was excellent and completely perverse and the entire performance was conducted by Guiliano Carella who paced a quick performance of this opera - in fact at times he almost left his singers in the dust, but they all managed to pull it off ok.
The production by Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito is an interesting combination of traditional and Regie elements. Frankly, I'm not sure I completely understand the concept. But even so I enjoyed the performance very much. The production had me scratching my head at times but it never obscured the magnificent singing. There seemed to be an undercurrent of revolution which began with the Italian nationalist revolution (Viva Verdi! - how appropriate) and moved through the French Revolution and then ended up with the Chinese revolution under Mao (Rigoletto's costume in the last scene was a very wrinkled Mao costume). Gilda was played as much more independent and also with much resentment and anger towards her father - I actually really appreciated that, it was refreshing. I personally find Gilda's traditional naivité and victimhood to be rather tireseome. So she was more of a willing participant once she is abducted and seemed quite unhappy to be rescued. The problem with all of this is that the libretto consistently undermined the concept. In this case I almost wish I could have turned off the English titles. I would have enjoyed the production more. The end of the opera is really interesting. Made me think of Shakespeare: "All the world's a stage and the people in it merely players." Anyway, I really did enjoy this production and I hope to see and hear more of Tito You. He is a terrific dramatic baritone.