Live from London

Local opera lovers will be able to attend a Royal Opera production at the cinema.

April 11, 2012 14:27
2 minute read.
A Royal Opera production

A Royal Opera production. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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This coming Tuesday (April 17th) opera lovers from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa will enjoy a Covent Garden Rigoletto production without taking a hasty flight to London – but rather driving to local cinema theaters (Rav Chen in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, YesPlanet in Haifa) to see a high quality live broadcast of Verdi’s masterpiece Rigoletto.

This is part of a world-wide project, which Israel recently joined. In the framework of this project, opera productions are broadcast to more 600 cinema houses in the USA, Romania, Spain, France and other countries in a top K2 quality. The first opera, Puccini’s Tosca, with Angela Gheorghiu in the lead, was already shown in Israel in March.

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On the whole, the project features nine operatic and ballet Royal Opera House productions that will be relayed, with one show every month – but don’t worry, then another season starts! Among the productions are Romeo and Julia (a ballet), operas Faust, by Gounod, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (in a 3D version), Cinderella, by Massnet, Verdi’s Macbeth, Mozarts eternal masterpiece Don Giovanni, and others.

The current vivid and colorful production of Verdi’s larger than life heart rending drama of love, betrayal and dark revenge, staged by David McVicar, saw its premiere in 2001 and features Tanya McCallin’s period costumes and Michael Vale’s starkly effective sets. Among the soloists are Dimitri Platanias (the court jester Rigoletto), Ekaterina Siurina (his innocent daughter Gilda) and Vittorio Grigolo as Duke of Mantua. John Eliot Gardiner leads the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and the Royal Opera Chorus.

David McVicar, born in 1966, is widely regarded as one of the leading opera directors of his generation.

Frequently described as a genius, he rarely escapes the label of “enfant terrible” and “angry young man.”

Speaking of Rigoletto, he notices that the piece “which comes from the political foments of the early 19th century, was written at the same period as the Marxist Manifesto, and as such, is a scream of rage against inequality, and not only that between the rich and the poor.” He continues: “It screams also against criteria of beauty and ugliness, and this is why I find it so compelling to our society. It deals with the questions of what is beautiful and what is ugly, to what and to whom do we give our implicit trust? To whom we do not?” Speaking about his directorial approach, McVicar explains that he is not interested in what is similar to that of a “rich Californian lady getting a face lift, but in investigating the piece, it’s energy, what drove the composer when he created it, what was he angry about, what was that he wanted to say the audience and what did he want people to feel and think?” He concludes: “The society has changed, but human beings have not.


Verdi is talking about how people are relating to each other within a society, and today the way they react on Rigoletto is the same as it was in the 1850s.”

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