JSO’s ‘Rigoletto’ success

It is a pleasure to be able to report that the performance was, on the whole, a success with flying colors.

THE JERUSALEM Opera has provided Jerusalemites, and opera lovers from further afield, with a wide range of quality productions over the past eight years. (photo credit: ELAD ZAGMAN)
THE JERUSALEM Opera has provided Jerusalemites, and opera lovers from further afield, with a wide range of quality productions over the past eight years.
(photo credit: ELAD ZAGMAN)
Jerusalem Opera
Giuseppe Verdi: ‘Rigoletto’
Jerusalem Theater
December 7
For a still rather new opera company such as the Jerusalem Opera, the performance of a demanding opera, such as Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, is an ambitious undertaking.
It is a pleasure to be able to report that the performance was, on the whole, a success with flying colors.
Director Gabriele Ribis’s constructing the stage on two levels was a lesser evil since the Sherover hall has no orchestra pit, so what cannot be placed on the ground must therefore go onto an artificial upper floor, even though this can sometimes make understanding the action confusing.
In the lead role, Domenico Balzani’s impressive baritone turned gradually from his entreaty Cortigiani vil razza dannata (“Courtiers, vile, damnable rabble”) onward into a veritable tragic hero.
As Gilda, Veronica Brook’s bright soprano and brilliant coloraturas sometimes sounded more assertive than her soft character requires. In the role of the Duke, Metteo Falcier’s radiant tenor still sounded indifferent in his first aria, but grew into an impassioned lover in his love scene with Gilda. Denis Sadov’s dark-timbred bass, as Sparafucile, did not sound menacing enough to represent a determined murderer.
The Gary Bertini Choir sung rhythmically and aggressively to represent the heartless courtiers.
Conducted by Omer Arieli, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra contributed drama and emotion
al intensity.
However, Rigoletto’s final outcry, LaMaledizione (“The Curse”), that should be the opera’s shattering climax, sounded like an insignificant afterthought and got lost in the orchestral din.