As I said in yesterday’s post, Rigoletto was fantastic. As part of the Opera Supper Club we were invited for drinks and nibbles prior to the show and then at the interval were plied with more wine, or in my case water as it was so very warm in the theatre. This crazy weather we are experiencing makes it so difficult for organisers – it is autumn and it should be getting cold, instead of which we are having better weather than we had in the summer. As my grandsons would say – go figure!
Anyway, the story of Rigoletto is no doubt known to you all. The Duke Mantua and his jester, Rigoletto are cursed by the nobleman, Monterone because the Duke has defiled Monterone’s daughter. Meantime, Rigoletto is keeping secret the fact that he has a beautiful young daughter. Of course, Gilda, Rigoletto’s daughter falls into the clutches of the evil Duke, Rigoletto vows and plans revenge but in the end it is not the Duke but Gilda who is killed.
There you have it – Rigoletto in fewer than 70 words. Do read the synopsis from the Met here.
After the performance we were once again treated to a look behind the scenes with the stage manager. He explained how the props were moved up and down, how the revolving stage worked and also how all of this amazing scenery would be packed into containers on Saturday morning (“so if anybody is free on Saturday…”) and then shipped off to Auckland on Sunday. Apparently it takes all day to dismantle and more than a day to install and to check that all is working as it should at the other end.
Much of the scenery had been hand painted including the marbled effect on the salon walls. A magnificent chandelier had been purposely made for the production but had already been booked for hire by another organisation for use in its production.
And later in the year the whole set is to be shipped to Brisbane, Queensland, Australia for use by the Opera Queensland – Lindy Hume, the Director of Rigoletto is usually based in/with Opera Queensland.
And when the sets of the various operas are not being used, they are stored in containers in an open yard on the outskirts of Auckland.
Just a fascinating half hour and a perfect way to round off a perfect evening.
Earlier this week I asked what would your perfect day be like. Now after this perfect evening I ask you what would your perfect evening look like.
Ducks on the lake at sunset.
- Rigoletto (growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com)
- More Opera (growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com)
- Thanks and an Opera (growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com)
- Who Should Direct An Opera Production? (wqxr.org)
First I would like to celebrate a milestone and say thanks to my loyal followers. Today I reached the heady total of 150 yes, one hundred and fifty followers.
“I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.”
For many of the blogs I follow this is a small number but when I first started on this blogging journey some 14 months ago I wasn’t sure that I would gain even one follower. So I am overwhelmed by this total.
I have written before on my love of opera. Recently I wrote about Manon at The Met and other operas I have seen in that series.
Here in New Zealand we have a
very professional world class opera company. The company (NBR New Zealand Opera) puts on two or three performances each year, with singers brought in from around the world to support and encourage our own ‘home grown’ talent.
The next performance is to be Verdi’s Rigoletto directed by Australian Lindy Hume who was last here in 2007 to direct Lucia di Lammermoor. The NBR New Zealand Opera’s Director of Music, Wyn Davies, conducts a stellar cast, including Warwick Fyfe in the title role, Emma Pearson as his daughter Gilda and Rafael Rojas as the cynical womaniser, the Duke of Mantua.
NBR NZ Opera’s The Supper Club
NZ Opera has a so -called Supper Club which is part of the NBR New Zealand Opera’s sponsorship programme. This allows entry-level sponsorship of the opera at a level we can afford. In return we get early notice of upcoming operas, tickets and invitations to special events at which we meet some of the singers from here and overseas. Tonight was one such event.
Over wine and beautiful finger food, we got to meet all three principals of Rigoletto. And as a special treat they all sang for us.
The Wellington function is always held in Logan Brown‘s a first class restaurant housed in an old bank building and the banking chamber is perfect for the acoustics required for opera. There are never more than 30 invited guests and so it is quite an intimate occasion and as we are so very close to the performers, we get to see all the facial actions which we won’t see in the theatre.
The Opera performs in both Wellington and Auckland with each centre having its own chorus. So the Director has the added challenge of getting two choruses working individually with the stars. There are to be only four performances in Wellington and the cast is busily rehearsing for the opening night which is to be May 19th. I am really looking forward to this production and so watch this space!
Grand opera is the most powerful of stage appeals and that almost entirely through the beauty of music.