In the video above, Rigoletto director Christopher Alden (whom COC patrons might remember as the director of The Flying Dutchman in 2010) gives us his take on Verdi's masterwork. For Alden, the themes of power, privilege, and sexual morality loom large. He sees the title character, Rigoletto, as an anti-hero battling to keep the disturbing facts of his professional life – and the world he operates in – separate from his private home life. As well as watching the video, which contains some costume sketches and set mock-ups, you can read more about Alden's production here.
Although the Duke is not a very likeable character, he does get some great tunes. We'd like you to join in the fun! Our new contest, Riff on Rigoletto, invites you to submit your own creative take on the unforgettable aria "La donna è mobile" for a chance to win a pair of tickets to Rigoletto plus vocal coaching sessions with award-winning jazz vocalist Adi Braun and COC vocal coach Wayne Vogan. The submission deadline is Oct. 5 – don't miss out!
Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2011/2012 / comments (0) / permalink
In the video above, Iphigenia in Tauris conductor Pablo Heras-Casado talks about the emotional power of Gluck's music. He's also enthusiastic about starring mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, calling her the "Iphigenia of this decade."
Also, here's an interview in The WholeNote with Robert Carsen, the director of last season's Orfeo ed Euridice and this season's upcoming production of Iphigenia in Tauris. He talks about how he came to direct his acclaimed Gluck productions at the COC:
Alexander Neef invited Carsen here soon after he took over the COC following Bradshaw’s untimely death. Neef had seen Carsen’s work frequently at the Paris Opera, where Neef had been casting director. “When Alexander started talking to me about projects, he told me he wanted to bring my two Gluck productions here. I thought that was great, so I didn’t inquire why he chose those. Then later I discovered that the COC had never done anything by Gluck. I was amazed — and delighted, because Orfeo ed Euridice is one of the most important works in all of the opera canon as the first of Gluck’s reform operas, and Iphigenia in Tauris is Gluck’s masterpiece. It’s a fabulous, fantastic opera, one of my favourites.” So the pairing of the two operas makes a kind of mini-cycle, he points out. “I call it a bi-cycle.”
Check out this video featuring COC costume supervisor Sandra Corazza and costume associate Charlotte Dean discussing the "pretty big dress" on display for Rigoletto! They show off the dress, the underlying steel hoop skirt, and the "costume bible;" and also talk about sourcing the fabric and jewelry for the costumes.
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001