Friday, October 7, 2011

Christopher Alden Sets the Record Straight About "Rigoletto"

Ekaterina Sadovnikova as Gilda and Quinn Kelsey as Rigoletto in
the Canadian Opera Company production. (Photo: Michael Cooper)
"One of the busiest opera directors on the international opera circuit today, Christopher Alden was in Toronto this September for the rehearsals of the new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Canadian Opera Company. His creative team chose to set the work in the period in which Verdi composed the opera. The Chicago Lyric Opera decided not to revive this production due to donor pressure, but Toronto audiences seem to be more open to innovative readings of the old operatic mainstays. The new Rigoletto premiered at the COC on Sept. 29 and will be on stage until Oct. 22." The revealing interview by Tandem's Lydia Perovic goes on to discuss topics such as the director's rule for adapting the Rigoletto production for modern time, the environment of arts organizations in the United States, how music dictates his directing, his view of why so women die in opera, whether Italy has conservative views on new productions and whether or not there has been an opera too challenging for him to conceptualize. Read the whole story here.

Side note: The Lyric Opera of Chicago replaced the Alden production in 2006 with a more traditional approach led by director Stefano Vizioli.

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