The immature and inexperienced young German director Christiane Lutz makes a total hash of Rigoletto at Glyndebourne on Tour
Glyndebourne on Tour Until December 7
Glyndebourne has never done Rigoletto before. It would have been better if it had stayed that way. The immature and inexperienced young German director Christiane Lutz – the new Mrs Jonas Kaufmann, by the way – makes a total hash of it.
Rigoletto is one of Verdi’s most popular operas. Glyndebourne Touring has assembled a good international cast, with a capable conductor, Thomas Blunt. What could possibly go wrong? Enter Ms Lutz.
Hers is a truly crazy production. Rigoletto becomes Charlie Chaplin, with two other Chaplin doppelgängers hanging around, and a ridiculous old man who strips off (yuk!) during the overture.
Rigoletto becomes Charlie Chaplin – Nikoloz Lagvilava is a sonorous and eloquent Rigoletto and Vuvu Mpofu shows considerable promise as Gilda
He’s Rigoletto as an old man, who ends up getting killed by another invented geriatric, this time apparently the Duke (in this a film director) as an oldster. Oh, and also, during the overture, the film director (ie the Duke, keep awake at the back) sires a child who, 17 years later, emerges as Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda.
So when the Duke seduces her, he’s committing incest. Lovely jubbly!
This is the moment when we need Michael Winner to return, to say ‘Calm down, dear!’
Glyndebourne Touring has assembled a good international cast, with a capable conductor, Thomas Blunt… Matteo Lippi (above with Roisin Walsh as Page) is a fine, honey-toned Duke
Thankfully, Kaufmann himself has given up singing the Duke, so has a cast-iron alibi never to appear in this one. But even if he was still singing it, I bet he wouldn’t. Because he knows all the comment will be reserved for his wife’s production, with little left for the singers.
Poor them. Nikoloz Lagvilava is a sonorous and eloquent Rigoletto; Matteo Lippi a fine, honey-toned Duke; and Vuvu Mpofu shows considerable promise as Gilda.
If you want to go to Glyndebourne on Tour, why not try Annabel Arden’s delightful take on L’Elisir D’Amore? Mrs Kaufmann should go along; she might learn something. But I’m not holding my breath.