Rigoletto at the Israeli Opera
Written by: Ayelet Dekel
Verdi’s Rigoletto, directed by David Pountney, closes the Israeli Opera’s current season with a flourish. The popular opera will be performed from June 30 – July 14, 2012, conducted by Daniele Callegari and Daniel Cohen.
The stark lines and bold colors of the late Stefanos Lazaridis (1942 – 2010) set design heighten the dramatic mood of this dark tale of passions. Red velvet curtains, the color of blood and romance, are regal and luxurious, yet ominous as they are drawn to hide nefarious deeds and plots. Juxtaposed with the curtains, are clear cubes, such as the one in which Rigoletto hides his beloved daughter Gilda. A tree grows within this unlikely refuge, and when Gilda stands on the roof of the structure to sing “Caro nome” (dearest name) it is one of the most beautiful moments in the opera.
The set reflects the downward spiral of events, in an allusive and intriguing manner throughout the opera. Lazaridis’ design meshes wonderfully with Pountney’s direction. The late Lazaridis was born in Ethiopia of Greek parents and studied in Paris and London. He designed plays, ballets and operas for companies all over the world including The Royal Shakespeare Company and La Scala, and worked with Pountney at the English National Opera on many productions.
Director David Pountney was born in England and became internationally known through his production of Katya Kabanova (Janacek) at the 1972 Wexford Festival. Between 1975-80, he was Director of Production for Scottish Opera. His productions there featured a Janacek cycle in collaboration with Welsh National Opera of Jenufa, House of the Dead, The Makropulos Case, Katya Kabanova and The Cunning Little Vixen. He directed the world première of David Blake’s Toussaint in 1977 at English National Opera and went on to become Director of Productions in 1980, directing over 20 operas. He directs regularly in all international leading opera houses and is the Director of the Bregenz Festival, Austria. David Pountney was made a CBE and a Chevalier in the French Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 1993.
Rigoletto will be performed through July 14, 2012 at the Israeli Opera, 19 Shaul Hamelech Blvd, Tel Aviv. Tickets may be ordered online www.israel-opera.co.il or call: 03-692777.