Opera Review by Willard Manus
Verdi's portrait of the doomed hunchback Rigoletto (the superb baritone, George Gagnidze) was fully and excitingly realized by Los Angeles Opera in its recent production of the eponymous opera. First directed in 1997 by Mark Lamos (for the San Francisco Opera Co.), this RIGOLETTO featured a striking, modern-ish set by Michael Yeargan, dynamic conducting by James Conlon, and first-rate singing by the entire cast.
The soprano Sarah Coburn (memorable in last year's The Barber of Seville) was poignant and effective as Gilda; Gianluca Terranova attacked the role of The Duke with roguish charm and mellifluous tones; and Andrea Silvestrelli won bravos for his slightly-over-the-top, charismatic performance as the hired killer Sparafucile. Among the other captivating singers were Kendall Gladen (Maddalena), Carin Gilfry (Giovanna), and Valentina Fleer (as the Countess).

RIGOLETTO is famed for its wealth of melody and for its dramatic and poignantly tragic story. These qualities came through strongly in this blessedly unfussy, unabashedly traditional production.
In February 2011 LA Opera will mount Il Turco in Italia by Rossini. That will be followed in March by Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw. Both performances will take place in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave.

For tickets and information call (213) 972-8001 or laopera.com