Director Christopher Alden, who staged the Canadian Opera Company’s (COC) highly acclaimed production of The Flying Dutchman, brings his singular vision to Rigoletto at the COC.
Recast in Verdi’s own era (Rigoletto was composed in 1851), Alden’s staging unfolds within the rich, ribald surroundings of a 19th-century gentleman’s club while exploring the patriarchal world in which powerful men are given free rein.
It is a new co-production with English National Opera, based on the 2000 Lyric Opera of Chicago production directed by Christopher Alden and designed by Michael Levine and will feature rising opera stars as well as established voices from the operatic world.
Hawaiian baritone Quinn Kelsey makes his COC debut as Rigoletto. Kelsey shares the role with notable Verdi baritone Lester Lynch (2001’s Billy Budd).
Young Russian soprano Ekaterina Sadovnikova makes her COC debut as Rigoletto’s doomed daughter Gilda, a role she recently sang at Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Sadovnikova shares the role of Gilda with COC Ensemble soprano Simone Osborne, a rising Canadian star who sang last winter with her Pamina in the COC’s The Magic Flute.
Sharing the role of the dashing but debauched Duke of Mantua are two of the most exciting and promising young artists on the horizon today: American tenor Dimitri Pittas, who has been compared in look and sound to a young Plácido Domingo; and Mexican tenor David Lomelí, a first-prize winner of Domingo’s world opera competition Operalia, who recently wowed Santa Fe audiences as Rodolfo in La bohème.
Canadian bass Phillip Ens (2010’s Aida) returns as the assassin Sparafucile. Young American mezzo-soprano Kendall Gladen makes her company debut as Sparafucile’s sister Maddalena.
COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducts.
This Rigoletto is Rigoletto was last performed by the COC in 2004.
Sung in Italian with English SURTITLES™, Rigoletto runs for 12 performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on Sept. 29, 30 and Oct. 2, 5, 8, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 2011.