Giuseppe Verdi –
A- Sound: A-
Extras: B- Main
just keep rolling as Naxos (through their Arthaus Musik label) keep churning
out some truly terrific releases on Blu-ray, especially with their recent
release of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto. We have already covered Verdi before with Il Trovatore here
and La Traviata here,
which of the two is more similar to Rigoletto
in that it too is released on the Arthaus label from Naxos instead of the OpusArte
series. Likewise, it’s another fine
production and we are noticing that Arthaus titles are getting DTS-HD master
audio instead of uncompressed PCM mixes.
Before we get into the technical details, first the opera itself.
Rigoletto is an opera written in three acts
with libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and premiered in Venice Italy in
1851. Here we have the performance taken
place in the Zurich Opera House under the direction of Nello Santo and the
chorus/orchestra from the Zurich Opera House.
Like Verdi’s other operas this one is complex and just as complicated
with characters of great depth, which this performance accurately
core of the story we have our court jester Rigoletto (Leo Nucci) who has a
determination to the wives and sisters to the Duke of Mantova (Piotr Beczala),
which begins to unravel when the Duke confesses his love to a young girl named
Gilda (Elena Mosuc), and her father comes to the court to lay out the charges
against the Duke, but at the courtroom the father is humiliated by Rigoletto
and by the end of the appearance a curse is placed on both the Duke and
Rigoletto. Later we find that Rigoletto
is living with Gilda oddly enough we find out that Rigoletto is actually Gilda’s
father, not his mistress and the hatred between the Duke and Rigoletto ensues
leading Rigoletto to hire a man to kill the Duke, but Gilda has fallen for the
Duke despises her fathers attempts to keep them apart. The twisted spiral of events continues to a
continuing with their amazing productions and releases we get yet another fine
opera in stunning glory to Blu-ray. The
opera is presented in a 1.78 X 1 high definition transfer with a 1080i
presentation from 2006. In a word, the
opera looks stunning. Colors are rich
with life and are lush with a color palette that is sold throughout. It’s vibrant, detailed, and showcases one of
the finest productions of this fantastic opera.
Resolution is phenomenal and this may mark one of the finest discs yet
for Blu-ray in the opera realm. Blues
are deep and detailed, while yellows and oranges are warm and smooth.
also another impressive feature here as we already mentioned that this opera
boasts the DTS-HD master audio option, which is presented in a 7.1 mix that
engages all channels of your typical 5.1 mix and then adds two discrete middle
rear channels as well. This without a
doubt is a whopping mix that has detail spread throughout the entire surround
field and is crisp, clear, and contains a dynamic range from the lower to the
upper registers of this production.
While the 7.1 mix is sensational, some may actually prefer the PCM 2.0
mix, which is also uncompressed audio, but rather than spreading the sound into
a 7.1 configuration, it contracts to a 2.0 setup, which feels more balanced and
perhaps a bit more natural at times depending on your 2-channel system.
include a huge 34-page booklet that details much of the production and includes
an essay by Richard Eckstein who gives a great wealth of knowledge on the
history and there is also information on the leads here as well.
covering several productions from Naxos on their various Opera labels we just
can’t get enough of this sensational productions and their first-rate
performance on Blu-ray makes them irresistible to even mediocre fans.
- Nate Goss