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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Classical > Opera > Giuseppe Verdi Ė Rigoletto (Naxos/Arthaus Musik Blu-ray)

Giuseppe Verdi Ė Rigoletto (Naxos/Arthaus Musik Blu-ray)


Picture: A-††† Sound: A-††† Extras: B-††† Main Program: A



The goods 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 Verdiís 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, itís 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 Verdiís other operas this one is complex and just as complicated with characters of great depth, which this performance accurately captures.


At the 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 Gildaís 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 thrilling end!


In 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.Itís 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.


Audio is 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.


Extras 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.


After covering several productions from Naxos on their various Opera labels we just canít get enough of this sensational productions and their first-rate performance on Blu-ray makes them irresistible to even mediocre fans.



-†† Nate Goss


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