MusicWeb International‘s Michael Cookson reviews Verdi: Rigoletto featuring Dmitri Hvorostovsky:
“It is hard to ignore the impressive performance of tenor Francesco Demuro, seductive as the lecherous and duplicitous Duke. His bright voice is splendidly in tune conveying that special Italianate sound together with the ability to reveal a tear in the voice. … American soprano Nadine Sierra establishes herself as a suitably innocent yet enchanting Gilda.… most comfortable in her high register easily achieving her top notes. … As Rigoletto, Hvorostovsky is in his element, soon establishing the complex and deeply troubled character, notably able to traverse the high baritone demands. Best of all from act 2 in the punishing ‘Cortigiani, vil razza dannata’ Hvorostovsky excels as the angry and distressed Rigoletto, venting his fury on the courtiers to return his daughter. … what remains evident is the baritone’s rich and velvety tone, which draws the listener in, and his excellent breath control together with his innate ability to generate real drama. … Displaying total commitment in the part of Maddalena, Belarusian Oksana Volkova is in impressive voice, firm, ripely potent and expressive too. … In lusty voice, the Men of the Kaunas State Choir have been clearly well drilled. There are no problems whatsoever with the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra who play with plenty of expressive thrust and Constantine Orbelian’s tempi are well chosen, allowing plenty of room for the singers. Recorded at the State Philharmonic concert hall at Kaunas the engineering team has provided cool, clear sound… In the exemplary presentation by Delos I am delighted to report that the full Italian libretto with English translation is provided, together with an informative essay by Lindsay Koob and a synopsis. Pleasing additions are the cast and production photographs including several of Hvorostovsky. … Worthy of praise … is this well-cast Rigoletto on Delos; a fine achievement and most suitable tribute to the art of Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who will be much missed.”
See the full review at MusicWeb International
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