Soprano Nadine Sierra, who performs the role of Gilda in our new Verdi: Rigoletto recording, will be performing a recital in Dallas, TX on January 28, 2018 in a series presented by The Dallas Opera. In anticipation of her performance, North Texas-based TheaterJones has a new Rigoletto review in their “Auxiliary Input” column:
“If Hvorostovsky wasn’t the ideal Rigoletto, it was only because he was too good-looking. Makeup’s efforts to ugly him up, depicted in the booklet that accompanies the recording, show how far that department had to go in order to impart grotesqueness to him… Fortunately, when people start singing, such issues often recede in importance, and Hvorostovsky’s vocal and acting talents—to say nothing of the sympathy for the character that Verdi builds into the role—allow them to recede more readily than usual.
Yes, he’s a fantastic Rigoletto. But this recording’s Gilda is yet another reason to listen. Nadine Sierra has played Gilda so many times and in so many locales that you’d think she’d be sick of it, but if she is, it doesn’t show. She lingers over her first-act aria “Caro nome…,” gloriously drawing it out with a delicacy that I’m not used to hearing in this showpiece. And in her first and second act duets (“Ah! veglia, o donna”/”Questo affetto!” and “Si, vendetta”/”O mio padre,” respectively) with Hvorostovsky, she matches his emotional intensity in a swing from tenderness in the first to fury—and, in her case, anguish—in the second. Let’s hope she keeps playing Gilda with the frequency she has been, thus increasing the odds that we’ll see her perform it live.…
With Hvorostovsky and Sierra on the payroll, you’d think there wouldn’t be any money left to hire a Duke, but this recording features tenor Francesco Demuro… His Duke constitutes something of a revelation to me: his acting skills bring a complexity to the role that I think the composer intended but that I’ve never heard. … This Rigoletto is a total delight.”