Ekaterina Siurina is an impeccable Gilda. It's her signature role with which she debuted with Dmitri Hvorostovsky at the age of nineteen. A beautifully rounded, sensual "Caro nome" expresses the passion in Gilda's personality, making her love for the Duke perfectly plausible. Gilda is too sheltered to articulate her feelings, but her instincts burst forth. Siurina's clear, ringing timbre and perfect pitch make the long cadenzas bloom with promise, expressing emotions that words can't convey. This intensity makes her sacrifice believable too. When Siurina appears dressed as a boy, her voice glows with purpose, for she's found a way to fulfil her love in a sacrifice only a cloistered Catholic innocent might chose. Ironically, Rigoletto loses his child becauase she's been brainwashed by her upbringing.
This was an extremely rewarding Rigoletto because it cuts past surface glamour and goes to the visceral drama.
More soon in Opera Today, including an article on the live broadcast on 17th April which will be shown simultaneously in cinemas all round the world. Film is the next frontier in opera. More people will see any production on film than will ever see it in house, so it's essential that opera filming develops as an art form in itself, like conducting, direction, singing and staging. With Kaspar Holten at the helm at the Royal Opera House, perhaps issues in filmed opera wll be taken seriously. I've written a lot about filmed opera and music and will be writing more.