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Review: Rigoletto at Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House

The Spectacular Curse

Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House
16th February 2015.

Giuseppe Verdi’s opera is popular for its wonderful balance of intriguing storyline and fabulous music. The Russian State Opera & Ballet Theatre of Komi delivered a passionate and entertaining performance which is accessible to newcomers to opera.

The story centres around the court jester Rigoletto who commits the faux pas of insulting the wrong individual. After a curse is put on him he heads home to check on his beautiful daughter. He is keen that her honour is protected but there are too many people who have a score to settle or have less than honourable intentions. Verdi’s opera has as many twists to the plot as a modern soap opera coupled with the humour that we’d see in a modern sit-com.  There is no wonder that the story remains one of the most popular operas 164 years after its debut.

The fabulous score was performed by a large orchestra with Azat Maksutov conducting. They filled the auditorium with the delightful soundtrack. The talented soloists added real magic to the mix.

Director Boris Lagoda has enabled a pacey production that couples the storytelling with fabulous singing. Andrei Borisenko is a remarkable performer who is central to the plot’s narrative as the jester Rigoletto.

Whilst the members of the ensemble are all talented performers, special mention should go to Damir Zakirov as the Duke and Tatyana Zakirova as Rigolettos’ daughter Gilda. They both exhibited great power and control in their solo numbers. Damir’s La donna รจ mobile was phenomenal.

Yuri Samodurov’ set design helped set the scene and Nelli Svatova’s lighting design added to the atmosphere. The surtitles gave a translation of the lyrics but where sufficiently subtle to not detract from the action.

An absorbing evening with a highly professional cast and orchestra performing a delightful show.  

Details of the tour can be found on the Jowheretogo Preview Link.

This review was written by Stephen Oliver for Jowheretogo PR ( ). Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook

          The remainder of the tour is as follows:
          Tues  17-Feb      Darlington, Civic Theatre
          Wed 18-Feb       Dorking Halls
          Thur  19-Feb       Hastings, White Rock Theatre
          Fri      20-Feb       London, Cadogan Hall
          Sat    21-Feb       Peterborough, The Cresset Theatre
          Sun   22-Feb       Stevenage, Gordon Craig Theatre
          Tues  24-Feb       Harrogate, Royal Hall
          Wed 25-Feb       Chesterfield, Pomegranate Theatre
          Thur  26-Feb       Stafford, Gatehouse Theatre
          Fri      27-Feb      Carlisle, Sands Centre
          Sat    28-Feb       Halifax, Victoria Theatre
          Sun   01-Mar      Clacton, Princes Theatre
          Tues  03-Mar      Swindon, Wyvern Theatre
          Wed 04-Mar      Stockport, The Plaza
          Thur  05-Mar      Blackburn, King George’s Hall
          Fri      06-Mar      Shrewsbury, Theatre Severn
          Sat    07-Mar      Tunbridge Wells, Assembly Hall
  For information and tickets, please visit

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