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Stage-setting and scenery were by Verena von Kerssenbrock, which was good. Last year, when she was not working at Immling, some of the more striking visual elements of the Immling operas were sorely missing.

Gilda's death scene. Photo © 2008 Philip Crebbin
Gilda's death scene. Photo © 2008 Philip Crebbin

In this Rigoletto, we have von Kerssenbrock at her best again: the tension-clad death scene of Gilda, for instance, where she crawls, dying and bleeding, up a staircase toward her beloved Duke while Rigoletto holds on to her veil dragging behind, in an attempt to keep her with him and among the living, only to have her collapse, dead of course, at the top before she finds out that the Duke is not even there.

A scene from the 'Rigoletto' première at the Immling Festival. Photo © 2008 Philip Crebbin
A scene from the 'Rigoletto' première at the Immling Festival. Photo © 2008 Philip Crebbin

There is also the typical and charming von Kerssenbrock note of having the chorus walking offstage and singing in the midst of the audience -- opera to feel and touch, so to say -- and the chilling effect of bodies strewn all over scaffolding as the perfect setting for an opera featuring murder and hired assassins.

Jacek Janiszewski as the assassin, Sparafucile. Photo © 2008 Philip Crebbin
Jacek Janiszewski as the assassin, Sparafucile. Photo © 2008 Philip Crebbin

The assassin, Sparafucile, was credibly sung by the noble bass voice of Jacek Janiszweski from Poland, whose impressive timbre matched this sinister part perfectly.

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Copyright © 9 July 2008 Tess Crebbin, Munich, Germany

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