Last night was the big night – the premiere of David McVicar’s 2001 debaucherous production of Verdi’s devastating father-daughter opera. This night was dedicated to Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky who died last month battling with brain cancer. The legendary singer was originally intended to perform the role of Rigoletto for this season and the audience was respectful as his name was announced just before the first act.
Speaking of the crowd, they were rather restless this evening, particularly upstairs at the amphitheatre where three phones went off and several mobile screens beamed their light in ‘The Gods’ blinding those sitting nearest to them. Nonetheless, they soon piped down as the commencing scene took an interesting turn. Verdi’s grand music introduced lascivious men fascinating over female prostitutes at the court of Mantua – an orgy happening at every corner of the stage. Some members of the Royal Opera’s orchestra performed Verdi’s score behind the stage, creating a muffled sound as courtiers screamed merrily, enjoying each other’s intimate pleasures. This – obviously – made some members of the audience feel uncomfortable.>>>