A classic tragedy Rigoletto tells the story of the eponymous court jester (Wixell) who, along with his randy master, the Duke of Mantua (Pavarotti), enrages the other nobles by leching after their wives and daughters. The resulting wrath, revenge, et cetera, is superbly conveyed by a group of players through a rich mix of vocal brilliance, larger-than-life expression and huge symphonic sound
Wixell is striking as the miserable, sweating fool who howls great melodies of agony and, for anyone who may still wonder about all the fuss over Pavarotti, here is a chance to hear what a truly massive vocal presence he has, juxtaposed with the other greats in his field.
So long as one can find appeal in the high emotional pitch and volume of this antique form of high drama, there are few weaknesses to contend with in veteran opera-director Jean-Pierre Ponelle's taut, colourful production.
Perhaps one insurmountable problem in making film of opera, however, is the sheer noise level resulting from large people bellowing at the tops of their lungs. And Rigoletto, at full volume, is certainly likely to leave the ears of the inhabitants in the first 20 rows ringing for some time to come.
Worthwhile , for the opera lovers who can't afford to go.