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  • Your Reaction: What did you think of Rigoletto live in cinemas 2018?

Your Reaction: What did you think of Rigoletto live in cinemas 2018?

Audience responses to The Royal Opera's production of Rigoletto, relayed to cinemas around the world.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

16 January 2018 at 4.38pm | 58 Comments

What did you think of Rigoletto live in cinemas?
Share your thoughts via the comments below.

The next production to be broadcast as part of the ROH Live Cinema Season 2017/18 is The Royal Opera's Tosca, which will be shown on 7 February 2018. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.

If you experienced technical issues during this live cinema relay, please email details to cinema@roh.org.uk

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

16 January 2018 at 4.38pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged

This article has 58 comments

  1. Gwendolyn Horn responded on 16 January 2018 at 11:18pm Reply

    Absolutely fabulous! Watched with 9 friends and we all came out emotionally drained at the end. Beautiful singing and superb acting. Thank you.

  2. J Anwar responded on 16 January 2018 at 11:20pm Reply

    Watched in Shrewsbury. Totally fabulous. Stunning. No words to describe this incredible performance. Thank you ROH.

  3. Claudia Zuliani responded on 16 January 2018 at 11:29pm Reply

    È stata un'esperienza meravigliosa. Il più bel Rigoletto che ho visto in questi ultimi anni. Voci bellissime dalla dizione perfetta. Complimenti a tutti

  4. Pat Warsop responded on 16 January 2018 at 11:45pm Reply

    Wonderful performances from Lucy Crowe, Michael Fabiano and Dimitri Platanias. What a privilege to be able to see this opera live from the ROH while at the Odeon Cinema in Mansfield. Thank you

  5. Pat Warsop responded on 16 January 2018 at 11:48pm Reply

    Wonderful performances from Lucy Crowe, Dimitri Platanias and Michael Fabiano. What a great privilege to be able to watch this live, brilliant opera while sitting in the Odeon Cinema in Mansfield

  6. Lois Pelecanos responded on 16 January 2018 at 11:58pm Reply

    Sorry, unlike some of audience I've had 45 years of opera-going. Conductor too slow and careful. On the whole their voices were pleasant but their 'acting' let them down. Did Gilda look at her father directly once? Fabiano blatantly came out of character after aria at beginning of second half. Why did Gilda have a cut and dye job for last Act? Usually soprano just shoves hair in a cap. All in all - middling.

    • Caroline Thorpe responded on 18 January 2018 at 5:52pm

      I agree fully with your remarks. Lacked depth of feeling from Duke, Rigoletto and Gilda( Lucy Crowe), tho a pleasant soprano voice. Singing out to the audience rather than to each other felt very dated. Also...what was that awful ginger wig...she was blond when her hair was long! Opening scenes in Act 1 looked good but in truth a rather mediocre production ....leavened by a very good Sparafucile and Magdalena.

  7. MAUREEN Houghton responded on 17 January 2018 at 12:53am Reply

    Just seen. Rigoletto tonght st cinema wow awesome singing was just breathtaking . It was captivating from start to finish . What a masterpiece

  8. Judith Deeks responded on 17 January 2018 at 2:11am Reply

    An amazing performance which enthralled me. I clapped many times even though I was in a minority.

  9. Alan Evison responded on 17 January 2018 at 8:07am Reply

    A superb performance of a great production of a stunning opera! Dimitri Platanias and Lucy Crowe are perfectly matched. I think cinema is wonderful for revealing technique, but can distort the sound, making the principals’ voices boom too loud.

  10. Juan responded on 17 January 2018 at 8:49am Reply

    Madrid. Cine Morasol. Bravo. Fenomenal. Felicitaciones a la Organización. Adelante con proyectos como este que difunden cultura. Muy agradecido. Todo muy bien , salvo que al final falló la conexión durante unos segundos y no pudimos seguir el aria final.

  11. Angela McCracken responded on 17 January 2018 at 9:01am Reply

    Despite the constant breaking up of the transmission in Grosseto Italy. It was the most glorious, heartbreaking production. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I am just so happy that one can see these extraordinary productions. A huge thank you. Just hope the technical problems can be sorted out. It was the same for the Nutcracker.

    • Joseph Chadbourn (Cinema Account Officer) responded on 18 January 2018 at 5:17pm

      Dear Angela,

      Thank you for your feedback. It is great that you enjoyed the performance of Rigoletto. We are sorry that you experienced technical issues during this performance. We will follow up with the cinema in question in the hope of resolving the issue for future broadcasts.

      Best Regards
      ROH Cinema Team

  12. Alison Watson responded on 17 January 2018 at 9:26am Reply

    Whilst the performances may have been superb, the actual filming somewhat spoilt the overall effect of a staged opera. Why do we have to have so many close-ups of the performers and to such an extent that you can almost see down their throats? You also cannot see what is going on on stage around them. This is not television or should not be.

  13. James Gordon responded on 17 January 2018 at 9:43am Reply

    This production works well on screen, with a sparse set and great attention to detail in costumes and characterisation even of the minor figures. Here we have three first-rate principals who interact with each other (or fail to, where appropriate). Platanias dominates, rightly. He’s brave enough to make us dislike him in the first scene, then slowly warm towards him when he escapes the court. As someone said in one of the interviews, it’s all there in Verdi, but very few singers bring it out like that. And then, before we know it, he gives us more layers of inward conflict. For the first time I found myself wondering whether Rigoletto’s intense father-love is really as pure as he (and Verdi) would have us believe. After all, he does keep her as the image of her dead mother…

    Lucy Crowe gave us a slightly less naïve Gilda than most. This is not an easy character to make believable. More than the others, a Gilda stands or falls by her singing alone, and her Caro nome held everyone rapt. Michael Fabiano’s Duke has just the right balance of self-centred superficiality and easy charm which takes in even himself (as well as everyone within earshot) in his Act 2 aria. This is a role singers often become stale in. He is still fresh.

    The smaller parts were well taken, with one crucial exception that made the end of the first scene fall flat. I have never seen the grotesque humour of the Sparafucile/Maddalena exchanges played so well. Straight out of Hugo. Dominic Sedgwick’s Marullo makes me want to see him in a bigger role. Incisively and intelligently sung, with nuanced acting as a bonus. It was entirely in keeping with the character he created that he remained impervious to Rigoletto’s desperate pleading (on the surface, at least) as he ran off in high spirits with the courtiers.

    Yes, the violence and nudity in the first scene are unpleasant – that’s the point. This is some of the most deliberately banal music Verdi ever wrote. So is La donna è mobile which, rather wonderfully, was not applauded in the theatre. Not because Fabiano sang it badly (he didn’t), but because applauding this piece is entirely inappropriate, as is performing it out of context. Anyone who thinks otherwise should see a sexual psychiatrist – or Sparafucile.

  14. Bert responded on 17 January 2018 at 10:25am Reply

    In the cinema the transmission did not work,what a pity.
    After one hour waiting,we were all sent home.
    The town is WORMS (sounds horrible for foreigners,I know),which is a little town in Germany near Frankfurt.

    • Olivia Moxey responded on 17 January 2018 at 1:38pm

      Dear Bert,

      Thank you for bringing the problems you experienced yesterday evening in WORMS to our attention. We will make sure this is followed up with your local cinema in the hope of finding a resolution for future screenings.

      Best Regards,
      ROH Cinema Team

  15. Carole Sturdy responded on 17 January 2018 at 11:25am Reply

    Unfortunately, my enjoyment of the opera was marred by technical issues at the Empire Cinema in Walthamstow, when the sound and picture kept cutting out, including throughout the emotional climax at the very end. I hope this won't happen again. Very disappointed because I enjoyed very much what I was able to see and hear of the production.

    • Olivia Moxey responded on 17 January 2018 at 1:11pm

      Dear Carole,

      Thank you very much for your feedback.

      We are sorry to hear about the technical problems you experienced at your local cinema yesterday evening. We will follow this up with them to make sure the issues are fixed in preparation for future screenings.

      Best Regards,
      ROH Cinema Team

  16. Reg Squires responded on 17 January 2018 at 11:37am Reply

    Fabulous! Singing magical the Baritone playing Rigoletto was magnificent and along with the Soprano they formed an excellent partnership singing together beautifully.
    The staging was excellent, costumes first class and the chorus , first class.
    Watched the show in Easingwold at the local community centre. Excellent

  17. Chris Philip responded on 17 January 2018 at 12:57pm Reply

    So very disappointed. We tried to watch the performance at Newbury but the sound quality was diabolical.. The showing had to be abandoned after 15 mins. Ticket price was refunded but we obviously missed a really fantastic evening.. Might we get another chance?

    • Olivia Moxey responded on 17 January 2018 at 1:25pm

      Dear Chris,

      We are sorry to hear of the problems you experienced at the Rigoletto Live Screening yesterday evening. We will follow up the sound issues you describe with your local cinema so that they may be resolved for future screenings. I will be in touch about this separately.

      I am pleased to inform you that there will be an Encore screening of Rigoletto this Sunday 21st January at 2pm. Please use the following link to find your nearest cinema: https://www.roh.org.uk/screenings?location=Newbury,UK

      Best Regards,
      ROH Cinema Team

  18. John Clarke responded on 17 January 2018 at 1:54pm Reply

    May i say how much i enjoyed the singing, a special mention to Dimitri Platanias & Lucy Crowe! Both really got into the heart & soul of the Opera!
    A great night out in our small cinema at South Hill Park, Bracknell, Berks.

  19. Graham Pitcher responded on 17 January 2018 at 2:07pm Reply

    Excellent performance, particularly from Lucy Crowe. Agree with the comments re close ups. Although it gives a different perspective, it takes you away from a 'traditional' opera performance.
    Watched at the Odeon Maidstone, where there were four or five breaks in the audio which only lasted for a second each, but distracted you.

  20. R J Parham responded on 17 January 2018 at 2:36pm Reply

    Dimitri's performance was dazzling, but I found the others less so disappointing high notes from the tenor who’s voice production was strained. I have given up going to see the Welsh National Opera because of their black costumes and sets. It seems the trend is entering the ROH, the first act was not set in a hedonists palace which should be opulent but on the battlements of Valhalla, Rigoletto seemed not to live in a house adjacent to a Countess but in Fagins slum, so he could not have been confused by a simple blindfold. The performance was enjoyable despite the woeful inadequacies of the set, but I am glad I decided on the cinema rather than a £165 seat. – yours R J Parham

  21. Sylvia Williams responded on 17 January 2018 at 2:47pm Reply

    Super singing from everyone. Just found it strange that the singers didnt look at each other when expressing such great love, particularly father and daughter.

  22. Anthony Weight responded on 17 January 2018 at 3:37pm Reply

    Performances seemed very good but watched from Newquay cinema and sound balance seemed wrong - often one singer much louder than other(s) or orchestra too loud / quiet, eg chorus could barely be hear over sound of orchestra in first act, Sparafucile very quiet after famous quartet despite excellent performance earlier on and sound lost entirely for a moment in the run up to the quartet.
    A shame - I'm sure it didn't do justice to the singers. Seen many previous ROH live productions - always seemed perfect before.
    An utterly outstanding opera though.

    • Olivia Moxey responded on 18 January 2018 at 11:58am

      Dear Anthony,

      Thank you for your feedback on our Rigoletto Live screening that took place on Tuesday evening. We are sorry to hear of the sound issues you experienced. We will make sure to follow this up with your local cinema in the hope of resolving the issue for future broadcasts.

      Best Regards,
      ROH Cinema Team

  23. Claudia responded on 17 January 2018 at 3:45pm Reply

    Visto desde Bilbao, España.
    Genial representación y grandes intérpretes.

    El sonido muy bueno.
    Agradecida por tener la oportunidad de ver en directo esta gran ópera.

  24. Sirrý Ella Magnus responded on 17 January 2018 at 4:16pm Reply

    Great evening when everything comes together, a very strong and moving performance of Rigoletto. Thank you

  25. Bob Carrington responded on 17 January 2018 at 4:31pm Reply

    We watched Rigoletto in a cinema in Wildeshausen, N. Germany. We found the Performance (singers, orchestra, acting, staging, and the video shooting) fantastic. We will be going again to live transmissions from the ROH.

  26. Stewart Coughlan responded on 17 January 2018 at 5:05pm Reply

    Watched Rigoletto in snowy Dunfermline Cinema
    The performances were fantastic
    The music was wonderful and thought Michael Fabiano was great - nailed La Donna e Mobile & Dimitri Platanias voice and acting were sublime
    Poor Gilda

  27. David Morrish responded on 17 January 2018 at 5:48pm Reply

    Watched at the Carlton Westgate on Sea , where there were four or five breaks in the audio which only lasted for a second each, but distracted you.Thankfully they were in the Intermission Chat but I was nervous that could have happened during performance .Ours is a small venue but We found the Performance (singers, orchestra, acting, staging, and the video shooting) fantastic. We will be going again to live transmissions from the ROH.,National Theatre et al KEEP ON TRANSMITTING Picturedrome Cinemas YOU are doing a fabulous Job -I can' t wait for TOSCA but I will have to !!!!

    • Olivia Moxey responded on 18 January 2018 at 11:52am

      Dear David,

      Thank you for your feedback. We are pleased to hear you enjoyed our screening of Rigoletto on Tuesday evening and that you are looking forward to Tosca.

      I am sorry you experienced breaks in the audio when watching at your local venue. We will follow this up with the cinema in the hope of finding a resolution for future broadcasts.

      Best Regards,
      ROH Cinema Team

  28. Pepi Ferrari responded on 17 January 2018 at 6:08pm Reply

    I watched Rigoletto at the Curzon in Wimbledon. Mc Vicar's staging was even more crude and excessive than the previous time, to the point of being ridiculous. Lucy Crowe beautifully virginal and emotionally convincing with fine singing as Gilda; a similar comment cannot be written either of Platanias' Rigoletto or Fabiano as the Duke, both well in their voices, but they do not fit the characters and do not transmit anything but a powerful sound...meaning little.I missed Hvorostoski. Verdi's music always so wonderfully expressive when well played!

  29. Stephen Walton responded on 17 January 2018 at 7:46pm Reply

    Simply the best. ROH you do us proud. Let us see more locally via the big screen.

  30. Rodrigo Mora responded on 17 January 2018 at 7:47pm Reply

    Absolutely terrific. At a cinema in Madrid (Spain). The picture theatre was full and everybody felt exited and touched. Thank you very much for the amazing night time.

  31. Urs Hoehn responded on 17 January 2018 at 8:32pm Reply

    Nous avons vu Rigoletto dans le cinéma Lux des Breuleux Jura Suisse.
    Merveilleux merci mille fois.

  32. Maria responded on 17 January 2018 at 10:44pm Reply

    Maravillosa ópera y fantástica puesta en escena, como siempre encantada de poder ver estas óperas en directo.
    Dimitri Platanias es un Rigoletto espectacular

  33. Noel Patrick responded on 18 January 2018 at 8:18am Reply

    Rigoletto was yet another success for the Royal Opera House.
    Despite being live performances, they are always going to be judged by pre-recorded versions, but when the principals are of this standard you forget this completely.
    Fabiano, Crowe and especially Platanias we're fabulous. Dimitri's power and passion shone through.
    The whole audience in Belfast we're enthralled.

  34. maureen mulholland responded on 18 January 2018 at 4:18pm Reply

    Overall the opera was splendid. Dimitri Platanias grew in dramatic power and was very moving as well as vocally excellent. Michael Fabiano and Lucy Crowe both good-it is hard to reconcile his Act 2 aria with his lousy character but not his fault. Pity about the ludicrous, overdone, orgiastic first scene. Yes, we got it that it is a corrupt and licentious court but this was both unpleasant and grotesque.
    Still, keep the cinema transmissions coming!

    • Margaret P responded on 19 January 2018 at 12:13pm

      I saw a live performance from the Amphitheatre and your comments sum up my feelings exactly!

  35. John Bailey responded on 18 January 2018 at 6:22pm Reply

    We thought the performance was weak. Bad acting, bad camera work, bad set - put a shilling in the meter and let the audience see what is going on. Totally uninvolving and unmoving, a shame and why did such a miniscule set need sooo long to alter? The opening scene sex was trying to be sensational but ended up embarrassingly bad.
    Glad we didn't pay for ROH seats but saw it at the cinema. And as for asking viewers to send texts etc during the performance it beggars belief. Not only are the messages purile the senders must annoy people trying to watch in the dark with phones glowing all over the auditorium.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 19 January 2018 at 10:47am

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your comment and sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy the performance.

      Regarding the call to share comments via social media, opportunities to for attendees to share their thoughts are very popular with a great many of our cinema audiences but we are conscious to avoid distracting from the action. We therefore ask for these during intervals, rather than the performance itself.

      I hope that you'll join us again in future.

      Best wishes,

      Chris

  36. Lynn Davis responded on 18 January 2018 at 9:51pm Reply

    First, thank you ROH for the regular opportunity to see first class opera and ballet all around the world. This is my second year of enjoying the cinema season and generally I love the productions. I have never seen Rigoletto before and didn't know the story, being a relative newcomer to opera. The music (if you ignore the words) was sublime and the voices, especially Lucy Crowe and Dimitri Platanias were wonderful. But am I the only person to really hate the story? Quite apart from the implausibility of numerous elements (I know some suspension of disbelief is necessary but this went too far) I felt really uncomfortable watching the unpleasant, cruel, nasty behaviour and the vile attitude towards women; the (very few) female roles are limited to horrible one-dimensional stereotypes of virgin, whore or victim of sexual violence. We don't even the satisfaction of seeing the Duke get his just deserts in the end! I certainly will never go to see Rigoletto again.

  37. Clive Couzens responded on 19 January 2018 at 10:23am Reply

    The sound at Guildford Odeon was interrupted on several occasions, albeit very briefly each time. The number of people making this observation from other locations suggests that the problem is not something that should be taken up with the local cinema but closer to the ROH,

    • Olivia Moxey responded on 23 January 2018 at 12:36pm

      Dear Clive,

      Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear of the sound problems you experienced at your local cinema when watching Rigoletto. We would like to assure you that we had no technical problems with the feed leaving the Royal Opera House on the night of the screening. We will follow this up with the venue in the hope to help them address the issue for future broadcasts.

      Best Regards
      ROH Cinema Team

  38. Pauline Hart responded on 19 January 2018 at 1:10pm Reply

    We watched this in Fungirola, Spain. Magnificent is the only word that we can use to express how we feel. Thank you for the opportunity to watch with the live link up. Can't wait for the next one.

  39. I saw it at ROH and hope that cinema screenings will be there for posterity the quartet is something that needs saving in various versions and hopefully can be enjoyed by future generations. This is raw emotion that modern TV etc. rarely reaches. keep the encore screenings.
    opera dwells on "aches of the spirit" that are deliberately strectched over enough time for you to feel it deeply and comeout of the theatre drained and yet singing.

  40. Ruth responded on 20 January 2018 at 10:18am Reply

    Excellent production, wonderful singing & acting by all.

    Some people will never be happy, I suppose it's about learning to differentiate between useful, albeit harsh feedback Vs. vacuous moaning.

    For me the hair change worked- illustrated the loss of beauty & innocence.
    Intermittently singing to the audience? - how many people actually look at each during communication? ,also relevant to human behaviour.

    Close up camera work - perfect & appropriate. Attending cinema does not affect our attendance at live opera, they are different visually & experientially. Suport your local opera company - plenty of reduced price seats available.

    Finally, full nudity bothered me not as it was appropriate, but I note with vague amusment, how Katie Mitchell was savaged by some seemingly prudish individuals for a bit of suggestive fumbling during what was a fabulous Lucia. All moral guardians seemed fine with birthday suits and rampant debauchery during Rigoletto.

  41. Eryl McNally responded on 21 January 2018 at 5:50pm Reply

    Saw it it this afternoon in rainy Watford and found it gripping. Great singing. Gilda and her father could have looked at each other more but the 'Piangi, piangi fanciulla' duet was very moving. I found the court scenes messy and rather irritating. Were the 4 courtiers crawling around meant to be dogs? Nudity was gratuitous. Great to see opera close to home, though. Keep it up!

  42. Imogen Wooder responded on 21 January 2018 at 9:38pm Reply

    I have to say I was disturbed by the girl who had to show her bottom. Was it necessary? Was the girl happy about it. Nonetheless the performance was superb.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 22 January 2018 at 2:59pm

      Hi Imogen,

      Thanks for your comment and glad you enjoyed the performance.

      David McVicar intended his production is intended to evoke the depravity of the Duke of Mantua's court, and the content of the production is reflective of this.

      All cast members are fully briefed as to the content of a production before rehearsals begin.

      Best wishes,

      Chris

  43. Dr .Pamela West responded on 23 January 2018 at 7:25pm Reply

    I read the very bad review in the Times . I have to say most of this is unfair as the singing was superb throughout .
    I personally disliked the orgy scenes and nudity and agree with the Times reviewer about this . All we needed was a sheep .
    I think it is abusive to the opera singers to expect them to do this this and degrading to women and some of the men . I think we are intelligent enough to use our imagination as to what an orgy is like . Only those people prepared to strip off need apply .

  44. Rod Duncan responded on 23 January 2018 at 11:55pm Reply

    My first experience of watching an opera from Covent Garden screened live to my local village Arts Centre. Pleasantly surprised how I almost forgot that I wasn’t actually there.
    The performance was excellent with top class performers in an inspired production. Looking forward to many more screened productions in addition to magical visits to The Opera House itself.

  45. Gillian Walker responded on 24 January 2018 at 6:50pm Reply

    It was almost as bad as a charity dinner with a lot of wealthy business men .
    The sex scenes were embarrassing . I nearly took my 91 year old mother to see it . What a relief that I didn’t .
    Excellent singing .

  46. Roger Pizzey responded on 30 January 2018 at 4:31pm Reply

    Yes would you please clarify the meaning of the 4 courtiers crawling around.
    When Gilda appeared with that appalling wig a member of the audience sitting behind me said "Who's that?" I was wondering the same myself. We watched this otherwise enjoyable version in the delightful Windmill Theatre Littlehampton. West Sussex.

  47. Tony Ward responded on 30 January 2018 at 6:48pm Reply

    Saw it at the Odeon Loughborough. Sound distorted on men's voices in arias. Wasn't Lucy Crowe replaced by the understudy in the last act?

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