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CHAN 3030M
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CHAN 3030
(multiple CD Set)
Opera - Rigoletto

Verdi: Rigoletto

The Classical Shop
release date: January 2000

Originally recorded in 1999


English National Opera Orchestra

Mark Elder

Alan Opie

baritone - Marullo

John Rawnsley

baritone - Rigoletto

John Tomlinson

bass - Sparafucile

Norman Bailey

bass-baritone - Monterone

Jean Rigby

mezzo-soprano - Maddalena

Helen Field

soprano - Gilda

Arthur Davies

tenor - The 'Duke'

English National Opera Chorus


Abbey Road Studios, London


Suvi Raj Grubb


Stuart Eltham

Record Label
Opera In English


Vocal & Song

Opera in English

Total Time - 124:41
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Opera - Rigoletto



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  An opera in three acts  
  Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave  
  English translation by James Fenton  
  The English National Opera production  
  Direced for the stage by Jonathan Miller  
1 Prelude 2:34
  Act I  
  Scene One  
2 'That pretty girl I've been seeing in the city' 1:50
  'Duke', Borsa  
3 'If a woman should happen to catch my eye' 2:06
4 'You're going? That's cruel' 2:03
  'Duke', 'Countess', Rigoletto, Chorus  
5 'It's happened! It's happened!' 2:48
  Marullo, Chorus, 'Duke', Rigoletto, Ceprano, Borsa, Courtiers  
6 'I demand to see him' 4:52
  Monterone, 'Duke', Rigoletto, Borsa, Marullo, Ceprano, Courtiers  
  Scene Two  
7 'The old man laid his curse on me!' 5:10
  Rigoletto, Sparafucile  
8 'We are equals' 3:52
9 'Gilda!' 2:03
  Rigoletto, Gilda  
10 'Ah, do not demand of one so sad' 5:03
  Rigoletto, Gilda, Giovanna  
11 'Oh, dear Giovanna, guard my daughter' 5:46
  Rigoletto, Gilda, Giovanna, 'Duke'  
12 'Giovanna, I should have told him' 3:12
  Gilda, Giovanna, 'Duke'  
13 'Love is the source of life, love is our sunlight' 5:27
  'Duke', Gilda, Ceprano, Borsa, Giovanna  
14 'Gualtier Maldè, you were the first to love me . . . 6:20
  Dearest name of my first love'  
  Gilda, Borsa, Ceprano, Chorus, Marullo  
15 'I have returned. But why?' 2:19
  Rigoletto, Borsa, Ceprano, Marullo  
16 'Softly, softly we move in to get her' 3:01
  All, Gilda, Chorus, Rigoletto  
  Act II  
17 'Somebody came and stole her but when?' 2:30
18 'Somewhere I see you weeping' 3:05
  'Duke', All  
19 'We went to look for her last night together' 2:00
  All, 'Duke'  
20 'The power of love is calling' 3:13
  'Duke', All  
21 'Poor little Rigoletto . . .' 3:35
  Marullo, Rigoletto, Chorus, Ceprano, Secretary, Borsa  
22 'Filthy rabble, you liars, you cowards' 4:32
23 'My father!' 1:29
  Gilda, Rigoletto, All  
24 'Speak now. They've left us' 7:21
  Rigoletto, Gilda  
25 'Ive one thing to do here before I am finished' 1:13
  Rigoletto, Gilda, Henchman, Monterone  
26 'Old man, you're mistaken' 2:12
  Rigoletto, Gilda  
  Act III  
27 'You love him?' 2:24
  Rigoletto, Gilda, 'Duke', Sparafucile  
28 'Women abandon us' 3:04
  'Duke', Sparafucile, Rigoletto  
29 'When first I came to talk to you' 1:33
  'Duke', Gilda, Maddalena, Rigoletto  
30 'If you want a faithful lover' 4:40
  'Duke', Maddalena, Gilda, Rigoletto  
31 'Eighty dollars you were asking' 2:22
  Rigoletto, Sparafucile, 'Duke', Maddalena  
32 'He's such a young man, handsome and friendly' 2:33
  Maddalena, 'Duke', Sparafucile  
33 'I cannot think clearly' 6:22
  Gilda, Maddalena, Sparafucile  
34 'Now for my vengeance, now the moment is ready' 2:53
  Rigoletto, Sparafucile  
35 'He's there, murdered, oh yes' 2:21
  Rigoletto, 'Duke'  
36 'But who can be inside here?' 2:02
  Rigoletto, Gilda  
37 'It's all my fault' 1:29
  Gilda, Rigoletto  
38 'Ah, soon, in Heaven' 3:22
  Gilda, Rigoletto  
 John Rawnsley baritone - Rigoletto
 Helen Field soprano - Gilda
 Arthur Davies tenor - The 'Duke'
 John Tomlinson bass - Sparafucile
 Jean Rigby mezzo-soprano - Maddalena
 Norman Bailey bass-baritone - Monterone
 Alan Opie baritone - Marullo
 Mark Elder
  28-30 July, 1, 6, 7, 14, 28 August and 4 September 1983  
John Rawnsley takes the title role in this acclaimed production first performed an ENO in September 1982

This recording is based on the extremely popular Jonathan Miller production in which the plot was moved to New York in the 1950s.

This disc, together with the previously released La Traviata, Osud, Julius Caesar, and Mary Stuart, form part of a new and exciting phase in Chandos’ popular Opera in English series. Around fifteen recordings, featuring a wide range of some of the world’s leading operatic stars, will be digitally re-mastered and made available at mid-price.

Chandos has a strong commitment to Opera in English through its association with the Peter Moores Foundation. This is the twentieth release in the series to date – one which has become the most comprehensive collection of Opera in English recordings ever undertaken by a record company, and a major addition to the catalogue.

Rigoletto was the first of Verdi’s three most popular operas, which also included Il trovatore and La traviata and which appeared within the two-year span 1851-3. Verdi, upon being asked which was his favourite of his operas, is said to have replied:’ Speaking as a professional, Rigoletto, as an amateur, Traviata.

Almost the most arresting aspect of all Verdi’s mature operas is his ability to find exactly the right colour and hue (what Italians call tinta), musically speaking, for each work. The Prelude to Rigoletto is as good an example as any; its dark tints and louring aspect immediately tell us of a tragic, fearsome drama to follow. The opening scene places us just as unerringly in the licentious court of the libidinous Duke of Mantua, agent of the unhappy events depicted within the work.

Both Victor Hugo’s play and Piave’s libretto ran into problems with the censors. The only character with moral fibre is a court jester who plots the assassination of an absolute ruler, his master. The Duke’s opening solo immediately establishes him as a free-loving libertine while Rigoletto’s dominating role represents the climax of Verdi’s use of the baritone as protagonist, here exploring perhaps the highest tessitura of any of his other operas.

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