Thursday, December 21, 2006

Met Broadcast - Rigoletto

When you're writing every day, there always seems to be something to talk about. But if you stop writing for a few days, it seems much harder to start again. I'm not sure if that's true for everybody, but it's certainly true for me. We've been busy over the last while, and I just haven't had a chance to attend to my blog. And now that I've managed to grab a few minutes for myself, I'm not sure what I want to write about.

Maybe I'll tell you about the Met Broadcasts. The Metropolitan Opera in New York have a special program through which they broadcast live performances to the world. They have this program called Sirius satellite radio. But I've found out that Lyric FM play the Met Saturday Matinée broadcasts on Saturday evenings (GMT).

I caught it for the first time last Saturday evening, as Brendan was out. I listened to Verdi's Rigoletto, and it was a real joy. This Saturday is Verdi's Don Carlo. I might not get a chance to listen to it, as it's a busy time of the year, but I'll try to catch other performances in future.

Rigoletto is one of my favourite operas. I saw it for the first time in the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin, a good few years ago. It was a glorious production - very simple, but very effective. I remember the scene where Rigoletto arrives home. He is on the street, then a white curtain is pulled, and he is inside his house. It was so simple, but it worked really well. And I remember the flames coming out of the stage when the lightning was striking in the big thunderstorm scene at the end of the opera, when Gilda sacrifices herself to save the Duke's life.
The music is big and gorgeous, and the story is tragic. All perfect ingredients for a good opera.

I've been to a good few operas over the years, and I've been to some really boring productions, so it's a joy when all the ingredients come together well. I've often found that for every good one I've seen at the Gaiety, there has been one bad one. On the other hand, the operas at the festival in Wexford have always been great productions.

That's all I've got time for, folks. More about my favourite operas some other time!

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