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Saturday indoors: It's to Vegas, baby for Met's Rigoletto or Montreal for Bernard Labadie's ever-elegant Bach and Mozart

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Metropolitan Opera's new production of Rigoletto is at Cineplex theatres and on CBC radio's Saturday Afternoon at the Opera today (Metropolitan Opera photo).
Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Rigoletto is at Cineplex theatres and on CBC Radio’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera today (Metropolitan Opera photo).

Of all the possible re-settings of Rigoletto, dragging the debauched show to early-1960s Las Vegas makes a whole lot of sense. That’s what Michael Mayer has done for the Metropolitan Opera’s current production of Verdi’s popular work, which comes to the cinema and radio this afternoon.

When the Duke of Mantua turns to the audience to sing, there are glittery showgirls in attendance around him. How fun. While the Duke is a young Frank Sinatra, Rigoletto, his unhappy jester, is sort of a Don Rickles or Milton Berle.

The New York Times‘ critic Anthony Tommasini concluded that this production is “a frustrating mix of inventive and half-baked thinking.”

If you’re going to listen online or on the radio, you can look forward to the wonderful singing of Diana Damrau as Gilda and Piotr Beczala as the Duke, among a strong cast.

The live broadcast begins at 1 p.m. Eastern. CBC details here. Cineplex details here (there are encore performances on April 6, 8 & 24).


Bernard Labadie and his Violons du Roy presented a wonderful concert at Montreal’s new Salle Bourgie on Wednesday night with French pianist Alexandre Tharaud.

Tharaud’s silken playing in Bach’s G minor Concerto, BWV 1058 and Mozart’s A Major Piano Concerto, K488, are incentive enough to sit down with But there is much more on the programme, including Mozart’s A Major Symphony No. 29, K201, and an excellent little symphony by Henri-Joseph Rigel, a German-born contemporary of Mozart and Haydn’s who moved to Paris as a 26 year-old and lever looked back.

The programme’s encore is Tharaud, playing an enchanting little sonata by Domenico Scarlatti.

You can stream it for free on demand here.


The New York Philharmonic presented its annual Chinese New Year Concert from Avery Fisher Hall on Tuesday, with conductor Long Yu and pianist Lang Lang. The concert will be streamed for free on on Saturday — also at 1 p.m. Eastern — here.

John Terauds


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