Night and Day: Wednesday, September 10, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Opera Opener

It’s hard to imagine that Verdi’s Rigoletto caused an uproar at its Venice premiere in the 1850s, with a plot highlighting power, lust, and betrayals in high places. (Imagine what he could have done with our present political scene!) But the dramatic score, with its parade of popular tunes, won immediate acclaim, and it soon found a home in every major opera house, despite governmental censors.

The Fort Worth Opera opens its season with three performances of Rigoletto this weekend, with a cast headed by baritone Stephen Kechulius in the title role. The TCU graduate got his operatic start singing small roles with the Fort Worth company before going on to the New York City Opera, where The New York Times noted his “elegant dark voice and strong dramatic instincts.”

Soprano Indira Mahajan, already making a name on the international circuit, will sing Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda, and Robynne Redmon returns to Fort Worth to sing Maddalena. (She was heard last season as Adalgisa in Bellini’s Norma.) NYCO tenor Andrew Richards sings the self-indulgent Duke of Mantua, and Canadian bass David Bedard is the hired assassin Sparafucile.

The production, based on the Seattle Opera’s staging template, will be directed by Stephanie Sundine, wife of Sarasota Opera general director Victor Derenzi, and a singer and stage director in her own right. Music direction will be under the baton of Joe Illick, who conducted recent performances here of Don Pasquale, Barber of Seville, and Carmen. — Leonard Eureka

8pm Fri, 2pm Sun, 7:30pm Tues at Bass Performance Hall, 555 Commerce St, FW. $12-105. 817-212-4280.


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