Michael Tanner

Royal Opera’s Rigoletto: your disbelief may wobble but your excitement won’t

Plus: Bored to near-hysteria by ENO's Xerxes, Michael Tanner finds it hard to imagine what it must be like to be a Handelian

One of the greatest tests of how an opera house is functioning is the quality of its revivals. Both the Royal Opera and the English National Opera score highly in that respect. You can go to the Met, to Munich, to the Vienna State Opera and see pathetically run-down performances, the cast thrown on to the stage and told to get on with it.

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