On rare occasions a complex psychological drama is portrayed as factual and immediate, as is now happening at the Heidelberg Opera. The young production team consisting of Jim Lucassen and the recently deceased designer Jeroen van Eck (whose concept has been realised by Anja Koch), presented the crude drama about protection and growing up, vulnerability and powerful brutality, wickedness and love, revenge and shame; full of interpretative density and immediate intelligibility.
In this set, the figures move in intensive subconsciousness, so that the drama works ever more strongly through that inimitable blend of fiction and truth that touches us on stage over and over again. At the end there is unequivocal enthusiasm with the opening performance audience.
BADISCHE NEUSTE NACHRICHTEN
The premiere of Verdi's "Rigoletto" at the Heidelberg Theatre in the theatre tent elicited no jeering. That lack of “boo-ing” has not happened for a long time. The Director Jim Lucassen has by no means played down the matter, but disclosed its explosiveness with a degree of sarcasm.
The discrepancy between the outer role play and inner reality became oppressively clear in the men's choir performance, behind whose innocent costumes was erotic greed hidden. The Director dissected the hidden psychology of the drama as would be done with scalpel. Animated by the concentrated power of the orchestra's sound, under the direction of Cornelius Meister with a mixture of explosive drama and touching intimacy, the staging manages the masterpiece to show Verdi's classic in surprisingly modern light.
With his idea of Rigoletto on a single set (by Jeroen van Eck), Jim Lucassen delivered what we should consider as a “workman’s proof” for Stage Directors: To arrange on the all but empty boards a configuration of persons in a way that both the piece and its internal tension became palpable.
The performance of "Rigoletto" at the Heidelberg Opera tent became a true feast of opera.
Once again it was proven that even small theatres are able to do extraordinary things. The direction by Jim Lucassen was impressive; locating the action in a timeless modernity.
There is no escape from this cold and barren-looking mental space, which from time to time forms a stage on the stage.
The psychological closeness of the court jester to Monterone is displayed impressively by the director. If both sit together at the end, struck by fate, it becomes clear: both share the same tragic fate.