Let’s face it, when we go to discuss the role of fathers in opera, we automatically just fast forward to Verdi and that’s that. There are other examples of fathers and daughters in opera, including Wotan and Brunhilda. But, Verdi, a baritone himself, and a heart-broken father who lost his wife and both children within a short span of time. His tragic loss was the world’s gain. Giuseppe Verdi’s exploration of the role of the father is unique.
Three operas, three different roles stand out:
- Aida – Amonasro
- La Traviata – Giorgio Germont
- Rigoletto – Rigoletto
Of these, the greatest is Rigoletto. Who is the greatest Rigoletto? I’m prejudiced, and automatically say that would be the greatest baritone of them all – Sherrill Milnes! I don’t even remember how many times I saw him at the Met, doing the role. One of the great, overlooked Rigolettos was the great Cornell MacNeil.
And then… there is the most powerful and stunning version of them all.
I do love my baritones!