1993 - S4C/BBC2 - Bare Boards Productions
Directed and animated by Barry Purves
Produced by Glenn Holberton
Music Guisseppe Verdi, abridged by Wyn Davies and Barry Purves
Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera
Singers include Rosemary Joshua, Jonathan Summers, Anthony Mee
Rigoletto, the pimp for the Duke of Milan, tries in vain to keep his daughter from the debauchery of the corrupt court.
- Cartoon D'Or, Finland, Nominated 1994
- Treviso, Italy, Mr Linea Prize for Technical Achievement, 1994
- Ottawa -Special Prize, 1994
- Chicago International Film Festival, Silver Plaque Award, 1994
- Esphino, Cinanima, Honourable Mention, 1994
- Ankara, Honourable Mention, 1994
- Hiroshima, Selected for Best of the World, 1994
This piece follows the structure of the opera, with considerable liberties taken to allow for the half-hour length and a family-oriented television audience... Even so, I would have liked an hour to do the work justice. It's a complicated plot, and in condensing it I asked the audience to concentrate on every frame, as what I couldn't communicate in narrative, I tried to convey visually. Animation, particularly my animation, usually tries to tell complex stories that are probably too big for the time available, and that leads to some dense storytelling. There is a lot going on, which is both my films' strengths and their weaknesses.
Whereas Verdi had time to set up the debauched world and characters, I tried to show the hierarchy of the society instantly through the costumes, in particular the masks they wore. I tried to show literally who was above whom, by situating the whole film on a craggy mountain with the Duke lording it over everyone else and poor Rigoletto down in the depths...
One reason for making this film was the chance to deal with some pretty heavy emotions, not usually associated with puppet animation. This meant focusing on the three main characters, giving them as much time as possible. Even so I would have liked longer to explore their troubled stories.