And so, over the course of 25 years, I have been involved in three versions of Rigoletto; the animated half oper version, the play Quartet, and finally the full scale opera live on stage. Unless a ballet version comes along (or the musical, as Elton John certainly tackled another Verdi opera, Aida), I might leave it at that. I wonder if anyone else can claim such a diverse friendship with the masterpiece. This last incarnation has certainly been the hardest, and doing, in effect, four performances over four nights, drained us all, and is unheard of. But eighteen months ago we suggested Rigoletto, and here we all are much richer, and much drained by it, but we succeeded in our aim of introducing opera to new people, with an accessible and theatrically dynamic production. Yes, we succeeded there. We could have had more in the audience, but I think I solved all the staging problems and made something that was dark, and disturbing and entertaining, and unique to us and our venue. Moving inot the theatre at 9.00 and putting everything up and lit, ready for a tech run at.00 and the a full dress run at 7.30 was a day that took it’s toll on me for the rest of the week, but the theatre, under myg uidance, managed to produce some gorgeous Renaissance lighting, and it really was a beautiful looking piece, with all my colour schemes and compositions working. and heck it was moving. But perhaps time now to say goodbye and thank you to Rigoletto and his debauched friends. There will be photos.

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