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‘Rigoletto’: some reviews and outreach responses from our October ’18 production.

A selection from the reviews and feedback for our major production of ‘Rigoletto’ in the Grand Opera House Belfast, October 2018.


‘In Northern Ireland Opera’s production, under artistic director Walter Sutcliffe, Sebastian Catana triumphs as a gripping Rigoletto who can hate and love in equal measure; a singer possessing undoubted technical command and a profound musicality, he is not afraid of sounding vulnerable…The production is clever and satisfying… Nadine Koutcher’s musically sublime, passionate and decisive Gilda is exciting to experience.’   Opera Now

‘A superb production from Northern Ireland Opera and bravo to Sebastian Catana for giving us such a wonderful Rigoletto.’  Seen and Heard International

‘Taking the title role, Sebastian Catana made a splendid UK debut. He was a perfect Rigoletto…Davide Giusti, as the Duke of Mantua, gave a masterclass performance…The music was incredible, well-rehearsed, detailed, unified and balanced…the standing ovation for the musicians was a befitting recognition for this gala opening evening.’  Bachtrack

‘This NI Opera production of Rigoletto opened its doors and its heart to the Northern Irish public through a series of workshops for children, open rehearsals and pre-show talks. It’s this sort of enlightened outreach by director Walter Sutcliffe and his team that can only pay dividends, because with opera, all you have to do is get the people to come. The glorious music, the extraordinary singing, the dramatic mise-en-scène, and the echoes of Greek tragedy- all exemplified in abundance by Rigoletto – will do the rest. Opera at its most seductive. ‘  The Thin Air


Over the course of a week building up to the first performance of Rigoletto 1200 participants engaged with us from 50+ organisations across 21 events.

‘Today has been a day that they will not forget and it is bound to have an impact on their musical footprint. I cannot thank you enough for your time, planning and outstanding delivery.’
Workshops – teacher, Botanic Primary School

‘Previously not a big opera consumer there came a point in my captured escapism when I said to myself, ‘this is not just very enjoyable, this is actually pure brilliance!’ Fair play and thanks to NI Opera. You won a new audience over.’
Dress Rehearsal – audience member, Beyond Skin

‘It was such a super, fun-filled way to access such a beautiful art form whilst having the opportunity to meet new people, from various walks of life… this is what it’s all about; opera really is for all.’
Come and Sing – chorus member

More details about our outreach work here:

Find out more about our production of ‘Rigoletto’ here:

See a behind the scenes video of production preparation here: