'Eddie Wade's coarse, self-loathing Rigoletto is part music-hall entertainer, part Shakespearean fool, pushing his daughter away with his impotent desire to keep her safe from [Edgaras] Montvidas's sex addict Duke, a man whose dissembling sweet talk disguises a sledgehammer seduction technique. His La donne è mobile is callous, lusty, lyrical and carefree, with a frustrated edge that borders on the psychopathic. Nadine Livingston, at the end of her Scottish Opera emerging artist, is a virginal revelation as the doomed Gilda...her silvery, controlled Caro nome, teetering on the brink of forbidden love, is heartfelt, trepidatious and innocent. Down in the pit, Tobias Ringborg and the Scottish Opera Orchestra pay scintillating attention to the score, hodling the tension on a tight rein and whipping up a real storm.'
'First and foremost is the music. That appears to be the sure-footed maxim behind Scottish Opera's new production of Vedi's Rigoletto, which enjoys a heightened sense of musicality under the brilliant Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg...Ringborg's achievement is one deep-rooted in his understanding of the score, which he amazingly conducts from memory, and from which he elicits a sense of punchy, original theatricality...I left with Verdi's glorious music ringing in my ears, proof of where the real magic of opera lies: in the notes of the score.'
'Few composers can play an audience's emotions as deftly as Verdi, and in Rigoletto he creates an absolute roller-coaster of music and drama that plunges from dark to light, comedy to tragedy, manners to menace and back again inside mere moments. It's a demanding trick for an opera company to pull off, but when done well it is life-affirming art. Scottish Opera's new production does it very well indeed....but it is the music, here most powerfully rendered, that is both the key to a successful production and its abundant glory. Baritone Eddie Wade...invests the tormented fool of the title with a mesmerising palette of emotions, engagingly acted and resourcefully sung... Nadine Livingston's captivating ingenue, Gilda, and Edgaras Montvidas's raffishly self-centred Duke, acquit themselves no less memorably. Livingston's solos and duets, especially with Wade, are quite sublime, while Montvidas's tenor has a confident consistency that brings even the cliche of La donne è mobile alive...In all though, this is an accomplished and exhilarating evening.'
The Scottish Daily Express
'...a compelling production that delivered a Rigoletto as black as sin, filled with loathsome, despicable, sycophantic, cruel creatures, 'vile degenerate scum' as Rigoletto calls them himself, all in a timeless production that is staged, set and lit to suit the morbid, decadent ethos of the opera and its troupe of revolting people. The cast is superb...[Eddie Wade's] stage presence and penetrating characterisation of the tormented hunchback probe all the ambiguities of the character. Edgaras Montvidas' Duke, brililantly sung, is absolutely straightforward: cocksure, confident and priapic...And honours go to the precise and stylish conducting of Tobias Ringborg, who has musicianship coming from every pore, while the orchestra played its socks off for him.'
'For their first main-stage engagements with the company, director Matthew Richardson and designer Jon Morrell have pulled together a stylised, seedy underworld of latex sofas, disco balls and neon. Sets strewn with mutated life-sized pubescent dolls sit at jaunty angles to the stage, and the courtiers - SO's male chorus on fine form - sneer en masse from behind beaked white masks...Eddie Wade's sturdy and supple baritone makes for a compelling Rigoletto, and Edgaras Montvidas shines as the smarmy, honey-voiced Duke.'
'From the moment the curtain went up on Scottish Opera's stylish and beautifully sung Rigoletto, it was clear that this was going to be a confident production...The first to shine on stage was Edgaras Montvidas whose Duke of Mantua was a force to be reckoned with; a cocky soul, strutting his stuff whenever he was on stage. Montvidas has a voice which perfectly matched the bravado which he brought to his part...Rigoletto was played by Eddie Wade - and here was a brilliant performance. Wade's unfortunate hunchback ran the whole gamut of emotions before our eyes and explored an extraordinary palette of vocal colours as he did so...Nadine Livingston's Gilda was pure gold. Her polished, shining soprano effortlessly soared heavenward...particular mention must be made of Gregory Frank. His portrayal of Sparafucile, the contract killer, was breathtaking. Frank's glorious rich bass poured out into the theatre like warm blood dripping from a fatal wound. Throughout the proceedings, Tobias Ringborg, conducting apparently from memory, kept driving an enlarged orchestra to great musical heights with the best playing that's come from the Scottish Opera pit this season.'