Mr. Rigoletto
In Conversation with Louis Quilico

Christina Petrowska     

Captus Press, ISBN 978-1-896691-05-3 (1996)
296 pages, 500 g, 5.875 X 9.25, $24.99 (US$24.99)

Legendary Metropolitan Opera baritone, Louis Quilico, speaks about the voice, teaching, opera and his 510 performances of Rigoletto in conversation with his wife Christina Petrowska, author and artist of the critically acclaimed book, Opera Illustrated: An Artistic Odyssey. Included in the book are a discography, videography, 50 opera photographs and critical highlights of a career that spanned 45 years, signing at the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Paris Opera, the Bolshoi, Staatsoper Vienna, New York City Opera, among many others. This magnificent book contains a foreword by Thomas Hampson, star of leading opera houses throughout the world.

Foreword by Thomas Hampson
There is a tradition behind the scenes of the opera world among singers and between colleagues of recognizing, admiring and, in some ways, protecting what we all know' to be the real standards of good singing. Seriousness of purpose, health of voice, longevity of career and a certain indefinable skepticism about taking yourself more seriously than the forces of nature that allowed you to be what you are-these are some of those standards.

When asking some of my colleagues about Louis Quilico, the man and singer, the word that is invariably used is GENEROUS-certainly generous of voice, but also, probably more importantly, generous of heart, spirit, compassion, dedication and effort! What lies behind this generous artist will be glimpsed in this book through narration, anecdote, admonishment and, of course, the facts of his generous career.

I've always admired Louis as a 'forefather' baritone for the very quality that leaps from his story in this book: No Nonsense. In his tales and tips and lessons, Louis speaks firmly, directly, almost simply, with a sense of practicality that is at first disarming. Don't be fooled! The profundity of experience is yours to be had in the reflection of his words and deeds.

We live in a world more and more dominated by disposable celebrity and must always be alert to the few examples of a life dedicated to a longer vision, stable maturation and, quite frankly, a generous and gentle embrace of the human spirit.

Read on in respect; sing on in fellowship; live on in wonder!

Table of Contents   top

Foreword by Thomas Hampson


  • Some Personal Thoughts
  • On the Voice
  • On Opera
  • On Rigoletto


  • What the Critics Said of the Quilico Voice
  • Highlights from Opera Reviews
  • Highlights from Rigoletto Reviews


  • Roles and Highlights of Performances
  • Discography
  • Videography
  • About the Author

Instructor Resources   top

Related Resources   top

About the Author   top

Author, artist and concert pianist, Christina Petrowska, enjoys an international reputation as a major interpreter of 20th-century music. Following one of several Carnegie Hall recitals in 1977, the New York Times described her as "a pianist of extraordinary talent...with a phenomenal ability to play the most difficult music cleanly." She has been hailed for her outstanding technique and understanding of the music--both emotionally and intellectually. She approaches the repertoire with a spirit of discovery and is able to communicate to an audience its complex mysteries.

Born in Canada, Christina Petrowska made her debut in New York's Town Hall at the age of 14, at which time the New York Times declared her a "promethean talent." While attending the Juilliard School as a scholarship student, she discovered her intense identification with the 20th-century literature. As Toronto's Globe and Mail notes: "At 14, when most students are just beginning to realize there's more to music than Chopin waltzes and early Beethoven sonatas, Petrowska was playing Copland and Hindemith. Gradually she built her portfolio until it included some of the most intellectually and technically demanding piano music in creation."

A professor of music at York University, Petrowska continues to record and to concertize internationally. In addition to her musical activities, Christina is an accomplished visual artist and writer. Her drawings have been published in Spain as part of a biography on the Spanish composer Luis de Pablo. She has also had a book of poetry published as well as written many articles for music publications. She currently lives in Toronto with her husband, Metropolitan Opera baritone, Louis Quilico.