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Slovene National Theatre Maribor

Giuseppe Verdi

Rigoletto

Conductor: Simon Robinson
Director: Dieter Kaegi
Premiere: 28 September 2012

Opera in three acts

Opera is sung in Italian with Slovenian subtitles.

When the prestigious Venice opera house La Fenice commissioned a new opera in 1850, Verdi had already been known as a composer, who was completely autonomous in the selection of (usually compelling) dramatic texts, which would later on become libretti of his operas. In search of a pertinent base for the new music drama, he engaged a new opera librettist, Francesco Maria Piave, who was to evaluate Hugo’s drama Le roi s'amuse (literally, The King Amuses Himself, or sometimes translated as The King’s Fool). Hugo’s drama, which was substantially related to madness and wanton conduct of the French King François I, was considered controversial during the monarchic restoration of the post-Napoleon Europe, and the author eventually got into trouble with the censorship in France. Verdi, who was aware of the risk during the staging of new opera – which was later renamed to Rigoletto (from the French word rigolo, which means funny) –, was forced to change Hugo’s original story to such a degree that is did not offend any living aristocrat or his descendants, named in the opera. Thus, he used the name of the already extinct dynasty of Dukes of Mantova. Opera unfolds the story of the humpbacked jester Rigoletto, who mocks the old Count Monterone and his lamentation about the licentious Duke of Mantova seducing his daughter. Monterone curses the fool – the latter has a daughter himself, named Gilda, but he carefully hides her from courtiers. However, the Duke is acquainted with Gilda by chance and seduces her. The courtiers then abduct Gilda, as they mistakenly took her for Rigoletto’s sweetheart; the fool at first implores them to bring her back, and since they failed to grant his request, he curses the kidnappers. In order to avenge the kidnapped daughter, he hires an assassin to kill the Duke, but Gilda, enamoured of the Duke, tries to save the Duke and dies instead of her beloved. As soon as Rigoletto finds her daughter dying, he realizes that the Count’s curse came true. The premiere of Rigoletto was a complete triumph of Verdi's creative genius in the interim period; particularly noted were the dramatic scenes at the end of the second and third act, and Duke’s staple and cynical aria La donna è mobile (Woman is flighty), which already gained its popularity as a whistling tune on the streets of Venice the next morning. Unusual depth and drama, as well as melodic impact of Verdi's opera, accompanied by a dramatic confrontation, are undoubtedly the reasons for Rigoletto’s extraordinary popularity, which has not decreased even after over 160 years since its world premiere.

Cast

Rigoletto - Marcel Vanaud
Elia Fabbian
Gilda - Bernarda Bobro, Petya Ivanova
Duke of Mantua - Armaldo Kllogjeri, Martin Sušnik
Maddalena - Irena Petkova
Sparafucile - Slavko Sekulić
Giovanna - Valentin Pivovarov
Monterone - Mojca Potrč
Matteo Borsa - Dušan Topolovec
Marullo - Jaki Jurgec
Count Ceprano - Alfonz Kodrič
Gountess Ceprano - Valentina Čuden
Usciere - Bojan Hinteregger
A Page - Terezija Potočnik

Libretto Francesco Maria Piave

Scene, Costumes William Orlandi
Lighting Designer Roberto Venturi

Photo gallery

Rigoletto <em>Photo: Tiberiu Marta</em>

Photo: Tiberiu Marta

Rigoletto <em>Photo: Tiberiu Marta</em>

Photo: Tiberiu Marta

Rigoletto <em>Photo: Tiberiu Marta</em>

Photo: Tiberiu Marta

Rigoletto <em>Photo: Tiberiu Marta</em>

Photo: Tiberiu Marta

Rigoletto <em>Photo: Tiberiu Marta</em>

Photo: Tiberiu Marta

Rigoletto <em>Photo: Tiberiu Marta</em>

Photo: Tiberiu Marta

Rigoletto <em>Photo: Tiberiu Marta</em>

Photo: Tiberiu Marta

Rigoletto <em>Photo: Tiberiu Marta</em>

Photo: Tiberiu Marta

Rigoletto <em>Photo: Tiberiu Marta</em>

Photo: Tiberiu Marta

Rigoletto <em>Photo: Tiberiu Marta</em>

Photo: Tiberiu Marta

Rigoletto <em>Photo: Tiberiu Marta</em>

Photo: Tiberiu Marta

Rigoletto <em>Photo: Tiberiu Marta</em>

Photo: Tiberiu Marta


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