Conductor: Fabrizio Maria Carminati
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Opera in three acts
libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
based on the play Le Roi s’amuse by Victor Hugo
Director Jean-Louis Grinda
Set and costume designer Rudy Sabounghi
Lighting designer Laurent Castaingt
Assistant to direction Vanessa d'Ayral de Sérignac
A production by Opéra Monte-Carlo
Characters & performers
|Il Duca di Mantova||Antonino Siragusa (25, 27/XI - 1/XII)|
|Davide Giusti (26, 29/XI - 3/XII)|
|Rigoletto, buffone di Corte||Sebastian Catana (25, 27/XI - 1, 3/XII)|
|Stefano Meo (26, 29/XI)|
|Gilda, figlia di Rigoletto||Aleksandra Kubas-Kruk (25, 27/XI - 1, 3/XII)|
|Lina Johnson (26, 29/XI)|
|Sparafucile, bravo||Giorgio Giuseppini|
|Maddalena, sorella di Sparafucile||Antonella Colaianni|
|Giovanna, custode di Gilda||Sharon Pierfederici / Namiko Kishi (25/XI)|
|Il Conte di Monterone||Frano Lufi|
|Marullo, cavaliere||Fumiyuki Kato|
|Matteo Borsa, cortigiano||Motoharu Takei|
|Il Conte di Ceprano||Giuliano Pelizon|
|La Contessa, sposa del Conte di Ceprano||Kaoruko Kambe|
|Paggio della Duchessa||Simonetta Cavalli|
|Usciere di Corte||Hektor Leka|
|Cavalieri, Dame, Paggi, Alabardieri.|
|La scena si finge nella città di Mantova e suoi dintorni.|
Epoca, il secolo XVI.
RUNNING TIME: ABOUT 2 HRS. AND 35 MIN.
FIRST ACT: ABOUT 60 MIN.
BREAK: ABOUT 20 MIN.
SECOND AND THIRD ACT: ABOUT 75 MIN.
A hall in the ducal palace, during a party.
The Duke of Mantua, a young and foolish libertine, is having several flirtations with his court’s ladies, as the countess of Ceprano – always watched by her jealous husband – or running after the countrygirls, in disguise. He confides the courtier Matteo Borsa of having become infatuated with an unknown girl that he meets every Sunday in a church. Meanwhile, another courtier, Marullo, brings the news that Rigoletto, the Duke’s misshapen fool, has a lover, hidden in a house in town. As the party is in full progress, the old Count of Monterone arrives and insults the Duke for having seduced his daughter: the Duke orders to arrest Monterone and Rigoletto makes fun of the old man, cruelly mocking at him. Before being caught by the soldiers, the Count curses both the Duke and the fool for having so basely laughed at a father’s pain. Rigoletto is very struck by his curse.
On the home road at the border with Ceprano’s Palace.
The same night, in a dark road, the fool thinks over Monterone’s words and trembles, as a presentiment of misfortune. A Burgundian bandit, Sparafucile, comes and offers his service, in case he would need to get rid of an enemy: Rigoletto dismisses him, but asks where he could find him if necessary. Here it comes a young girl, Gilda, who throws herself in the fool’s arms. Upset by the recent events, Rigoletto warns his daughter to let approach nobody. But Gilda has concealed to her father that a young man has been following her for a long time, meeting her each Sunday in the church. It’s the Duke who, disguised as the poor student Gualtiero Maldè, enters the garden as soon as Rigoletto has left and declares his love to Gilda. When the Duke has left, after a passionate talk with Gilda, the girl happily goes back to her room. But the Duke’s courtiers, believing her to be Rigoletto’s lover, have decided to kidnap her, to take revenge for all the fool’s cruel jokes. And it’s Rigoletto himself who, retracing his steps - thinking that they’re going to kidnap the Countess of Ceprano and, at the right moment, blindfolded by the courtiers – keeps the ladder that allows the rascals to enter Gilda’s house and to kidnap her. When the fool realizes of having been mocked, it’s too late: blaming on Monterone’s curse, Rigoletto falls unconscious to the ground.
In the Ducal Palace.
The Duke is quite upset for his beloved’s fate; in fact, coming back to the girl’s house, he’s come to know that she’s been kidnapped. The courtiers come to tell the joke they plotted against Rigoletto; from theirs words the Duke understands that the kidnapped lady is Gilda and, full of joy, he rushes to the room where the courtiers have taken her. Meanwhile, Rigoletto is wondering in the palace, scanning the courtiers’ faces and gestures in order to discover the place where they’ve hidden his child. The courtiers obviously deny the fact, but the arrival of the Duchess’ pageboy, who’s looking for the Duke by order of his bride, makes the fool understand where his Lord is and with whom. Desperate, he hurls himself against them, claiming his daughter back and begging them to help him. Suddenly Gilda, upset, gets out of the Duke’s room and throws herself in her father’s arms, crying. Left alone with him, the girl, in a shame, tells him what happened. Rigoletto, beside himself with grief, swears revenge. The Count of Monterone passes in the soldiers’ arms directed to the prison; Rigoletto cries that he’ll be avenged, too and, turned to the Duke’s portrait, he hurls his curse at him. Gilda – who, despite all, is still in love with the man that has seduced and deceived her – tries in vain to calm him down.
A house in ruins by the Mincio riverside.
In the hut where Sparafucile lives with his sister Maddalena. Rigoletto has applied to the hired killer who, against a reward of twenty scudi, has promised to kill the Duke, allured there by Maddalena’s charm. Gilda, together with her father, is spying on the hut and sees, with pain, that the man she still loves has already forgotten her and passionately courts the beautiful country woman. Rigoletto orders his daughter to wear a male dress and to leave for Verona, where he’ll reach her the next day. As Gilda leaves, Rigoletto reminds Sparafucile of the pact, giving to him half of the money. At midnight he’ll be back to take the Duke’s dead body and to throw it into the river. But Maddalena is in love with the Duke and begs her brother not to kill him. The bandit, after a short hesitation, gives in to his sister’s prayers and decides to kill the first wayfarer that will knock at the inn’s door. As the Duke retires to have a rest in Sparafucile’s room, a storm breaks: Gilda, disguised as a man, reaches the house and listening from behind the door, she discovers the couple’s plan. Just to save the life of the man she loves, she decides to sacrifice herself and asks for shelter. At Midnight, Rigoletto goes back to the house and Sparafucile gives him a sack with the body of the killed man. Anticipating the pleasure of the revenge, the fool drags the sack to the river; but, in that moment, he hears in the distance the Duke singing a merry song. Full of fear, Rigoletto opens the sack and, at the flash of lightning, Gilda’s bloodless face appears. Before dying, the girl asks forgiveness to her father and begs him to forgive her seducer. Joined with her mother, she’ll pray for him in Heaven. Mad for grief and regret, Rigoletto falls unconscious on her daughter’s body.