Royal Opera House Live: Rigoletto (12A)

An image from Rigoletto by the Royal Opera House

The corruption of innocence is at the heart of Verdi’s potent tragedy in David McVicar’s production from the Royal Opera House.

Rigoletto, court jester to the libertine Duke of Mantua, is cursed by the father of one of the Duke’s victims for his irreverent laughter. When the Duke seduces Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda, it seems the curse is taking effect...David McVicar’s production highlights the cruelty at the heart of the court of Mantua. Richly dressed courtiers engage in orgies and revelries to Verdi’s heady, spirited dances.

The opera’s many musical highlights include the ebullient ‘La donna è mobile’; Gilda’s exquisite, plangent duets with Rigoletto and the Duke; and the gorgeous Act III quartet that beautifully weaves the voices together as the story quickens to its shattering conclusion. Giuseppe Verdi wrote in 1855 that Rigoletto was his ‘best opera’. He had had to overcome state censorship to stage it – but he was vindicated by the premiere’s huge success in 1851. Rigoletto was performed 250 times in the next 10 years and has remained one of the most popular of all operas.

Running time 2 hours 45 minutes, including one interval
Sung in Italian with English subtitles

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