The ROH: Rigoletto - LIVE

The corruption of innocence is at the heartof Verdi’s potent tragedy inDavid McVicar’sproduction for The Royal Opera.Rigoletto, court jester to the libertine Dukeof Mantua, is cursed by the father of one ofthe Duke’s victims for his irreverent laughter.When the Duke seduces Rigoletto’s daughterGilda, it seems the curse is taking effect...David McVicar’s production highlightsthe cruelty at the heart of the court ofMantua. Richly dressed courtiers engage inorgies and revelries to Verdi’s heady, spiriteddances. The opera’s many musical highlightsinclude the ebullient ‘La donna è mobile’, inwhich the Duke boasts of his disregard forwomen; Gilda’s exquisite, plangent duets withRigoletto and the Duke; and the gorgeousAct III quartet that beautifully weaves thevoices together as the story quickens to itsshattering conclusion.Giuseppe Verdiwrote in 1855 thatRigolettowas his ‘best opera’. He had hadto overcome state censorship to stage it –the censors objected to its depiction of animmoral ruler – but he was vindicated by thepremiere’s huge success in 1851.Rigolettowasperformed 250 times in the next 10 years andhas remained one of the most popular of alloperas.

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