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News

09 Nov 2004

Rigoletto at DNO Amsterdam

Rigoletto Giuseppe Verdi 1813-1901 Rigoletto, together with Il trovatore and La traviata, laid the foundations for Verdi's worldwide renown; the latter two operas were composed shortly after Rigoletto. The opera is based upon Victor Hugo's play Le roi s'amuse, a...

Rigoletto

Giuseppe Verdi 1813-1901

Rigoletto, together with Il trovatore and La traviata, laid the foundations for Verdi's worldwide renown; the latter two operas were composed shortly after Rigoletto. The opera is based upon Victor Hugo's play Le roi s'amuse, a work that had fascinated Verdi for a long time. Once again Verdi came into conflict with the censor: to depict a king as a libertine on stage was absolutely forbidden. Once, however, the time and place of the action were changed, the king was demoted to a duke and another character, the court jester Rigoletto was allotted the title role, nothing could stand in the way of the opera's triumphal progress. Rigoletto is depicted as a split personality, a man who at one moment can organise his master's amorous amusements without any scruples at all, and who at another is a loving father to his own daughter. Verdi's orchestral score is full of contrasts and imagination; it has been liberated from simply providing an accompaniment to the singers.

The sobbing laugh of Rigoletto the jester, the suffering of the gypsy Azucena and Violetta's rejection by society -- piece by piece these are the tragedies of people driven into direst straits by fate, people who are destroyed by their battle with all that surrounds them. A deep compassion with the oppressed is inherent in all of Verdi's works.

Dimitri Shostakovich

Cast information

Il duca di Mantova — Joseph Calleja

Rigoletto — Anthony Michaels-Moore

Gilda — Cinzia Forte

Sparafucile — Mario Luperi

Maddalena — Graciela Araya

Giovanna — Menai Davies

Il conte di Monterone — Alan Ewing

Marullo — Roberto Accurso

Borsa — Roberto Covatta

Il conte di Ceprano — Roger Smeets

La contessa — Mariette Oelderik

Paggio della duchessa — Anneleen Bijnen

Musical Direction — Daniele Callegari

Direction — Monique Wagemakers

Click here for a synopsis of the opera.

Click here for an interview of Joseph Calleja.

Click here for production photographs.

Recommended recording:

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