Home > Rigoletto
First performed March 11, 1851.
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave (in Itarian),
In the 16th century, in Mantova, Italy, in the house
of the Duke who is lubricious, a daughter of Count Monterone fell for the
Duke’s sweet talk. The Count was angry with the Duke. Rigoletto, who
is a clown and the Duke’s retainer, makes Count Monterone a laughing stock. The
Count says to Rigoletto, “You have a laugh about father’s torment. You’ll be damned.”
Rigoletto is upset by Monterone’s curse, because he has a secret daughter.
Unfortunately, Rigoletto’s daughter, Gilda, has already met with the
Duke at the church. The Duke tells a lie to Gilda, he pretends to be a poor
student. Gilda falls in love with him. Then, the Duke’s subordinates kidnap Gilda
for their boss
Rigoletto finds out that his daughter is kidnapped. When Rigoletto goes
to the Duke’s house, he bumps into his daughter there.
Gilda explains to her father that she has really fallen in love, but strangers
forced her to go to the Duke yesterday, and she was insulted by him. Rigoletto
is angry with the Duke, and so decides to kill him.
In a seedy pub in the suburbs, the Duke
attempts to seduce Maddalena who is a sister of the manager, Sparafucile.
Rigoletto requests Sparafucile to kill the Duke for a large sum of money.
Sparafucile attempts to kill the Duke, but Maddalena stops him, because
she has also fallen in love with the Duke. Sparafucile tells her that he has
already received money, so he needs a substitute. Gilda
has heard this talk between Sparafucile and Maddalena. Gilda
makes up her mind to become his substitute.
Rigoletto receives a bag from Sparafucile, being told it is the Duke’s
body. Rigoletto checks the body and finds it is his daughter’s body. He
is shocked and disappointed. The curse has been realized.
|The original of this opera’s libretto is Victor Hugo’s
play “Le roi s'amuse (The King Amuses Himself).” Hugo’s play depicts the King of France at the
time, and the play is then banned from after only one performance. When
Giuseppe Verdi composed this opera based on Hugo’s play, he transformed the
scene from France to Italy, and the character from the King to aristocracy.
This opera “Rigoletto” succeeded, and gained popularity. That resulted in Verdi obtaining the
status of a great opera composer.
In this opera, there are some famous arias, for
example, “Cortigiani, vil razza dannata (Accursed race of courtiers)” by Rigoletto
in act 2 and “Gualtier Malde!... Caro nome (Dearest name)” by Gilda
in act 1. In addition, the aria that you won’t forget is “La donna e mobile
(Woman is fickle)” by the Duke in act 3. This aria is a great match for the
Duke, who is a womanizer.
Verdi composed this opera of which the original has
some expression like kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder. Verdi realized
successful composition included such various expressions. And, a good balance
of singers appear on the stage, Soprano(Gilda), Mezzo Soprano(Maddalena),
Tenor(the Duke), Britone(Rigoletto), Bass(Sparafucile).
This balance of singers is very effective. For example, the quartet “Un di, se
ben rammentomi... Bella figlia dell'amore (One day, if I remember rightly...
Beautiful daughter of love)” is one of the most outstanding and famous quartets
in the opera world.
|Gluck, C. W. (1714-1787)
- Orpheus and Eurydice
Mozart, W. A. (1756-1791)
- The Marriage of Figaro
- Don Giovanni
- Cosi fan tutte
- The Magic Flute
Beethoven, L. v. (1770-1827)
Weber, C. M. v. (1786-1826)
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Donizetti, G. (1797-1848)
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Verdi, G. (1813-1901)
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Wagner, R. (1813-1883)
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Offenbach, J. (1819-1880)
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Strauss, J. (1825-1899)
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Bizet, G. (1838-1875)
Tchaikovsky, P. J. (1840-1893)
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Massenet, J. (1842-1912)
Humperdinck, E. (1854-1921)
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Puccini, G. (1858-1924)
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Leoncavallo, R. (1858-1919)
Mascagni, P. (1863-1945)
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Debussy, C. (1862-1918)
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Strauss, R. (1864-1949)
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