Rigoletto15

Rigoletto

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Synopsis

Opera in 3 acts | Sung in Italian

Despite serious initial problems with the Austrian censors who had control over northern Italian theatres at the time, the opera Rigoletto had a triumphant premiere at La Fenice in Venice on 11 March 1851.

It is considered by many to be the first of the operatic masterpieces of Verdi’s middle-to-late career. Its tragic story revolves around the licentious Duke of Mantua, his hunch-backed court jester Rigoletto and Rigoletto’s beautiful daughter Gilda. The opera’s original title, La maledizione (The Curse), refers to the curse placed on both the Duke and Rigoletto by a courtier whose daughter had been seduced by the Duke with Rigoletto’s encouragement. The curse comes to fruition when Gilda likewise falls in love with the Duke and eventually sacrifices her life to save him from the assassins hired by her father.