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Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on Victor Hugo's drama Le Roi s'Amuse from 1832.

The Venetian opera wanted to carry first not on censorship, since the portrayal of sovereign Princes was forbidden. Therefore, King Francis I of France replaced Verdi by the Duke of Mantua.Different adjustments could be the work performed were honor. This meant significant adjustments in the libretto and the music, which had as a result that the piece was far more dramatically and also came to be the music to a higher level.

Rigoletto was the first of three operas written in this distinctive style and was succeeded by Il trovatore (1853) and La traviata (1854). The operas mark the Verdi's "middle period" of development as an opera composer.

The premiere took place on 11 March 1851 in the Teatro La Fenice in Venice. The world famous aria "La donne è mobile" was performed for the first time on this premiere; Verdi had refused to make the piece in exercise during rehearsals to prevent the melody would reverberate on each street organ before the opera itself was officially carried out. The premiere was a overwhelming success and meant international breakthrough for Verdi. After the premiere, the composer said that he probably never could write something beautiful yet so. The opera is still a fixed in the opera repertoire and is one of Verdi's masterpieces.


[hide]*1 Cast

Division Of Roles[Edit]Edit


Read warning: text below contains details about the content and/or the end of the story.

There is party to the Court of the Duke of Mantua (tenor) with no attempt to cross that he has an eye on the Countess of Ceprano (soprano); This much to the chagrin of the count of Ceprano (baritone). Then comes one of the courtiers in with the news that the misshapen jester Rigoletto (baritone) a sweetheart in the city. The gossip is shattered when a furious count of Monterone (bass) invades and the Duke wants to confront because of the fact that these has dishonored his daughter. The Duke, however, did not see him and gives his nar permission to talk with Monterone. This denounces the count and his paternal feelings, after which this furious the Duke and jester are cursed. The Duke and Rigoletto, Monterone commands to arrest, shocked by the curse, flee fearful the Palace.

Rigoletto wanders through the city and ponders it just happened. In doing so he invents how unfair the world is divided. Then he is approached by a dark figure. It is the assassin Sparafucile (bas) who gave him his services. For the moment thanks the fool before, but if he does he know him ever again need to find him. Rigoletto enters a house where he pleased welcomed by his daughter Gilda (soprano). They notice the printing of her father and begs him to tell of his concerns, which he refuses. Since they know nothing of him than that he is her father, she asks to details from his life. He let her mother out of pity, however, that only loosely with him married and after her birth died, and that they are the only family he has. Then he considers a sound can be heard and is immediately suspicious. He asks the housekeeper Giovanna (mezzo-soprano) or the doors are always locked and allays her that she should remain at home and not on the street always allowed to go. Then he takes farewell and leaves again. Meanwhile the Duke arrived, who invented that the girl he sees in the Church on Sundays and on whom he fell in love with has become, in the House. He learns here that they Rigoletto's daughter is, and when he sees that Rigoletto is he away.

[1]Titta Ruffo as Rigoletto

Gilda is very printed since she has no idea why her father is so suspicious, and why he hair always locks up. She has feelings of guilt about the fact that she has not told him of that nice man, a student who draws her attention in the Church on Sunday. Then appears the Duke student Gualtier Maldè, gives himself out for the and declares her his love. The first anxious Gilda hits under the spell of the youngster and says that she also loves him. Then comes the terrified Giovanna in stating that they heard and that the young man outside rumor should leave. Both take passionate farewell. Outside are the courtiers at the House of Rigoletto arrived with the intention to kidnap alleged sweetheart. A feeling of unrest has driven back to the House, where he the Rigoletto masked courtiers met, who tell him that they go for the Countess of Ceprano kidnap the Duke. They ask if he wants to do and then bind him a blindfold for. They then kidnap Gilda and letting the nar despair behind.

The Duke has returned from Rigoletto's house where he discovers that Gilda has disappeared. He is in all States, until the courtiers tell him that they kidnapped the sweetheart of Rigoletto and have brought to the Palace. The Duke goes her immediately ' comfort ' offer. Rigoletto enters, searching for his daughter. The courtiers keep him for the crazy, and the fool begs and threatens to take turns to tell him where his daughter is. They are amazed because of this fact, but not saying where she is. Then comes a page of the Duchess to the Duke questions, but that is spelled everything on the sleeve. Then realizes where Gilda Rigoletto has access and rushes off in the bedroom of the Duke. This has made itself from the feet and Gilda is completely shattered backward.Rigoletto sends the courtiers away and Gilda pay up its heart out. Then comes the palace guards in the prison along with Monterone who must. For the portrait of the Duke, he remains standing and in despair he exclaims that the Duke will always evade his punishment. Rigoletto swears that he will be Avenged, and that the Duke will get his comeuppance.

Rigoletto has set up a trap and he and Gilda to Verona will swerve. Gilda is shrouded in men's clothing and will go ahead. Rigoletto will follow later. They are located outside the Inn of Sparafucile, and see a bit later the Duke arrive in soldiers clothing. He starts right advances to Maddalena (mezzo-soprano), Sparafucile's sister. Gilda is horrified and Rigoletto takes her.However, only moments later returns them back, hoping they can save the Duke. She overhears the conversation between Maddalena and her brother off. Maddalena tries to persuade her brother the handsome young man not to kill. However, replies that he is cheating on its customers not Sparafucile and therefore has no choice. She begs him someone else to bring and so throw the wrong corpse in the river. Sparafucile says there is no one else is, and with this he also expected no one more storm. Then there is a knock on the door. It's Gilda who wants to sacrifice. Sparafucile sticking her down and stops the body in a bag. Then comes Rigoletto back; He claims his booty on. Sparafucile gives him the bag, but asks if he can throw in the river which is not better, but Rigoletto refuses; He wants to do this yourself. Then, if he wants to throw the bag triumphantly in the River he hears the Duke singing. Startled he cuts the bag open and finds his dying daughter. She asks him for forgiveness and says that they are in heaven with her mother will pray for him. Rigoletto begs her to stay alive, but she gives up the ghost. Rigoletto will be left with the corpse of his daughter in his arms. The curse of Monterone has come true.

Selected recordings[Edit]Edit

Year Division Of Roles

(Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto, Gilda, Maddalena, Sparafucile)


opera company and Orchestra

1935 Frederick Jagel andJan Kiepura,

Lawrence Tibbett, Lily Pons, Virgilio Lazzari, Helen Olheim

Ettore Panizza

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and chorus

Audio CD: Naxos Historical

Cat: 8.110020-1

1950 Jan Peerce,

Leonard Warren, Erna Berger, Italo Tajo, Nan Merriman

Renato Cellini

Robert Shaw (Chorus), RCA Victor Orchestra and Robert Shaw Chorale

Audio CD: Membran/Quadromania

Cat: 222182-444 (also contains a recording of Il trovatore )

1955 Giuseppe di Stefano,

Tito Gobbi, Maria Callas, Nicola Zaccaria, Adriana Lazzarini

Tullio Serafin,

Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala

Audio CD: EMI

Cat: 747469

1963 Alfredo Kraus,

Robert Merrill, Anna Moffo, Ezio Flagello, Rosalind Elias

Georg Solti,

RCA Italiana Opera Chorus and Orchestra

Audio CD: RCA Victor
1971 Luciano Pavarotti,

Sherrill Milnes, Joan Sutherland, Martti Talvela, Huguette Tourangeau

Richard Bonynge,

London Symphony Orchestra Ambrosian Opera Chorus

Audio CD: Decca Records

Cat: 414-269-2

1977 Plácido Domingo,

Cornell MacNeil, Ileana Cotrubas, Justino Díaz, Isola Jones

James Levine,

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and chorus (production by John Dexter)

DVD: Deutsche Grammophon

Cat: 00440 073 0930

1982 Luciano Pavarotti,

Ingvar Wixell, Edita Gruberova, Ferruccio Furlanetto Victoria Vergara

Riccardo Chailly,

Wiener Philharmoniker Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor (film by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle)

DVD: Deutsche Grammophon

Cat: 00440 073 4166 DVD: Decca Records Cat: 071401

1998 Luciano Pavarotti,

Vladimir Chernov, Studer, Roberto Scandiuzzi Garry G Graves

James Levine,

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and chorus (production of Pål Christian Tired)

Audio CD: Deutsche Grammophon

Cat: 447 064-2

Note: "Cat:" is short for catalogue number by the society; ""ASIN" is the product reference number on


  • The most famous aria from this opera is La donna è mobile (the woman is fickle). Also the aria "Caro Nome" will no one unknown in the ears. They are both considered the most famous Arias of all time.

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