Opera Festival 2019-20
- Opéra de Lyon
2 hours40 minutes
whose1 intermission (s)
- In Italian
A work of great darkness and high intensity, Rigoletto probes the torments of the soul, as rarely before by this Italian composer. This turning point in Verdian art is here being confronted with the singular universe of the stage director Axel Ranisch.
Rigoletto, the jester of the Duke of Mantau, a depraved seducer, secretly protects his daughter Gilda from attention and danger, in fear of a curse pronounced by Monterone. But the Duke kidnaps and seduces Gilda, who falls in love with him. Dishonoured, Rigoletto engages a killer to assassinate the Duke. But Gilda has taken his place and is killed instead. The curse has been acted out. The meeting of two universes A black masterpiece, adapted from a rather unsuccessful play by Victor Hugo, whose characters Verdi carefully altered so as to avoid censorship, Rigoletto triumphed at the Fenice in Venice in 1851. It stands as the extremely dense first part of Verdi’s trilogy, which was to be completed by Il Trovatore and La Traviata. Ever ready to put one voice in the limelight, here it is the baritone that the composer honours in the tormented role of the jester, a concentration of the contradictions of the human condition, here entrusted to Roberto Frontali. As for the stage direction, the Berlin director and filmmaker Axel Ranisch will, for the first time, confront a piece by Verdi with his own offbeat universe, tinged with a burlesque melancholy, love of the circus and punk poetry. There can be no doubt that the meeting of these two artistic worlds will produce a result full of surprises.
Opera in three acts, 1851
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave New production
The Duke of Mantua
The knight Marullo
Orchestra and Choruses of the Opéra de Lyon