Metropolitan Opera tickets 4 October 2024 - Rigoletto | GoComGo.com

Rigoletto

Metropolitan Opera, Metropolitan Opera, New York, USA
All photos (5)
Select date and time
7:30 PM
From
US$ 148

E-tickets: Print at home or at the box office of the event if so specified. You will find more information in your booking confirmation email.

You can only select the category, and not the exact seats.
If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: New York, USA
Starts at: 19:30
Acts: 3
Intervals: 2
Duration: 2h 45min
Sung in: Italian
Titles in: English,German,Spanish

E-tickets: Print at home or at the box office of the event if so specified. You will find more information in your booking confirmation email.

You can only select the category, and not the exact seats.
If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Cast
Performers
Soprano: Nadine Sierra (Gilda)
Bass: Andrea Mastroni (Sparafucile)
Mezzo-Soprano: J'Nai Bridges (Maddalena)
Conductor: Pier Giorgio Morandi
Baritone: Quinn Kelsey (Rigoletto)
Tenor: Stephen Costello (Duke of Mantua)
Creators
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Production: Bartlett Sher
Costume designer: Catherine Zuber
Lighting Designer: Donald Holder
Librettist: Francesco Maria Piave
Set Designer: Michael Yeargan
Overview

Verdi’s heartbreaking masterpiece returns, with reigning Verdi baritone Quinn Kelsey reprising his devastating portrayal of the hunchbacked court jester. Radiant soprano Nadine Sierra is his naïve daughter, Gilda, and tenor Stephen Costello is the rakish Duke of Mantua, with Maestro Pier Giorgio Morandi on the podium to conduct Bartlett Sher’s Weimar-inspired production. A second run of performances features the Met debut of rising tenor Pene Pati, alongside soprano Erin Morley and baritone Luca Salsi, conducted by Maurizio Benini.

World premiere: Teatro la Fenice, Venice, 1851. A dramatic journey of undeniable force, Rigoletto was immensely popular from its premiere and remains fresh and powerful to this day. The story, based on a controversial play by Victor Hugo, tells of an outsider—a hunchbacked jester—who struggles to balance the dueling elements of beauty and evil that exist in his life. Written during the most fertile period of Verdi’s artistic life, the opera resonates with a universality that is frequently called Shakespearean.

In a remarkable career spanning six decades in the theater, Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) composed 26 operas, at least half of which are at the core of today’s repertoire. His role in Italy’s cultural and political development has made him an icon in his native country. Francesco Maria Piave (1810–76), Verdi’s librettist for Rigoletto, collaborated with him on ten works, including ErnaniLa Traviata, La Forza del Destino, and the original versions of Macbeth and Simon Boccanegra.

Victor Hugo’s 1832 play Le Roi s’Amuse, set at the court of King François I of France (circa 1520), is a blatant depiction of depraved authority. In adapting it, Verdi and Piave fought with the Italian censors and eventually settled on moving the story to the non-royal Renaissance court of Mantua, while holding firm on the core issues of the drama. In the Met’s production, the action unfolds in Weimar Germany in the 1920s, a time and place with surprising parallels to the decadent—and dangerous—world of the original setting.

Rigoletto contains a wealth of melody, including one that is among the world’s most famous: “La donna è mobile.” All the opera’s solos are rich with character insight and dramatic development. The famous Act III quartet, “Bella figlia dell’amore,” is an ingenious musical analysis of the diverging reactions of the four principals in the same moment: the Duke’s music rises with urgency and impatience, Gilda’s droops with disappointment, Rigoletto’s remains measured and paternal, while the promiscuous Maddalena is literally all over the place. In the context of the opera, the merely lovely music becomes inspired drama.

In cooperation with Staatsoper Berlin

 

History
Premiere of this production: 11 March 1851, Teatro La Fenice, Venice

Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo. Despite serious initial problems with the Austrian censors who had control over northern Italian theatres at the time, the opera had a triumphant premiere at La Fenice in Venice on 11 March 1851.

Synopsis

ACT I

Las Vegas, 1960. At his casino, the Duke boasts of his way with women. He flirts with the wife of Ceprano, one of his entourage, while Rigoletto, the Duke’s hunchbacked sidekick and comedian, mocks the enraged husband. Marullo, another one of the Duke’s entourage, bursts in with the latest gossip: Rigoletto is keeping a young mistress at his place. Unaware of this, Rigoletto continues to taunt Ceprano, who plots with the others to punish Rigoletto for his insults. Monterone, an Arab tycoon, forces his way into the crowd to denounce the Duke for seducing his daughter and is viciously ridiculed by Rigoletto. Monterone is arrested and puts a curse on Rigoletto. Rigoletto is disturbed by Monterone’s curse. He encounters Sparafucile, a hitman, who offers his services. Rigoletto reflects that his own tongue is as sharp as the murderer’s knife. Arriving at home, he warmly greets his daughter, Gilda. Fearing for the girl’s safety, he warns the housekeeper, Giovanna, not to let anyone into the apartment. When Rigoletto leaves, the Duke appears and bribes Giovanna, who lets him see Gilda whom he’s seen in church. He declares his love for her and tells her he is a poor student. After he has left, Gilda tenderly reflects on her newfound love. The Duke’s entourage gathers nearby, intending to abduct Rigoletto’s “mistress.” When Rigoletto arrives, surprising them, they convince him they are abducting the Countess Ceprano, and enlist his aid in their scheme. Successfully deceiving Rigoletto, they kidnap Gilda. When Rigoletto discovers that his daughter has been taken, he collapses as he remembers Monterone’s curse.

ACT II

Arriving at his penthouse apartment in the casino, the Duke is distraught, having immediately gone back to see Gilda only to find her missing. When his entourage returns and tells him the story of how they abducted a girl from Rigoletto’s apartment and left her in the Duke’s bedroom, he realizes it is Gilda and hurries off to her. Rigoletto enters, looking for Gilda. The entourage is astonished to find out that she is his daughter rather than his mistress, but they prevent him from storming into the Duke’s bedroom. Rigoletto violently denounces them for their cruelty, then asks for compassion. Gilda returns from the Duke’s room. She tells Rigoletto of the Duke’s courtship, her abduction, and her deflowering by the Duke. Monterone is brought in to be killed by the Duke’s men, and Rigoletto swears that both he and the Arab will be avenged. Gilda begs her father to forgive the Duke.  

ACT III

Rigoletto brings Gilda to a seedy club on the outskirts of town where Sparafucile and his sister Maddalena live. The Duke appears, and Gilda and Rigoletto watch him through the window as he amuses himself with Maddalena. Rigoletto tells his distraught daughter to leave town disguised as a man and, after she leaves, pays Sparafucile to murder the Duke. Gilda returns to overhear Maddalena urge her brother to spare the Duke and kill Rigoletto instead. Sparafucile refuses but agrees to kill the next person to arrive at the club, so that he will be able to produce a dead body for Rigoletto. Gilda decides to sacrifice herself for the Duke. Her plan succeeds and Sparafucile and Maddalena put her body in the trunk of a car. Rigoletto returns, and assuming the body is the corpse of the Duke, gloats over his revenge. But when he hears the Duke singing inside the club, he realizes he has been duped. He quickly removes the hood covering the head of the body in the car and is horrified to find it has been masking the identity of his dying daughter. Gilda dies asking her father’s forgiveness and Rigoletto realizes Monterone’s curse has been fulfilled.

Place: Mantua
Time: the sixteenth century

Act 1

Scene 1: Mantua. A magnificent hall in the ducal palace. Doors at the back open into other rooms, splendidly lit up. A crowd of lords and ladies in grand costumes are seen walking about in the rear rooms; page boys come and go. The festivities are at their height. Music is heard from offstage. The Duke and Borsa enter from a door in the back.

At a ball in his palace, the Duke sings of a life of pleasure with as many women as possible, and mentions that he particularly enjoys cuckolding his courtiers: "Questa o quella" ("This woman or that"). He mentions to Borsa that he has seen an unknown beauty in church and desires to possess her, but he also wishes to seduce the Countess of Ceprano. Rigoletto, the Duke's hunchbacked court jester, mocks the husbands of the ladies to whom the Duke is paying attention, including the Count Ceprano. He humorously advises the Duke to get rid of Count Ceprano by prison, exile, or death. The Duke laughs indulgently, but Ceprano is not amused. Marullo, one of the guests at the ball, informs the courtiers that Rigoletto has a "lover", which astonishes them. (Marullo is not aware that the "lover" is actually Rigoletto's daughter.) The courtiers, at Ceprano's suggestion, resolve to take vengeance on Rigoletto for making fun of them. The festivities are interrupted by the arrival of the elderly Count Monterone, whose daughter the Duke had seduced. Rigoletto provokes him further by making fun of his helplessness to avenge his daughter's honor. Monterone confronts the Duke, and is immediately arrested by the Duke's guards. Before being led off to prison, Monterone curses both the Duke for the attack on his daughter and Rigoletto for having mocked his righteous anger. The curse terrifies Rigoletto, who believes the popular superstition that an old man's curse has real power.

Scene 2: The end of a dead-end street. On the left, a house of discreet appearance with one small courtyard surrounded by walls. In the yard there is one tall tree and a marble seat; in the wall, a door that leads to the street; above the wall, a terrace supported by arches. The second floor door opens on to the said terrace, which can also be reached by a staircase in front. To the right of the street is the very high wall of the garden and a side of the Ceprano palace. It is night.

Preoccupied with the old man's curse, Rigoletto approaches the house where he is concealing his daughter from the world and is accosted by the assassin Sparafucile, who walks up to him and offers his services. Rigoletto declines for the moment, but leaves open the possibility of hiring Sparafucile later, should the need arise. Sparafucile wanders off, after repeating his own name a few times. Rigoletto contemplates the similarities between the two of them: "Pari siamo!" ("We are alike!"); Sparafucile kills men with his sword, and Rigoletto uses "a tongue of malice" to stab his victims. Rigoletto opens a door in the wall and embraces his daughter Gilda. They greet each other warmly: "Figlia!" "Mio padre!" ("Daughter!" "My father!"). Rigoletto has been concealing his daughter from the Duke and the rest of the city, and she does not know her father's occupation. Since he has forbidden her to appear in public, she has been nowhere except to church and does not even know her own father's name.

When Rigoletto has gone, the Duke appears and overhears Gilda confess to her nurse Giovanna that she feels guilty for not having told her father about a young man she had met at the church. She says that she fell in love with him, but that she would love him even more if he were a student and poor. As she declares her love, the Duke enters, overjoyed. Gilda, alarmed, calls for Giovanna, unaware that the Duke had given her money to go away. Pretending to be a student, the Duke convinces Gilda of his love: "È il sol dell'anima" ("Love is the sunshine of the soul"). When she asks for his name, he hesitantly calls himself Gualtier Maldè. Hearing sounds and fearing that her father has returned, Gilda sends the Duke away after they quickly trade vows of love: "Addio, addio" ("Farewell, farewell"). Alone, Gilda meditates on her love for the Duke, who she believes is a student: "Gualtier Maldè!... Caro nome che il mio cor" ("Dearest name").

Later, Rigoletto returns: "Riedo!... perché?" ("I've returned!... why?"), while the hostile courtiers outside the walled garden (believing Gilda to be the jester's mistress, unaware she is his daughter) get ready to abduct the helpless girl. They tell Rigoletto that they are actually abducting the Countess Ceprano. He sees that they are masked and asks for a mask for himself; while they are tying the mask onto his face, they also blindfold him. Blindfolded and deceived, he holds the ladder steady while they climb up to Gilda's room: Chorus: "Zitti, zitti" ("Softly, softly"). With her father's unknowing assistance Gilda is carried away by the courtiers. Left alone, Rigoletto removes his mask and blindfold, and realizes that it was in fact Gilda who was carried away. He collapses in despair, remembering the old man's curse.

Act 2

A room in the ducal palace. There are doors on both sides as well as a larger one at the far end by the sides of which hang full length portraits of the Duke and his wife. There is one high-backed chair at a table covered with velvet and other furnishings.

The Duke is concerned that Gilda has disappeared: "Ella mi fu rapita!" ("She was stolen from me!") and "Parmi veder le lagrime" ("I seem to see tears"). The courtiers then enter and inform him that they have captured Rigoletto's mistress: Chorus: "Scorrendo uniti" ("We went together at nightfall"). By their description, he recognizes it to be Gilda and rushes off to the room where she is held: "Possente amor mi chiama" ("Mighty love beckons me"). Rigoletto enters singing and feigning nonchalance, but also looking anxiously for any trace of Gilda, who he fears may have fallen into the hands of the Duke. The courtiers pretend not to notice his anxiety, but quietly laugh at him with each other. A page boy arrives with a message from the Duke's wife – the Duchess wishes to speak to her husband – but the courtiers reply suggestively that the Duke cannot be disturbed at the moment. Rigoletto realizes this must mean that Gilda is with the Duke. To the courtiers' surprise, he reveals that Gilda is his daughter. He first demands, then tearfully pleads with the courtiers to return her to him: "Cortigiani, vil razza dannata" ("Accursed race of courtiers"). Rigoletto attempts to run into the room in which Gilda is being held, but the courtiers block his way. After a time, Gilda enters, and Rigoletto orders the courtiers to leave him alone with her. The courtiers leave the room, believing Rigoletto has gone mad. Gilda describes to her father what has happened to her in the palace: "Tutte le feste al tempio" ("On all the holy days") and he attempts to console her. Monterone is led across the room on the way to prison and pauses in front of the portrait of the Duke to regret that his curse on the libertine has had no effect. As the guards lead Monterone away, Rigoletto mutters that the old man is mistaken; he, Rigoletto, the dishonored buffoon, shall make thunder and lightning rain from heaven onto the offender's head. He repeats this vow as Gilda pleads for mercy for her lover the Duke: Duet:"Sì! Vendetta, tremenda vendetta!" ("Yes! Revenge, terrible revenge!").

Act 3

The right bank of the river Mincio. On the left is a two-story house, half ruined. Through a large arch on the ground floor a rustic tavern can be seen as well as a rough stone staircase that leads to an attic room with a small bed which is in full view as there are no shutters. In the wall downstairs that faces the street is a door that opens to the inside. The wall is so full of holes and cracks that everything that happens inside is easily seen from the exterior. At the back of the stage are deserted areas by the river which flows behind a parapet that has half collapsed into ruins. Beyond the river is Mantua. It is night. Gilda and Rigoletto, both uneasy, are standing in the road; Sparafucile is seated at a table in the tavern.

A portion of Sparafucile's house is seen, with two rooms open to the view of the audience. Rigoletto and Gilda arrive outside. The Duke's voice can be heard from inside, singing "La donna è mobile" ("Woman is fickle"). Sparafucile's sister, Maddalena, has lured him to the house. Rigoletto and Gilda listen from outside as the Duke flirts with Maddalena. Gilda laments that the Duke is unfaithful; Rigoletto assures her that he is arranging revenge: "Bella figlia dell'amore" ("Beautiful daughter of love").

Rigoletto orders Gilda to put on a man's clothes to prepare to leave for Verona and tells her that he plans to follow later. After she leaves, he completes his bargain with the assassin, who is ready to murder his guest for 20 scudi. Rigoletto then withdraws.

With falling darkness, a thunderstorm approaches and the Duke decides to spend the rest of the night in the house. Sparafucile directs him to the upstairs sleeping quarters, resolving to kill him in his sleep.

Gilda, who still loves the Duke despite knowing him to be unfaithful, returns dressed as a man and stands outside the house. Maddalena, who is smitten with the Duke, begs Sparafucile to spare his life: "È amabile invero cotal giovinotto/ Ah, più non ragiono!". Sparafucile, a man of his word, is reluctant but promises her that if by midnight another victim can be found, he will kill the other instead of the Duke. Gilda, overhearing this exchange, resolves to sacrifice herself for the Duke, and enters the house: "Trio: Se pria ch'abbia il mezzo la notte toccato". Sparafucile stabs her and she collapses, mortally wounded.

At midnight, when Rigoletto arrives with money, he receives a corpse wrapped in a sack, and rejoices in his triumph. Weighting it with stones, he is about to cast the sack into the river when he hears the voice of the Duke, sleepily singing a reprise of his "La donna è mobile" aria. Bewildered, Rigoletto opens the sack and, to his despair, discovers his dying daughter. For a moment, she revives and declares she is glad to die for her beloved: "V'ho ingannato" ("Father, I deceived you"). She dies in his arms. Rigoletto cries out in horror: "La maledizione!" ("The curse!")

Venue Info

Metropolitan Opera - New York
Location   30 Lincoln Center

The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company based in New York City, resident at the Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The Metropolitan Opera is the largest classical music theatre in North America. It presents about 27 different operas each year from late September through May. As of 2018, the company's current music director is Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

The Metropolitan Opera Company was founded in 1883 as an alternative to New York's old established Academy of Music opera house. The subscribers to the Academy's limited number of private boxes represented the highest stratum in New York society. By 1880, these "old money" families were loath to admit New York's newly wealthy industrialists into their long-established social circle. Frustrated with being excluded, the Metropolitan Opera's founding subscribers determined to build a new opera house that would outshine the old Academy in every way. A group of 22 men assembled at Delmonico's restaurant on April 28, 1880. They elected officers and established subscriptions for ownership in the new company. The new theater, built at 39th and Broadway, would include three tiers of private boxes in which the scions of New York's powerful new industrial families could display their wealth and establish their social prominence. The first Met subscribers included members of the Morgan, Roosevelt, and Vanderbilt families, all of whom had been excluded from the Academy. The new Metropolitan Opera House opened on October 22, 1883, and was an immediate success, both socially and artistically. The Academy of Music's opera season folded just three years after the Met opened.

The operas are presented in a rotating repertory schedule, with up to seven performances of four different works staged each week. Performances are given in the evening Monday through Saturday with a matinée on Saturday. Several operas are presented in new productions each season. Sometimes these are borrowed from or shared with other opera companies. The rest of the year's operas are given in revivals of productions from previous seasons. The 2015–16 season comprised 227 performances of 25 operas.

The operas in the Met's repertoire consist of a wide range of works, from 18th-century Baroque and 19th-century Bel canto to the Minimalism of the late 20th century. These operas are presented in staged productions that range in style from those with elaborate traditional decors to others that feature modern conceptual designs.

The Met's performing company consists of a large symphony-sized orchestra, a chorus, a children's choir, and many supporting and leading solo singers. The company also employs numerous free-lance dancers, actors, musicians, and other performers throughout the season. The Met's roster of singers includes both international and American artists, some of whose careers have been developed through the Met's young artists programs. While many singers appear periodically as guests with the company, others, such as Renée Fleming and Plácido Domingo, long maintained a close association with the Met, appearing many times each season until they retired.

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: New York, USA
Starts at: 19:30
Acts: 3
Intervals: 2
Duration: 2h 45min
Sung in: Italian
Titles in: English,German,Spanish
Top of page