Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. Opera is an art form in which Singers and Musicians perform a Dramatic work (called an opera which combines a text (called a Libretto The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo. Italian ( or lingua italiana) is a Romance language spoken by about 63 million people as a First language, primarily in Italy. A libretto is the text used in an extended Musical work such as an Opera, Operetta, Masque, sacred or secular Oratorio and Francesco Maria Piave ( 18 May 1810 &ndash 5 March 1876) was an Italian librettist who was Verdi 's life-long Le roi s'amuse is a play written by Victor Hugo in 1832. While it depicts the escapades of Francis I of France, censors of the time believed Victor-Marie Hugo ( ( February 26, 1802 – May 22, 1885) was a French Poet, Playwright, Novelist It was first performed at La Fenice in Venice on March 11, 1851. Teatro La Fenice ("The Phoenix " is an Opera house in Venice, Italy. Venice ( Italian: Venezia, Venetian: Venesia or Venexia) is a city in Northern Italy, the capital of the Events 1425 BC - Thutmose III, Pharaoh of Egypt, dies (according to the Low Chronology of the 18th Dynasty 1851 ( MDCCCLI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common year It is considered by many to be the first of the operatic masterpieces of Verdi's middle-to-late career.
As a staple of the standard operatic repertoire, it appears as number nine on Opera America's list of the 20 most-performed operas in North America. Opera America, officially OPERA America, is a service organization in North America promoting the creation presentation and enjoyment of Opera.
Verdi was commissioned to write a new opera by the theatre La Fenice, Venice in 1850, when he was already a well known composer with a certain freedom of choosing the works he would prefer. Teatro La Fenice ("The Phoenix " is an Opera house in Venice, Italy. Venice ( Italian: Venezia, Venetian: Venesia or Venexia) is a city in Northern Italy, the capital of the For the game see 1850 (board game. 1850 ( MDCCCL) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link He then asked Piave (with whom he had already created Ernani, I due Foscari, Macbeth, Il Corsaro and Stiffelio) to examine the play Kean by Alexandre Dumas, père, but he felt he needed a more energetic subject to work on. Ernani is an Operatic dramma lirico in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based I due Foscari ( The Two Foscaris) is an Opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave Macbeth is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi, with an Italian Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and additions by Andrea Maffei Il corsaro ( The Corsair) is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, from a Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on Lord Stiffelio is an Opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, from an Italian Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on the play
Verdi soon stumbled upon Victor Hugo's Le roi s'amuse. Le roi s'amuse is a play written by Victor Hugo in 1832. While it depicts the escapades of Francis I of France, censors of the time believed He later explained that "It contains extremely powerful positions . . . The subject is great, immense, and has a character that is one of the most important creations of the theatre of all countries and all Ages".
It was a highly controversial subject indeed, and Hugo himself had already had trouble with censorship in France, which had banned productions of his play after its first performance nearly twenty years earlier (and would continue to ban it for another thirty years). Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable harmful or sensitive as determined by a censor This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. As Austria at that time directly controlled much of Northern Italy, it came before the Austrian Board of Censors. Austria (Österreich ( officially the Republic of Austria (Republik Österreich This is the history of Austria. See also the History of Europe and History of present-day nations and states.
From the beginning, Verdi was aware of the risks as was Piave. A letter has been found in which Verdi wrote to Piave: "Use four legs, run through the town and find me an influential person who can obtain the permission for making Le Roi s'amuse. " Correspondence between a prudent Piave and an already committed Verdi followed, and the two remained at risk and underestimated the power and the intentions of Austrians. Even the friendly Guglielmo Brenna, secretary of La Fenice who had promised them that they would not have problems with the censors, was in error.
At the beginning of the summer of 1850, some rumors started to spread that Austrian censorship was going to forbid the production. They considered the Hugo work to verge on lese majeste, and would never permit such a scandalous work to be performed in Venice. Lèse majesté ( French expression from the Latin Laesa maiestas or Laesae maiestatis (crimen, (crime of injury to the Majesty in English
In August, Verdi and Piave prudently retired to Busseto, Verdi's hometown, to continue the composition and prepare a defensive scheme. Busseto is a commune in the Province of Parma, in Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy. They wrote to the theatre, assuring them that the censor's doubts about the morality of the work were not justified but since very little time was left, very little could be done. The work was secretly called by the composers The Malediction (or The Curse), and this unofficial title was used by Austrian censor De Gorzkowski (who evidently had known of it from spies) to enforce, if needed, the violent letter by which he definitively denied consent to its production.
In order not to waste all their work, Piave tried to revise the libretto and was even able to pull from it another opera Il Duca di Vendome, in which the sovereign was substituted with a duke and both the hunchback and the curse disappeared. Verdi was completely against this proposed solution and preferred instead to have direct negotiations with censors, arguing over each and every point of the work.
At this point Brenna, La Fenice's secretary, showed the Austrians some letters and articles depicting the bad character but the great value of the artist, helping to mediate the dispute. In the end the parties were able to agree that the action of the opera had to be moved from the royal court of France to a duchy of France or Italy, as well as a renaming of the characters. The scene in which the sovereign retires in Gilda's bedroom would be deleted and the visit of the Duke to the Taverna was not intentional anymore, but provoked by a trick. The hunchback (originally Triboulet) became Rigoletto (from French rigolo = funny). The name of the work too was changed.
For the première, Verdi had Felice Varesi as Rigoletto, the young tenor Raffaele Mirate as the Duke, and Teresina Brambilla as Gilda (though Verdi would have preferred Teresa De Giuli Borsi). Felice Varesi (born Calais, 1813 - died Milan 13 March, 1889) was an Italian Baritone. Teresina Brambilla was a well-known soprano coming from a family of singers and musicians; one of her nieces, Teresa Brambilla, was the wife of Amilcare Ponchielli. Amilcare Ponchielli ( August 31, 1834 &ndash January 16, 1886) was an Italian Composer, largely of Operas
The opening was a complete triumph, and the Duke's cynical aria, "La donna è mobile", was sung in the streets the next morning. This article is about the musical term "aria" For other meanings or uses of the word see Aria (disambiguation. " La donna è mobile " (" Woman is fickle " is the cynical Duke of Mantua's Canzone from Giuseppe Verdi 's Opera
Due to the high risk of unauthorised copying, Verdi had demanded the maximum secrecy from all his singers and musicians. Mirate had use of his score only a few evenings before the première and was forced to swear he would not sing or even whistle the tune of "La donna è mobile".
Many years later, Giulia Cori, Varesi's daughter, described her father's performance at the premiere. Playing the original Rigoletto, her father was really uncomfortable with the false hump he had to wear; he was so uncertain that, even though he was quite an experienced singer, he had a panic attack when it was his turn to enter the stage. Verdi immediately realised he was paralysed and roughly pushed him on the stage, so he appeared with a clumsy tumble. The audience, thinking it was a gag, was very amused.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere cast,|
March 11, 1851
(Conductor: - )
|Rigoletto, the Duke's jester||baritone||Felice Varesi|
|Gilda, his daughter||soprano||Teresa Brambilla|
|Duke of Mantua||tenor||Raffaelle Mirate|
|Sparafucile, an assassin||bass||Paolo Damini|
|Maddalena, his sister||contralto||Annetta Casaloni|
|Giovanna, Gilda's Nurse||mezzo-soprano||Laura Saini|
|Count Ceprano||bass||Andrea Bellini|
|Countess Ceprano, his wife||mezzo-soprano||Luigia Morselli|
|Matteo Borsa, a courtier||tenor||Angelo Zuliani|
|Count Monterone||baritone||Feliciano Ponz|
|Marullo||baritone||Francesco De Kunnerth|
|A Court Usher||bass||Giovanni Rizzi|
Scene 1: A room in the palace
The Duke has seen an unknown beauty in church and desires to possess her, but he also wishes to seduce the Countess Ceprano. Rigoletto, the Duke's hunchbacked jester, mocks the husbands of the ladies to whom the Duke is paying attention, and advises the Duke to get rid of them by prison or death. A jester, joker, jokester, fool, wit-cracker, prankster, or buffoon is a member of a profession that came into popularity The noblemen, especially Count Monterone, whose daughter the Duke had dishonoured, resolve to take vengeance on Rigoletto. Monterone curses the Duke and Rigoletto.
Scene 2: A street
Half the stage, divided by a wall, is occupied by the courtyard of Rigoletto's house.
Thinking of the curse, the jester approaches his house and is accosted by the assassin Sparafucile, who offers his services. Rigoletto contemplates the similarities between the two of them: Sparafucile uses his sword, Rigoletto both his tongue and wits to fight. The hunchback opens a door in the wall and returns home to his daughter Gilda, whom he is concealing from the prince and the rest of the city. She does not know her father's occupation and, as he has forbidden her to appear in public, she has been nowhere except to church.
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 student she had met at the church, but that she would love him even more if he were poor. Just as she declares her love, the Duke enters, overjoyed, convincing Gilda of his love, though she resists at first. When she asks for his name, he hesitantly calls himself Gualtier Maldé. Hearing sounds and fearing that her father has returned, Gilda sends the Duke away after they quickly repeat their vows of love to each other.
Later, the hostile noblemen outside the walled garden, believing her to be the jester's mistress, convince Rigoletto to help them abduct the Countess Ceprano. He assists them in their arrangements, but they actually abduct Gilda. Too late, Rigoletto realizes that he has been duped and, collapsing, remembers the curse.
The Duke's Palace
The noblemen inform the Duke that they have captured Rigoletto's mistress and, by their description, he recognizes it to be Gilda and rushes off to the room where she is held. Perplexed at first by the Duke's strange excitement, the courtiers now make sport with Rigoletto. He tries to find Gilda by pretending to be uncaring, as he fears she may fall into the hands of the Duke. Finally, to general astonishment, he acknowledges that he is seeking his daughter and asks the courtiers to return her to him. Gilda rushes in, begs her father to send the people away, and describes what has happened to her in the palace. Rigoletto demands vengeance against the Duke, while Gilda pleads for him.
A street outside an Inn
Half the stage shows Sparafucile's house, with two rooms, one above the other, open to the view of the audience. Rigoletto and Gilda, who still loves the prince, arrive outside. Rigoletto shows her that the Duke is in the assassin's house, attempting to seduce Sparafucile's sister, Maddalena. (Aria: La donna e mobile, laying out the infidelity and fickle nature of women).
Rigoletto bargains with the assassin, who is ready to murder his guest for money. Rigoletto orders his daughter to put on man's attire in order to prepare to go to Verona, where he plans to follow later. Rigoletto offers the assassin 20 scudi for killing the Duke. The scudo (pl scudi) was the name for a number of Coins used in Italy until the 19th century As a thunderstorm is approaching with falling darkness, the Duke determines to remain in the house, and Sparafucile assigns to him the ground floor sleeping quarters.
Gilda, who still loves the Duke and despite knowing him to be unfaithful, returns dressed as a man. She overhears Maddalena begging for the Duke's life, so the assassin promise her that, if by midnight another can be found in place of the Duke, he will spare the Duke's life. Gilda resolves to sacrifice herself for the Duke and enters the house. She is immediately mortally wounded and collapses.
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 singing a reprise of his bitter aria. Bewildered, he opens the sack and, to his despair, discovers his mortally-wounded daughter. For a moment, she revives and declares she is glad to die for her beloved. As she takes her final breath, Rigoletto's wildest fear materializes when he exclaims in horror: "The curse!"
(Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto, Gilda, Sparafucile, Maddalena)
Opera House and Orchestra
Robert Shaw (chorale),
RCA Victor Orchestra and The Robert Shaw Chorale
|Audio CD: Membran/Quadromania|
(Also contains recording of Il trovatore)
|1955||Giuseppe di Stefano,|
Teatro alla Scala orchestra and chorus
|Audio CD: EMI|
RCA Italiana Opera Chorus and Orchestra
|Audio CD: RCA Victor|
London Symphony Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
|Audio CD: London|
Metropolitan Opera orchestra and chorus
(production by John Dexter)
|DVD: Deutsche Grammophon|
Cat: 00440 073 0930
Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
(film by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle)
|DVD: Deutsche Grammophon|
Cat: 00440 073 4166
Metropolitan Opera orchestra and chorus
(production by Pål Christian Moe)
|Audio CD: Deutsche Grammophon|
Cat: 447 064-2
Note: "Cat:" is short for catalogue number by the label company; "ASIN" is amazon. WikipediaWikiProject_Opera#Infoboxes --> Jan Peerce ( June 3, 1904 – December 15, 1984) was The American Opera singer Leonard Warren ( April 21, 1911 - March 4, 1960) was a famous Baritone Erna Berger ( October 19, 1900 – June 14, 1990) was a German Soprano of the Coloratura style Italo Tajo ( April 25, 1915 - March 28, 1993) was an Italian operatic bass, particularly associated with Mozart and Nan Merriman (April 28 1920-) is an American operatic Mezzo-soprano, born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Renato Cellini (1912–1967 was a celebrated Italian opera conductor. Robert Shaw may refer to Arts and Humanities Bob Shaw (1931-1996 Irish Science fiction writer Bob Shaw (screenwriter (20th The Robert Shaw Chorale was a professional chorus founded in New York City in 1948 by Robert Shaw, a Californian who had been drafted out of college a decade earlier Il trovatore ( The Troubadour) is an Opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian Libretto by Leone Emanuele Bardare Giuseppe Di Stefano ( 24 July 1921 &ndash 3 March 2008) was an Italian Operatic Tenor whose career lasted from the late Tito Gobbi ( October 24, 1913 &ndash March 5, 1984) was an Italian Baritone. Nicola Zaccaria ( March 9, 1923 - July 24, 2007) was a Greek Bass-baritone. Tullio Serafin ( September 1, 1878 - February 2, 1968) was an Italian conductor of Opera. The Teatro alla Scala (or La Scala, as it is known in Milan, Italy, is one of the world's most famous Opera houses The theatre was The EMI Group is a British music company comprising the major record company EMI Music – which operates several labels and is based in Kensington in WikipediaWikiProject Opera#Infoboxes --> Alfredo Kraus Trujillo (24 September 1927 – 10 September 1999 was a distinguished Robert Merrill ( June 4, 1917 &ndash October 23, 2004) was an American Operatic Baritone. Anna Moffo (June 27 1932 - March 9 2006 was an Italian-American Opera singer one of the leading dramatic-coloratura Sopranos of her era she possessed a warm and Ezio Flagello (born January 28, 1931) is an Italian-American bass, particularly associated with the Italian repertoryhe sang at the Metropolitan Opera Rosalind Elias ( March 13, 1929) is an American Mezzo-soprano, a rich-voiced singer of fine musicianship who enjoyed a long and distinguished career at the WikipediaWikiProject Classical music#Biographical_infoboxes --> Sir Georg Solti, KBE ( 21 October 1912 RCA Records (originally The Victor Talking Machine Company, then RCA Victor is one of the flagship labels of Sony Music Entertainment. WikipediaWikiProject Opera#Infoboxes. Thank you--> Luciano Pavarotti, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI ( October 12, Sherrill Milnes (born January 10, 1935) is an American operatic Baritone most famous for his Verdi roles WikipediaWikiProject Opera#Infoboxes --> Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, OM, AC, DBE (born 7 November 1926 Martti Talvela ( February 4, 1935 – July 22, 1989) was a Finnish Operatic bass. Huguette Tourangeau (born August 12, 1940 sources say 1938 is a French-Canadian operatic Mezzo-soprano, particularly associated with the French Richard Bonynge, CBE (last name pronounced "bonning" (born 29 September 1930 is an Australian Conductor and pianist The London Symphony Orchestra ( LSO) is one of the major orchestras of the United Kingdom. London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. WikipediaWikiProject Opera#Infoboxes --> José Plácido Domingo Embil KBE (born January 21, 1941) better Cornell MacNeil (born 24 September, 1922 in Minneapolis Minnesota) is an American operatic Baritone known for his voice and his phenomenal career Ileana Cotrubaş (b June 9, 1939) is a Romanian Opera Soprano whose career spanned from the 1960s Justino Diaz (born January 29, 1940) is an internationally renowned Baritone singer James Lawrence Levine (born 23 June 1943) is an American orchestral conductor and pianist. The Metropolitan Opera Association of New York City, founded in April 1880 is a major presenter of all types of opera including Grand Opera. John Dexter ( 2 August 1925 - 23 March 1990) was an English award-winning Theatre, Opera, and Film Deutsche Grammophon is a German classical Record label. The company has long been known for its high standards of audio fidelity. WikipediaWikiProject Opera#Infoboxes. Thank you--> Luciano Pavarotti, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI ( October 12, Ingvar Wixell (born May 7, 1931 in Luleå) is a Swedish Baritone Opera singer Edita Gruberová (born December 23, 1946, Bratislava) is a Slovak Soprano who is one of the most acclaimed Coloraturas of Ferruccio Furlanetto (born 16 May 1949 in Sacile, Italy is an Italian Bass-baritone. WikipediaWikiProject Classical music#Biographical_infoboxes --> Riccardo Chailly (ʃɑ The Vienna Philharmonic (in German: die Wiener Philharmoniker) is an Orchestra in Austria, regularly considered one of the finest in the Jean-Pierre Ponnelle ( 19 February 1932 - 11 August 1988) was a French Opera director who was born in Paris. Deutsche Grammophon is a German classical Record label. The company has long been known for its high standards of audio fidelity. Decca Records is a British Record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. WikipediaWikiProject Opera#Infoboxes. Thank you--> Luciano Pavarotti, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI ( October 12, Vladimir Chernov (born September 22, 1953) is a Russian Baritone, particularly associated with the Russian and Italian Opera repertories Cheryl Studer (born October 24, 1955) is a Grammy Award winning American Dramatic soprano who has sung at many of the world's major James Lawrence Levine (born 23 June 1943) is an American orchestral conductor and pianist. The Metropolitan Opera Association of New York City, founded in April 1880 is a major presenter of all types of opera including Grand Opera. Deutsche Grammophon is a German classical Record label. The company has long been known for its high standards of audio fidelity. com product reference number.
La donna è mobile