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ROH Broadcast: Rigoletto
March 13th 2:00 pm
The Royal Opera – Recorded Broadcast
The Season opens with a new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto, directed by Oliver Mears – his first as Director of The Royal Opera. This production sees Verdi’s masterpiece as a modern morality play that pits power against innocence, beauty against ugliness, in a pitiless world of luxurious decadence, corruption and social decay.
Antonio Pappano and Paul Wynne Griffiths conduct in the Autumn, with Carlos Álvarez in the title role alongside Lisette Oropesa and Liparit Avetisyan. In February Stefano Montanari conducts a cast that includes Luca Salsi, Rosa Feola and Javier Camarena.
Listen out for the return of the opera’s most famous aria, ‘La donna è mobile’, in the final act as we find out who gets the last laugh.
The Duke of Mantua is a serial womaniser. At a palace party, not content with the married Countess Ceprano, the Duke reveals he is also infatuated with a mysterious woman he has seen in church.
The hunchbacked jester Rigoletto jokes that the Duke should have the Countess’s husband murdered. Count Ceprano vows to kidnap Rigoletto’s lover as punishment. Chaos descends when the elderly Count Monterone arrives and confronts the Duke for seducing his daughter – a third woman! Rigoletto takes his jesting too far, and the old man curses him.
Rigoletto’s so-called ‘lover’ is in fact his daughter, Gilda, whom he keeps under lock and key at home. She has secretly fallen in love with the Duke of Mantua, who came to her church in disguise. Gilda is kidnapped by Count Ceprano and delivered into the Duke’s clutches. Rigoletto engages an assassin to exact his revenge. But before the day is out, the old man’s curse will exert its deadly power.
Guidance: Suitable for ages 12+
Contains violence and moderate, implied sexual activity. Rigoletto features flashing lights in Act III.
Approximate running times:
Act 1: 1 hour 5 minutes
Interval: 25 minutes
Act 2: 30 minutes
Pause: 5 minutes
Act 3: 40 minutes
Language: Sung in Italian with English surtitles