About Rigoletto

By | April 11, 2021

The composer

Verdi was a prolific composer, and his works cover many topics, from transformations of Shakespeare’s drama to such opera repertoire commercials as ‘La Traviata’ and ‘Aida’. Many of his opera’s themes are political, reflecting his life experiences, for during his lifetime he had dozens of contributions with political censors who were angry at his work.
Born in 1813 to Italian parents, Verdi lived much of his childhood in Bussetto, Italy, where he took composition lessons. At the age of 20, he moved to Milan, where he continued his musical education. By the 1880s, he was convinced that he wanted to be a theater composer, so he returned to Bussetto, married Margherita Barrezi and began writing opera. They had two children, both of whom died in infancy. Verdi almost stopped writing after 1840, which he recalls in his writings as a terrible year: His wife died and his second opera, ‘Un Giorno di Regno’ failed. However, a friend convinced him to continue his composition, and after the success of ‘Nabucco’ followed 14 operas and a scandalous new marriage to soprano Giuseppina Strepponi. Consisting of his style models, Rossini and Donizetti, Verdi considered these his ‘galley years’ where he learned the trade. The height of these gallon years was ‘Rigoletto’.
Verdi wrote 28 operas during his lifetime; They are characterized by strong melodies with little harmony and an orchestral track that has little embellishment. He was pretty picky with his subjects, just writing operas with librettos excited him and that contained passionate dramatic scenes. Today, Verdi is one of the most famous and renowned romantic composers of opera music.

Rigolette’s plot

Rigoletto is a hunchbacked jester in the court of the Duke of Mantua. The Duke, an unapologetic womanizer, makes it a habit to sleep with his wives’ wives. When the opera begins, the audience learns that the duke’s latest flirtation is with an unknown woman he met at church, and that Count Ceprano, the duke’s husband in his latest conquest, plots revenge on Rigoletto – especially when he hears a rumor that the jester has a mistress and can be a hypocrite.
Soon all attention is focused on the newly arrived Count Monterone, who comes in and asks the duke to return to him, his daughter, whom the duke has seduced. Rigoletto makes fun of him and Monterone is angry, curses the jester.
The horror, Rigoletto returns to his house, not knowing that Gilda has fallen in love with the duke of the unknown man in the church. The cuckolded courtiers come to Rigoletto’s house to kidnap Gilda for the duke and think she’s Rigoletto’s mistress. they also get Rigoletto to follow the plan, which makes the girl think they are really abducting Ceprano’s wife.
When Rigoletto realizes what has really happened to his daughter – after she shows up in the duke wears very little clothes – Rigoletto swears revenge on the duke. He hires Sparafucile, a murderer, to kill the duke and throw his body in a sack so Rigoletto can confirm that the duke is dead. Unfortunately, Maddalena – Sparafucile’s sister – loves the duke himself and asks his brother to kill Rigoletto. Sparafucile is angry, saying that he will instead kill the one who arises – a person who happens to be Gilda. a sack to Rigoletto, the jester sees his dying daughter and remembers Monterone’s curse.


For the first time at the La Fenice Opera House in Venice on March 11, 1851, Austrian censors almost kept opera from being produced.
Based on ‘Le roi s’ amuse, a play by the French author Victor Hugo, ‘Rigoletto’ was then considered a risky venture. Hugo’s original game was intended to satirize the King of France; that kind of satire, however, was not acceptable. To avoid censorship, Verdi and Piave moved the deed from the French court to a small duchy, making the duke a family member who no longer existed and changing the deed to a past century so as not to offend any royals or courtiers.
The opening lineup included Felice Varesi as Rigoletto, Teresa Brambilla as Gilda and Rafaelle Mirate as the Duke of Mantua.

Rigoletto today

The Duke of Mantua’s ‘La Donna e Mobile’ is known for being one of the most important songs of the great tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
‘Rigoletto’ became a popular opera then and due to its high quality melodic performances, it continues to be performed all over the world. Since 2000, productions have been held at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, the San Diego Opera in California, the Canadian Vancouver Opera and the Portland Opera in Oregon. Many films have also been made, including Daniel Handler’s 2003 revision title ‘Rick’ and director Jonathan Miller’s 1983 filming of operational production.

Modern updates

Many opera companies, such as LA Opera, update the opera’s sets and costumes so that the action takes place in a modern environment. In production in Los Angeles, the Duke of Mantua was transformed into a production company, while Rigoletto became a Hollywood agent and the killer a stuntman.
The New Jersey Opera Festival began a modern production in which the Duke of Mantua was a coca-snorting crime boss and Rigoletto wore a casual suit.
Handlers ‘Rick’ also has an update: The action takes place on Wall Street between rival traders, their ladies and the women they love. Misplaced love, lust and a hunchback suffering from a terrible curse: These are themes in Giuseppe Verdi’s main opera, ‘Rigoletto’, first performed in 1851.
‘Rigoletto’ contains some of the opera’s most recognizable melodies, such as ‘Questa o Quella’ and ‘La Donna e Mobile’ and is considered the crown jewel of the composer Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘galley year’, where he said he learned the opera trade. A popular and accessible opera, ‘Rigoletto’ occupies an honored place in classical music repertoire and continues to be performed in opera houses around the world.