Director E. Loren Meeker on Verdi's Rigoletto
There is no character in opera more powerfully dramatic than the court jester Rigoletto, whose acid tongue and all-consuming desire for revenge lead to catastrophe for himself and his sweet, sheltered, love-struck daughter Gilda. Rigoletto is one of Verdi's greatest characterizations — a complex and tragic figure, both pitiful and ferocious.
Rigoletto may have premiered in 1851, but its universal themes are what have made it a classic that stands the test of time. Director E. Loren Meeker is preparing to bring this riveting story and its unforgettable characters to life in a way that speaks with a relevant voice to today's audiences. Lyric's new-to-Chicago production won rave reviews in San Francisco earlier this year as a "sharply conceived and darkly atmospheric" show (San Francisco Chronicle), and international baritone (and Ryan Opera center alumni) Quinn Kelsey was praised far and wide for his portrayal of the tortured title character. Kelsey "commands the stage like a king...a masterful portrayal," raved the San Francisco Examiner. Kelsey leads a cast with enormous vocal and dramatic gifts, including Rosa Feola in her Lyric debut as Gilda and Matthew Polenzani (also a Ryan Opera Center alumni turned international star) as the Duke of Mantua.
Meet Director E. Loren Meeker as she shares some of why Rigoletto is absolutely of this time and age — and what makes it a must-see of the new season.