Rigoletto - La donna è mobile

“La donna è mobile” (“Woman is fickle) is the Duke of Mantua's tenor canzone from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto.

In Rigoletto, the Duke of Mantua is a notorious womanizer and his court jester, the pitiful and vicious Rigoletto, has an acid tongue when recounting tales of men’s wives, daughters and sisters who have all succumbed to the Duke’s charms. When Rigoletto discovers that his own daughter has fallen prey to the Duke, the jester seeks revenge for the loss of her innocence, but his vengeance consumes him and proves to be his curse. Some lose their hearts and others their lives in this dramatic story of love, lust, and retribution. 

Here, in act three, Rigoletto (Quinn Kelsey) and Gilda (Rosa Feola) arrive outside. The Duke's (Matthew Polenzani) voice can be heard from inside, singing "La donna è mobile" ("Woman is fickle"). Sparafucile's sister, Maddalena (Zanda Švēde), 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.

"La donna è mobile"

Song title: "La donna è mobile" ("Woman is fickle")

Opera: Rigoletto

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi

Year Written: 1851

Language: Italian

Performance dates: October 7 – November 3, 2017

Artists: Matthew Polenzani (The Duke) and the Lyric Opera Orchestra under Maestro Marco Armiliato


Special thanks to the Chicago Federation of Musicians local 10-208 and artists of the American Guild of Musical Artists.

Photo: Todd Rosenberg