New-to-Chicago Production Rigoletto

By Giuseppe Verdi

  • Language - Sung in Italian with projected English translations
  • Running Time - 2 hours, 33 minutes with 1 intermission

There’s 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, love-struck daughter Gilda. Of all the great Verdi works, none boasts more unforgettable tunes than this one. You’ll thrill to the licentious Duke of Mantua’s “La donna è mobile” and Gilda’s stunning “Caro nome,” not to mention the most celebrated quartet in all opera. Dominating the story, though, is Rigoletto himself, one of Verdi’s greatest characterizations—a complex and tragic figure, both pitiful and ferocious, with stupendous music to match.

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This production of Rigoletto was presented at Lyric October 7 – November 3, 2017. View our calendar to see what's currently on stage.

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Rigoletto

by Giuseppe Verdi

EMI recording — MacNeil, Grist, Gedda, di Stasio, cond. Molinari-Pradelli. Courtesy of Warner Classics.

“Gualtier Maldè!...Caro nome”
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“La donna è mobile”
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“Bella figlia dell’amore”
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Rigoletto

by Giuseppe Verdi

commentary by Colin Ure
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Rigoletto Synopsis

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. 

TIME AND PLACE: 16th-century Mantua

Program Book

Go inside this production of Rigoletto with engaging articles, notes from the director, a complete plot synopsis, artist bios, and more.

View Digital Program Book

Meet The Artists

Quinn Kelsey†

Rigoletto

Rosa Feola*

Gilda

Matthew Polenzani †

Duke

Alexander Tsymbalyuk*

Sparafucile

Zanda Švēde*

Maddalena

Todd Thomas

Monterone

Mario Rojas* ‡

Borsa

Takaoki Onishi ‡

Marullo

Alan Higgs* ‡

Ceprano

Whitney Morrison* ‡

Countess Ceprano

Lauren Decker ‡

Giovanna

Diana Newman ‡

A Page

Kenneth Nichols ‡

An Usher

Marco Armiliato

Conductor

E. Loren Meeker

Director

Michael Yeargan

Set Designer

Constance Hoffman

Costume Designer

Chris Maravich

Lighting Designer

Michael Black

Chorus Master

* Lyric Opera debut
† Ryan Opera Center alumni
‡ Current Member, Ryan Opera Center

Production Sponsors

JULIE AND ROGER BASKES
HOWARD L. GOTTLIEB AND BARBARA G. GREIS
CANDY AND GARY RIDGWAY
ROBERTA L. AND ROBERT J. WASHLOW
Production owned by San Francisco Opera.

Photo: Todd Rosenberg