October 07. 2017 - November 03. 2017

Upcoming Dates

October 07. 2017 - November 03. 2017

New-to-Chicago Production Rigoletto


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.

  • Language: Sung in Italian with projected English translations
  • Running Time: 2 hours, 33 minutes with 1 intermission
  • Location: Lyric Opera House


by Giuseppe Verdi

EMI recording — MacNeil, Grist, Gedda, di Stasio, cond. Molinari-Pradelli.
Musical excerpts provided through a generous arrangement with Warner Classics, Official Education and Promotion Music Provider for Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

“Gualtier Maldè!...Caro nome”

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“La donna è mobile”

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“Bella figlia dell’amore”

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by Giuseppe Verdi

Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

© 2017/18 Lyric Opera Commentaries Original sound recordings of musical excerpts used by permission of Warner Music Group. All rights reserved. Recording & Production services provided by Mark Travis.
A project of the Women’s Board


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

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

Lyric presentation of Verdi’s Rigoletto generously made possible by

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