Contradictions and conflicts in an extraordinary score
In a letter to his librettist Francesco Maria Piave, Verdi wrote: “Oh! Victor Hugo's Le Roi s’amuse deals with the greatest of themes and is perhaps the most important play of modern times. It's worthy of Shakespeare!”. He was working on an adaptation of King Lear at the time but then returned to Hugo, to whom he owed the greatest triumph of his most difficult years: Ernani.
The irresistible threesome of the king, his daughter and the court jester came as flash of inspiration to Verdi. Between the shallow, lecherous Duke (Hugo's king) and Gilda, who is both a victim and captive of ignorance, he places Rigoletto, the wonderful, ambivalent hunchback whose paradise is the peaceful home and family he struggles to protect. Despite his outward deformity, Rigoletto is passionately loving being, but also a monstruous father, obsessed by a curse, who is harrowing, grotesque and sublime in equal measure. His star aria, “Cortigiani, vil razza dannata”, takes him from indomitable rage to humble supplication, attesting to Verdi's ability to adapt a form he inherited from bel canto to dramatic realism.
Monique Wagemakers' exuberant production, with its delightful Venetian red costumes, focusses on the themes of ill-treatment, the quest for identity, and the abuse of power over the defenceless, as shown by the Duke's domination of Rigoletto and Rigoletto's domination of his daughter. Precisely the contradictions and conflicts on which the whole extraordinary score rests.
PARADISE: daughter, family and home
Melodrama in three acts.
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave.
World premiere: 11/03/1851 at the Teatro la Fenice, Venice.
Barcelona premiere: 03/12/1853 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu.
Last Liceu performance: 06/04/2017.
Total number of Liceu performances: 375.
Approximate running time 2h 45m
- First part 1h
- Interval 30m
- Second part 1h 8m
- Stage director
- Monique Wagemakers
- Set design
- Michael Levine
- Costume design
- Sandy Powell
- Reinier Tweebeeke
- Revival lighting
- Cor van den Brink
- Klaus Bertisch
- Stage director assistant
- Silke Meier and Salva Bolta
- Gran Teatre del Liceu and Teatro Real
- Chorus of the Liceu Opera House (Pablo Assante, director)
- Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu
- Musical director assistant
- Rodrigo de Vera
- Musical maestros assistants
- Véronique Werklé, David-Huy Nguyen-Phung, Rupert Dussmann and Jaume Tribó
- Daniele Callegari
|Duke of Mantua||Benjamin Bernheim||28th November and 1th,5th,10th,14th,18th December|
|Saimir Pirgu||30th November and 2th,4th,9th,13th,17th,19th December|
|Josep Bros||3th,12th December|
|Rigoletto||Christopher Maltman||28th November and 1th,3th,5th,10th,12th,14th,18th December|
|Markus Brück||30th November and 2th,4th,9th,13th,17th,19th December|
|Gilda||Olga Peretyatko||28th November and 1th,3th,5th,10th,12th,14th,18th December|
|Aigul Khismatullina||30th November and 2th,4th,9th,13th,17th,19th December|
|Sparafucile||Grigory Shkarupa||28th November and 1th,3th,5th,10th,12th,14th,18th December|
|Liang Li||30th November and 2th,4th,9th,13th,17th,19th December|
|Maddalena||Rinat Shaham||28th November and 1th,3th,5th,10th,12th,14th,18th December|
|Nino Surguladze||30th November and 2th,4th,9th,13th,17th,19th December|
|Count Monterone||Mattia Denti|
|Matteo Borsa||Moisés Marín|
|Count Ceprano||Stefano Palatchi|
|Countess Ceprano||Sara Bañeras|
|Page-boy||Helena Zaborowska||28th November and 1th,3th,5th,10th,13th,17th,19th December|
|Marta Polo||30th November and 2th,4th,9th,12th,14th,18th December|