Rigoletto Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
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The five most popular Verdi operas certainly include the heart-rending drama about the jester Rigoletto, who unwittingly brings about the death of his own daughter.
Rigoletto is based on Victor Hugo’s play Le roi s’amuse, in which King Francis I is portrayed as a debauched womaniser. When Verdi wanted to write an opera about it, the censors demanded that the central character was not a king. So he became one of the dukes of Mantua. In juxtaposition to the many ‘dark’ elements like Rigoletto’s curse – a higher, merciless power – there are ‘lighter’ elements such as the flightiness of the promiscuous duke and the naivety of Gilda. The character tragedy Rigoletto, about people with whom we can easily identify, heralded the birth of modern Italian music drama.
CARLO RIZZI (conductor) made his debut as a conductor with Donizetti’s L’ajo nell’imbarazzo in 1982, and was appointed Conductor Laureate with WNO, where he has conducted Fidelio, Peter Grimes, Salome, Don Carlo and Der fliegende Holländer.
Damiano Michieletto (director) made his opera debut at the Wexford Festival with Weinberger’s Svanda dudák. He designed several children’s education programmes for the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi.
Team, Cast and Chorus
- Musical director
- Carlo Rizzi
- Stage director
- Damiano Michieletto
- Paolo Fantin
- Agostino Cavalca
- Alessandro Carletti
- Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest
- Koor van De Nationale Opera
- Ching-Lien Wu
- Meike van de Akker
- Il duca di Mantova
- Saimir Pirgu
- Luca Salsi
- Lisette Oropesa
- Rafal Siwek
- Annalisa Stroppa
- Cornelia Oncioiu
- Il Conte di Monterone
- Carlo Cigni
- Roberto Accurso
- Airam Hernández
- Il Conte di Ceprano
- Tomeu Bibiloni
- La Contessa di Ceprano
- Esther Kuiper
The young director Damiano Michieletto is returning to Dutch National Opera for Rigoletto, following his successful debut with Il viaggio a Reims (2015), in which he situated the story in a museum. Carlo Rizzi, who is conducting the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, is always a popular guest with DNO.
The title role of Rigoletto is sung by Luca Salsi (DNO debut), Il Duca di Mantove by Saimir Pirgu (DNO debut) and Gilda is sung by Lisette Oropesa, an audience favourite since her interpretation of Nannetta in Falstaff (2014).
Baritone Luca Salsi (Rigoletto) made his debut at a very young age in La scala di seta (Bologna) and won first prize at the Concorso Internazionale di Musica Viotti. He has sung at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Teatro Real in Madrid. Verdi roles include Giorgio Germont in La traviata, Nabucco, Don Carlo in Ernani, Macbeth, Il Conte di Luna in Il trovatore, Renato in Un ballo in maschera, Rodrigo in Don Carlo and Ford in Falstaff. His other repertoire includes Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Valentin in Faust and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly.
Saimir Pirgu (Il Duca di Mantova) studied singing in Italy as the protégé of Luciano Pavarotti. He won the 'Pavarotti d'Oro' award in September 2013. The recent repertoire of the tenor includes productions such as La traviata (the Metropolitan Opera - New York, Berlin Staatsoper, Royal Opera House London), La bohème, Macbeth (Gran Teatre del Liceu - Barcelona), La traviata (Fondazione Arena di Verona), La damnation de Faust (Bolshoi Theater), Krol Roger (Opera Australia), Don Giovanni (Wiener Staatsoper), Lucia di Lammermoor (Teatro di San Carlo) en Die Zauberflöte (La Scala - Milaan).
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Carlo Rizzi
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
Along with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra has been the regular orchestra partner of Dutch National Opera since 1985, and is internationally regarded as one of the best opera orchestras. Each season, the two orchestras perform the majority of the opera productions in Dutch National Opera & Ballet. The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra gives a varied programme of concerts in the Concertgebouw and also performs at other major concert halls and festivals in the Netherlands and abroad. Marc Albrecht is the principal conductor of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra|Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and of Dutch National Opera. In recent seasons, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra has had great success with audiences and international press alike, with productions including Gurre-Lieder, Lohengrin, Der Rosenkavalier, Il Trovatore and Hänsel und Gretel. The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Marc Albrecht, received an Edison for their recording of the DNO production Der Schatzgräber, in December 2014.
‘Precisely through divesting Il viaggio a Reims of realism and presenting it as a surreal fairytale, Michieletto has succeeded in revitalising this opera in an ingenious way’. - Theaterkrant, 2015