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Verdi's Rigoletto

A Short Guide to a Great Opera
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Michael Steen
Icon Books Ltd
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
eBook Format:
2 - DRM Adobe
From the première of Rigoletto at Venice's La Fenice in 1851, the Duke's La donna è mobile caught on with the public and has done much to ensure the ongoing popularity of Verdi's opera about the body in the sack. Rigoletto, the sarcastic court jester, is cursed by a nobleman who he has mocked. Subsequent events see the curse realised, as Rigoletto's daughter Gilda is kidnapped, raped, and later killed.

The story, originally about King François, contemporary of the English King Henry VIII, came from a novel by Victor Hugo, author of Les Misérables and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Concerned by its combination of debauchery, seduction, rape by a king, regicide, kidnap and murder, the censors required the librettist Francesco Piave to relocate it from the Louvre in Paris to the court in Mantua.

The wonderful music also includes the Duke's Questa o quella, Gilda's Caro nome, Rigoletto's Piangi! piangi fanciulla and the glorious ensemble Bella figlia dell'amore.

Enrico Caruso made his début at the Metropolitan Opera House as Rigoletto. Others who have starred include Patti, Melba, Callas, Domingo and Pavarotti.

Written by Michael Steen, author of the acclaimed The Lives and Times of the Great Composers, 'Short Guides to Great Operas' are concise, entertaining and easy to read. They are packed with useful information and informed opinion, helping to make you a truly knowledgeable opera-goer, and so maximising your enjoyment of a great musical experience.

Other 'Short Guides to Great Operas' that you may enjoy include La Traviata, Tosca and Lucia di Lammermoor.