You already know the songs. You’re probably singing one of them right now. And even if you’re not, you most certainly will be next Wednesday at the first of the Metropolitan Opera’s summer broadcasts that will feature Verdi’s immutable classic, Rigoletto.
Based on the Victor Hugo play Le roi s’amuse (The King Amuses Himself), Verdi’s Rigoletto triumphantly burst onto the musical world after its premiere in Venice in 1851. The story follows the decadent and promiscuous Duke of Mantua, his hunch-backed court jester Rigoletto and Rigoletto’s alluring daughter Gilda all of whom become victims of an evil plot of revenge in the highest tradition of tragic opera.
Having fallen under an evil curse set by a vengeful courtier, the Duke finds himself the target of assassins sent by Rigoletto after he seduces his innocent daughter Gilda. In fact, Verdi’s original title for his masterpiece was La Maledizione or The Curse. Either way, with love, betrayal and murder flying about the theater, this is one you don’t want to miss.
Even more so, the Met’s broadcast is of Michael Mayer’s acclaimed production from 2013 that transplants Verdi’s timeless story in 1960s Las Vegas. This bright, neon world is inhabited by an amazing cast as well. Piotr Beczala plays the Duke (an entertainer and casino owner in this fabulous rendition), Željko Lučić sings Rigoletto and Diana Damrau is Gilda. Michele Mariotti conducts.
The curtain goes up at 7 pm next Wednesday, June 18th at any area Cinemark Theater. Tickets can be purchased online here or at the box office.
(Photo courtesy of www.nytimes.com.)
Follow Michael on Twitter: @rackoflambert.