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Staatsoper Unter den Linden

Verdi Rigoletto

From 11 February TO 03 March 2022
Staatsoper Unter den Linden - Berlin
Program

Verdi : Rigoletto 120 mn

Cast
  • Conductor
    Ivan Repusic
  • Director
    Bartlett Sher
  • Performers
    Rigoletto: Christopher Maltman
    Gilda: Erin Morley
    Il Duca di Mantova: Saimir Pirgu
    Sparafucile: Grigory Shkarupa
    Maddalena: Marina Prudenskaya
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Staatsoper Unter den Linden - Berlin Location Unter den Linden 7 - 10117 Berlin Allemagne

When the opera house situated on the Lindenallee was inaugurated in 1742, Frederick the Great intended to turn it into the cultural symbol of his ideal capital, the hub of the "Forum Fridericianum." This "enchanted palace," as the enlightened despot called it, is one of the rare vestiges of the old city still visible today, and a large part of German musics cultural heritage is contained within its walls. The Berlin Staatskapelle, for example, the orchestra connected with the opera, was founded in 1570 and the list of its permanent conductors includes names such as those of Meyerbeer, Mendelssohn, Richard Strauss, Furtwangler, Klemperer and Karajan! During the 19th century, the Berlin Opera remained a royal opera, where Weber's FREISCHUTZ was premiered. The activities of the Berlin Staatskapelle developed under Spontini's responsability, the first "Preussischer Generalmusikdirektor," ever appointed. This goes to show the importance of the ensemble in German musical life at that time, an importance which constantly grew, especially after the "Sinfonie-Soireen" were created in 1842, open to the public by subscription.

In 1919, the Royal Opera became a state opera, and played an active role in the exhuberant artistic activity that rocked Germany during the twenties: Erich Kleiber presented Berg's WOZZECK and popular harmonies of composers such as Kurt Weill resounded in this shrine of the lyrical repertoire, until Nazism cut short a period of intense creativity. During the war, Karajan forged his reputation in the theatre, until bombs destroyed the building, partially in 1941, and completely in 1945.

Because of its geographical situation, the Staatsoper became, in 1949, the Opera of East Berlin. In 1955, the East German administration reinstalled the company in its illustrious hall, rebuilt along the original plans, and one could soon applaud singers such as Peter Schreier and Theo Adam on its stage, musicians who helped create a truly Eastern German singing tradition.

Since the German reunification, the institution has been completely reorganized, especially under the impetus of Daniel Barenboim, who became its General Music Director in 1992. Proud of its impressive history, the present day Opera Unter den Linden hardly neglects its baroque beginnings, and it henceforth counts amongst those that most often produce pre-Mozartian lyrical works, such as CLEOPATRA E CESARE by Graun which opened the Opera's first season in 1742. But the house also commissions works by Pierre Boulez, while defending the traditional repertoire, in which Wagner occupies a large place. By thus juxtaposing tradition and innovation, the Opera Unter den Linden has become one of the institutions most representative of Berlin's new dynamism.

Staatsoper Unter den Linden

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.

Synopsis

Rigoletto

“La donna è mobile”, “Caro nome”…these are only few of the successful arias contained in this Verdi’s Opera where the identity of the Villain is blurred and whose audience will most certainly cries a river.

When the Italian composer decided to adapt Victor Hugo’s “Le Roi s’amuse”, the play, which harshly and straightforwardly criticises the Royal family, had been already censored. As a consequence, this passionate opera went through many ups and downs before making it to the Venice’s Fenice Theatre, where it premiered on the 11 March 1851. Verdi and librettist Francesco Maria Piave had to change a number of different elements such as the setting, titles and names in order to be allowed to stage it.

HISTORY
The action takes place in the opulent palaces of sixteenth century Mantua. The opera revolves around a licentious Duke's efforts to seduce the beautiful daughter of the hunchback Rigoletto.

Act 1
The Duke of Mantua sings joyfully of his many love affairs. With the help of his hunchbacked jester Rigoletto, the Duke makes fun of the husbands whose wives he has seduced. The jester has a daughter, Gilda, whom he has kept hidden from the Duke, well aware of the Duke's licentious ways. By the end of the act, however, Gilda and the Duke have met, whilst the Duke disguises his real identity. Gilda falls in love with the Duke.

Meanwhile, a group of noblemen employ the jester to help them kidnap a woman, without revealing that the woman is Gilda. Once it is too late, the jester realises that he has unwittingly helped his daughter's kidnappers to carry her away, and is devastated.

Act 2
The Duke is concerned that Gilda has disappeared. The noblemen arrive and tell the Duke about the woman they have kidnapped. They think that Gilda is the jester's mistress, and do not realise that she is his daughter.
The Duke, however, recognises that the woman is Gilda from the way that the noblemen describe her. The jester and the Duke both attempt to save Gilda, with each swearing to take revenge on the other.

Act 3
The Duke is in the house of a noble woman, busy seducing her. Gilda and her father arrive. Gilda is still in love with the Duke, but her father attempts to make her realise that the Duke will never be faithful to her. The jester hires an assassin to kill the Duke, to make sure that the Duke can never try and seduce his daughter again. The assassin's sister, Maddalena, informs Gilda of this plan. Gilda dresses as a man and, still in love with the Duke, takes his place and proves her love by being killed in his stead.

Epilog
The jester is presented with a corpse. Thinking it is the assassinated Duke, he rejoices. Finally, he uncovers the corpse and finds it to be his own daughter. Gilda revives, briefly, and she and her father share a short moment of reconciliation before she dies.

MAIN ROLES
The Duke of Mantua, A rich and licentious man, tenor
Rigoletto, The Duke's court jester, baritone
Gilda, Daughter to the Jester, soprano
Sparafucile, An Assassin, bass
Giovanna, Gilda's nurse, mezzo-soprano
Maddalena, Sister to Sparafucile, mezzo-soprano

Staatsoper Unter den Linden

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