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Staatsoper

Verdi Rigoletto

From 06 June TO 11 June 2020
Staatsoper - Hamburg
Program

Verdi : Rigoletto 120 mn

Cast
  • Conductor
    Francesco Lanzillotta
  • Director
    Andreas Homoki
  • Performers
    Rigoletto: Andrzej Dobber
    Gilda: Hila Fahima
    Il Duca di Mantova: Atalla Ayan
    Sparafucile: Marco Spotti
    Maddalena: Jana Kurucová
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Staatsoper - Hamburg Location Grosse Theaterstrasse 25 - 20354 Hamburg Allemagne

The Venue's History in few words …

During their frequent journeys to Venice, the merchants of Hamburg had many a chance to note the success of Europe's first public opera, opened in 1637. In 1678, some of these rich bourgeois thus founded, on the Geese Market, a permanent opera. It was the first in Germany, a fact of which the Hamburgers were very proud. Driven by a strong sense of nationalism that preferred to blatently ignore French and Italian opera, as well as a shrewd business acumen, Hamburg's Opern-Theatrum specialized in defending the German lyrical repertoire, ins-pite of the clergy's prostests and heated debates that reached as far as the University of Iena. One could listen to the works of composers such as Telemann and Handel; the latter was hired as a violinist and harpsichord player by the Opera at the age of 18. A few years later, the same Handel became the talk of the town, when he fought a duel with Johann Mattheson, a rival composer. In 1738, the hall went bankrupt, ruined by the public's renewed interest in Italian opera. A new building was constructed in 1765, billing both theatre and lyrical works.

 

It was not before 1827 that the location of the actual Staatsoper became that of an opera house. At first, the German Weber, the Italian Rossini, and the Frenchman Auber shared the billing, before Wagner and Verdi (performed here as of 1845, for the first time in Germany) became the house's undisputed stars. Gustav Mahler was appointed at the Opera's head in 1891. Under his direction, the opera freshened up its rather conventional programming (and became equipped with electricity). Mahler hired the young Bruno Walter as coach, before another of his proteges, Otto Klemperer, took over the musical direction of the institution in 1910.

 

Greatly affected by the financial crisis that followed the First World War, and partially destroyed during the Second, the Opera opened in 1946 with difficulty, performing in front of 600 spectators seated around what remained of the stage. But the company, that included names such as Hans Hotter, Martha Modi, Hermann Prey, Elisabeth Grümmer, and Astrid Varnay, rapidely acquired an international reputation. Settled in the newly reconstructed opera house in 1955 and led by such brilliant managers as Rolf Liebermann (1959-1973, he returned in 1985), the Staatsoper became a Mecca of contemporary opera, welcoming composers such as Stravinsky, who came to conduct to celebrate his eightieth birthday, Penderecki, Messiaen, Kagel, Xenakis, and Helmut Lachenmann.

Staatsoper

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

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