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Ludovic Tezier © Elie Ruderman

Verdi Rigoletto

From 20 March TO 30 March 2022
Wiener Staatsoper - Wien
Program

Verdi : Rigoletto 120 mn

Cast
  • Conductor
    Marco Armiliato
  • Director
    Pierre Audi
  • Performers
    Rigoletto: Ludovic Tézier
    Gilda: Vera-Lotte Boecker
    Il Duca di Mantova: Francesco Demuro
    Sparafucile: Evgeny Solodovnikov
    Maddalena: Monika Bohinec
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Wiener Staatsoper - Wien Location Opernring 2 - 1010 Wien Autriche

  • Venue's Capacity: 1709

The Vienna State Opéra is much more than just a local institution; it is a vital part of the city's identity and a national landmark.

As of the 17th century, the Hapsburgs lavishly patronized the opéra. Family members Ferdinand III and Leopold I composed for the théâtre, while Charles VI tried his hand at conducting the orchestra, and the Empress Maria-Theresa often mingled with the corps de ballet.

During the 19th century, the Karntnerthor-Theater was demolished and the présent building was constructed on the famous " Ring ". It was here that Mahler, with the help of the set designer Alfred RoUer, imposed a new style of performance, based on audacious stagings and a very précise interprétation ofthe score, which demanded countless rehearsals.

After the fall of the Hapsburgs, Richard Strauss took over the reins of the newly baptized Vienna State Opéra. Curiously enough, only one of Strauss'operas, THE WOMAH WITHOUT A SHADOW, was premiered in Vienna. Clemens Krauss and Karl Bôhm were to follow in his footsteps. Under Bôhm's direction, the Opera created its own Company, which was to serve as a model for several générations. Even the bombs that destroyed the opéra house in 1945 could not prevent singer s such as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Irmgard Seefried, Sena Jurinac or Erich Kunz from becoming legendary.

One musn't think that the Viennese applaud only their homegrown stars. In 1955, when Maria Callas came to sing LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR in the reconstructed building with Karajan conducting, the public blocked traffic to pay tribute to the diva... in the street! Karajan succeeàed Karl Bôhm, and invited many international stars to corne sing on the Viennese stage. Works were henceforth sung in their language of origin, and coproductions with La Scala permitted the disco-very of voices such as that of Mirella Freni in LA BOHEME.

Ioan Holender has suceeded in deftly combining these international distributions with an ensemble System. He has scheduled many works never heard on the Viennese stage, which are now included in the Opera's répertoire, such as Verdi's JERUSALEM and Enesco's OEDIPE, furthering a policy instated under Claudio Abbado's brilliant direction. Whatever changes may now occur, the Opera will continue to stage at least 300 performances per season (an absolute world record ren-dered feasible thanks to the în-house technical crew, which hires no less than 250 people), and the public will continue to applaud the finest orchestra any amateur could wish for in the pit : the Vienna Philharmonie !

Wiener 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

Wiener Staatsoper

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