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Seattle Opera.

Rigoletto

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Aug. 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, & 28, 2019

Aug. 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, & 28, 2019

"Radiant and heartbreaking" - Bachtrack

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Overview

The perfect opera for those that have never attended one before."

Eclectic Arts


By Giuseppe Verdi

When the charismatic but nefarious Duke of Mantua sets his sights on a bitter minion’s innocent daughter, her overprotective father will stop at nothing to exact revenge on his powerful boss. This riveting masterpiece moves seamlessly between the glittering palace of the ruling class and the gritty squalor of those who struggle in servitude, painting a timely portrait of a divided society and its corrupt regime.

Hugely popular ever since its Venice premiere, Verdi’s thrilling melodrama boasts complex characters, an action-packed plot, and unforgettable music, including opera’s most famous quartet and the iconic La donna è mobile. Learn more about this production, preview the program articles and read reviews on our blog

"...more real and emotionally impactful than any production of Rigoletto I've witnessed." - San Francisco Classical Voice

"Rigoletto was mind-blowing! Absolutely the best production of an opera I've seen." - Lisa, via Facebook

"Rigoletto was just fantastic. I can't say that enough. I want the whole city to see it." - Page, via Twitter

Pricing and Availability

As of August 8, 2019

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© Neil Mackenzie


Listen to the music

Rigoletto, Opera Queensland, 2014 © Stephanie Do Rozario

In Italian with English Subtitles | at McCaw Hall
Performance Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes including 1 intermission

 

Rigoletto contains mature themes including violence and sexuality.   Read content advisory

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Synopsis

ACT I
SCENE 1
At a lavish party hosted by the Duke of Mantua, the insatiable womanizer tells his courtier, Borsa, about his obsession with a girl he has seen in church. He knows where she lives and means to have her—and whichever other women he fancies in the meantime (aria: “Questa o quella”). He flirts with Countess Ceprano in front of her furious husband. The situation escalates when the court jester, Rigoletto, taunts the Count. Rigoletto flaunts the fact that he enjoys the Duke’s protection. When Marullo arrives at the party with gossip that Rigoletto has a mistress, Count Ceprano and the other courtiers devise a scheme to strike back at Rigoletto, whom they all despise.
Monterone’s arrival brings the party to a stop. He is the outraged father of a young woman the Duke has used and shamed. Rigoletto cruelly derides Monterone’s grief. As the Duke coolly orders Monterone’s arrest, the incensed father damns both the Duke and Rigoletto with a curse.

SCENE 2
Unnerved by the curse, Rigoletto meets the hired killer Sparafucile on his way home. The assassin offers the jester his services. Alone, Rigoletto (recitative: “Pari siamo”) compares himself with the assassin: instead of a knife, he kills with his cruel taunts. Full of self-loathing, he rails against mankind, nature, his deformity, and his fate—to be a clown, forced to smile and ridicule people for a living.

Rigoletto arrives home to his daughter Gilda, whom he keeps locked away, hidden from the world. Ignorant of her own background and even her father’s name, she asks many questions. Rigoletto demurs, only telling her that she is all he has in the world since the death of her mother. He confines Gilda to the house and orders the housekeeper, Giovanna, to keep a strict watch on her.

Gilda tells Giovanna that she has fallen for a young man who has been following her home from church. Chasing his prey, the Duke turns up at Rigoletto’s house in disguise. He bribes Giovanna, then seduces Gilda (duet: “È il sol dell’anima”), telling her he is a student named Gualtier Maldè. Hearing footsteps, Giovanna warns him to leave. The Duke reluctantly departs. Enraptured, Gilda sighs the name of her first love as she goes to sleep (aria: “Caro nome”).

Marullo, Ceprano, Borsa, and other courtiers arrive to abduct Rigoletto’s “mistress.” When Rigoletto unexpectedly returns, Marullo sells him the story that the courtiers are going to kidnap Countess Ceprano, who lives nearby. They fool Rigoletto into helping them break into his own house, where they capture Gilda. Upon discovering the trick and his daughter’s abduction, Rigoletto remembers Monterone’s curse.

INTERMISSION
ACT 2
The next morning, the Duke is ranting that Gilda wasn’t there when he returned to Rigoletto’s house. The courtiers tell him they’ve abducted Rigoletto’s “mistress” and brought her to the palace. Guessing that they mean Gilda, he rushes to where the girl is captive. Rigoletto, searching for Gilda, confronts the courtiers (aria: “Cortigiani”). He reveals that the girl is his daughter, begging them for compassion. The courtiers remain unmoved. Gilda emerges, distraught from her ordeal. She tries to tell her father what has happened. They are interrupted by Monterone who, on the way to his execution, pardons the Duke and takes back his curse. In response, Rigoletto swears vengeance on the Duke, both for himself and for Monterone. Gilda pleads for her father to have mercy on the Duke.

ACT 3
In a tavern, the Duke, in disguise, is in high spirits (aria: “La donna è mobile”). Rigoletto forces Gilda to observe him with Maddalena, Sparafucile’s sister (quartet: “Bella figlia dell’amore”). He tells his heartbroken daughter to flee the city and promises to join her the next morning.

As a storm begins to rage, Rigoletto and Sparafucile settle on a price to kill the Duke. Rigoletto tells Sparafucile he will return for the body at midnight. Sparafucile takes the Duke to a room where the Duke waits for Maddalena. She, too, is now infatuated with the Duke, and begs her brother to spare him. She asks Sparafucile to kill Rigoletto when he returns.

Drawn back to the tavern, Gilda overhears Sparafucile agree to murder someone else and substitute that corpse for the Duke’s. Gilda rashly decides to sacrifice her own life to save the Duke. She knocks on the door and meets her fate. Rigoletto returns for the Duke’s body. As he prepares to throw the sack containing the corpse into the river, he hears the Duke’s voice in the distance. Rigoletto rips open the sack to find Gilda, who dies in his arms. Monterone’s curse has been fulfilled.

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Pricing & Availability

As of 08/08/19

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Cast

Lester Lynch

Rigoletto

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Rigoletto, Rigoletto

Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Seattle Opera Debut:  Crown, Porgy and Bess (’95)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Crown, Porgy and Bess (’18), Di Luna, Il trovatore ('19, '97)
Recently: Enrico, Lucia di Lammermoor (English National Opera); Doktor Faust, Doktor Faust (Semperopera Dresden); Shylock, The Merchant of Venice (Royal Opera House)
Upcoming: Macbeth, Macbeth (Florentine Opera); Simon Boccanegra, Simon Boccanegra (Washington Concert Opera); Judge Turpin, Sweeny Todd (Bergen National Opera)

Last updated: July 2019

Lester Lynch

Rigoletto

Aug. 10, 17, 23, 25, & 28

Giuseppe Altomare

Rigoletto

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Rigoletto, Rigoletto

Hometown: Molfetta, Italy
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Rigoletto, Rigoletto (Budapest Summer Festival); Belcore, The Elixir of Love (Teatro Massimo di Palermo); Iago, Otello (Opera de Bellas Artes Mexico)
Upcoming: Germont, La traviata (Fondazione del Teatro del Maggio Musicale, Komische opera Berlin); Amonasro, Aida (Theater St. Gallen)

Last updated: July 2019

Giuseppe Altomare

Rigoletto

Seattle Opera Debut
Aug. 11, 14, 18, & 24

Madison Leonard

Gilda

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Gilda, Rigoletto

Hometown: Coeur d'Alene, ID
Seattle Opera Debut: Chrisann Brennan, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (’19)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Frasquita, Carmen ('19)
Recently: Juliet, Romeo and Juliet (Wolf Trap Opera); Ilia, Idomeneo (Wolf Trap Opera); Morgana, Alcina (Washington National Opera)
Upcoming: Emmeline, Emmeline (Tulsa Opera); Gilda, Rigoletto (Austin Opera); Pamina, The Magic Flute (North Carolina Opera)

Last Updated: July 2019

Madison Leonard

Gilda

Aug. 10, 17, 23, 25, & 28

Soraya Mafi

Gilda

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Gilda, Rigoletto

Hometown: Manchester, UK
Seattle Opera Debut: Flora, The Turn of the Screw (’18)
Recently: Gretel, Hansel and Gretel (Grange Park Opera); Cintia, La Divisione del Mondo (Opéra National du Rhin); Tytania, A Midsummer Night's Dream (English National Opera)
Upcoming: Yum-Yum, The Mikado (English National Opera); Susannah, The Marriage of Figaro (Welsh National Opera); Johanna, Sweeney Todd (Zurich Opera)

Last Updated: July 2019

Soraya Mafi

Gilda

Aug. 11, 14, 18, & 24

Liparit Avetisyan

Duke of Mantua

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto

Hometown: Yerevan, Armenia
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Alfredo, La traviata (Staatsoper Berlin, Royal Opera House, Sydney Opera House, Semperoper Dresden); Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto (Semperoper Dresden, Sydney Opera House); Nemorino, The Elixir of Love (Royal Opera House, Semperoper Dresden)
Upcoming: Alfredo, La traviata (Royal Opera House, Semperoper Dresden); Nemorino, The Elixir of Love (Glyndebourne Festival, Staatsoper Vienna, Royal Opera House); Lensky, Eugene Onegin (Semperoper Dresden)

Last Updated: July 2019

Liparit Avetisyan

Duke of Mantua

Seattle Opera Debut
Aug. 10, 17, 23, 25, & 28

Yongzhao Yu

Duke of Mantua

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto

Hometown: Houston, TX
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Rodolfo, La bohème (Houston Grand Opera); Romeo, Romeo and Juliet (National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing); Don José, Carmen (Seiji Ozawa Music Academy)
Upcoming: Rodolfo, La bohème (Arizona Opera) 

Last Updated: June 2019 

Yongzhao Yu

Duke of Mantua

Seattle Opera Debut
Aug. 11, 14, 18, & 24

Ante Jerkunica

Sparafucile

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Sparafucile, Rigoletto

Hometown: Split, Croatia
Seattle Opera Debut: Sarastro, The Magic Flute (’17)
Recently: Graf Rodolfo, La sonnambula (Deutsche Oper Berlin); Pimen, Boris Godunow (Deutsche Oper Berlin); Tzar Zultan, Tzar Saltan (Bruxelles)
Upcoming: Timur, Turandot (Gran Teatre del Liceu); Sparafucile/Count Monterone, Rigoletto (Bayerische Staatsoper München); Gurnemanz, Parsifal (Opéra du Rhin Strasbourg)

Last Updated: July 2019

Ante Jerkunica

Sparafucile

Aug. 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, & 28

Emily Fons

Maddalena

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Maddalena, Rigoletto

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Seattle Opera Debut: Laurene Powell Jobs, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs ('19)
Recently: Poppea, The Coronation of Poppea (Opera Theatre of St. Louis); Hansel, Hansel and Gretel (Michigan Opera Theatre); Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro (Boston Lyric Opera)
Upcoming: Angelina, Cinderella (Atlanta Opera); Hansel, Hansel and Gretel (Canadian Opera Company); Rosina, The Barber of Seville (San Diego Opera)

Last updated: July 2019

 

Emily Fons

Maddalena

Aug. 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, & 28

Nerys Jones

Giovanna

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Giovanna, Rigoletto

Hometown: Llanfair Caereinion, Wales 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Inez, Il trovatore ('19)
Recently: Second Lady, The Magic Flute (Vashon Opera); Marcellina, The Marriage of Figaro (Tacoma Opera); Female Chorus, The Rape of Lucretia (Tacoma Opera)
Upcoming: Recitals in Vancouver BC and Seattle; Soloist, Messiah (Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers)

Last updated: July 2019

Nerys Jones

Giovanna

Aug. 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, & 28

Clayton Brainerd

Count Monterone

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Count Monterone, Rigoletto

Hometown: Portland, OR
Seattle Opera Debut: Il Re, Aida (’18)
Recently: Soloist, Walker Symphony No.5 (Seattle Symphony); Soloist, Schubert Winterreise (Folio Library Series); Soloist, Wotan’s Farewell (LUCO)
Upcoming: Soloist, Schumann Dichterliebe (Governor’s Chamber Music Series); Soloist, Beethoven 9th Symphony (Palm Beach Symphony); Soloist, Missa Solemnis (Missa Solemnis Alliance, Bellingham Music Festival)

Last Updated: July 2019

Clayton Brainerd

Count Monterone

Aug. 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, & 28

Jonathan Silvia

Count Ceprano

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Count Ceprano, Rigoletto

Hometown: Kirkland, WA
Seattle Opera Debut: First Villager, Pagliacci (’08) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Imperial Commisioner, Madame Butterfly (’17);Second Armored Man, The Magic Flute (’17);  Marquis D'Obigny, La traviata (’17);
Recently: Leporello, Don Giovanni (Pacific Northwest Opera); Zuniga, Carmen (Pacific Northwest Opera); Oroveso, Norma (Skagit Opera)

Last Updated: July 2019

Jonathan Silvia

Count Ceprano

Aug. 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, & 28

Meghan Folkerts

Countess Ceprano

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Countess Ceprano, Rigoletto

Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Toledo, The Falling and the Rising (Seagle Music Colony); Domme, Safe Word (Shreveport Opera); Second Lady, The Magic Flute (Shreveport Opera)
Upcoming: Lady-in-waiting, Macbeth (Florentine Opera)

Last Updated: June 2019

Meghan Folkerts

Countess Ceprano

Seattle Opera Debut
Aug. 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, & 28

Bernard Holcomb

Borsa

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Borsa, Rigoletto

Hometown: Detroit, MI
Seattle Opera Debut: Mingo, Porgy and Bess (’18)
Recently: Lechmere, Owen Wingrave, (Little Opera Theater of NY); Tenor, The Central Park Five (Long Beach Opera); Otello, Otello (Loft Opera NYC)
Upcoming: Sportin Life, Porgy and Bess, (Harrisburg Symphony); Tenor Soloist, An African American Requiem (Oregon Symphony); Soloist, Dancing in the Street: The Music of Motown (Dallas Symphony Orchestra)

Last Updated: July 2019

Bernard Holcomb

Borsa

Aug. 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, & 28

Barry Johnson

Marullo

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Marullo, Rigoletto

Hometown: Douglas, AZ
Seattle Opera Debut: Marco, Gianni Schicchi (’90) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Baron Douphol, La traviata (’16); Sciarrone, Tosca (’15); Lackey, Ariadne auf Naxos (’15)
Recently: Speaker, The Magic Flute (Vashon Opera); Stage Director, The Merry Widow (Tacoma Opera); Il Sagristano, Tosca (Vashon Opera)
Upcoming: Baron Douphol, La Traviata (Vashon Opera); Il Sagristano, Tosca (Tacoma Opera) 

Last Updated: July 2019

Barry Johnson

Marullo

Aug. 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, & 28

Ivy Zhou

Page

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Page, Rigoletto

Hometown: Rockville, MD
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Cinderella, Cinderella in Spain (Seattle Opera School Opera Tour); The Rose, The Little Prince (Opera Theater Oregon); Chloe, Princess Ida (Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society)
Upcoming: Musetta, La bohème (Portland Opera To Go); Phyllis, Iolanthe (Tacoma Opera)

Last Updated: June 2019

Ivy Zhou

Page

Seattle Opera Debut
Aug. 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, & 28

Cast

Creative Team

Carlo Montanaro

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Rigoletto

Hometown: Cecina, Italy
Seattle Opera Debut
Don Quichotte (’11) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Il trovatore ('19); Madame Butterfly (’17); Mary Stuart (’16)
Recently:
 Rigoletto (L’Opéra de Montréal); Madame Butterfly (Polish National Opera); Werther (Opera Australia, Sydney)
Upcoming: Nabucco (Deutsche Oper Berlin); La bohème (Staatsoper Hamburg); The Barber of Seville (Opéra National de Paris)

Last Updated: July 2019

Carlo Montanaro

Conductor

Lindy Hume

Director

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Rigoletto, Cinderella

Hometown: Sydney, Australia 
Seattle Opera Debut: Count Ory (’16)
Previously at Seattle Opera: The Barber of Seville (’17)
Recently: Athalia (Opera Australia); Carmen (West Australian Opera); Don Giovanni (Opera Queensland)
Upcoming: Cinderella (Seattle Opera); Carmen (Oper Leipzig); La bohème (Staatsoper Unter den Linden)

Last Updated: July 2019

Lindy Hume

Director

Richard Roberts

Production Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Rigoletto

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Parsifal (Victorian Opera); Death of a Salesman (Queensland Theatre); Cunning Little Vixen (Victorian Opera, State Opera of South Australia, Western Australian Opera)
Upcoming: Cunning Little Vixen (State Opera of South Australia)

Last Updated: July 2019

Richard Roberts

Production Designer

Seattle Opera Debut

John Keene

Chorusmaster

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Rigoletto, Cinderella, Eugene Onegin, La bohème

Hometown: Lancaster, PA
Seattle Opera Debut: Chorusmaster, Fidelio (’12)
Recently: Conductor, As One (Seattle Opera); Chorusmaster, Rigoletto (Seattle Opera); Assistant Conductor, Der Ring des Nibelungen (Seattle Opera)
Upcoming: Chorusmaster, Cinderella and Eugene Onegin (Seattle Opera); Judge, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; Pianist, Three Singing Sisters (Seattle Opera)

Last updated: August 2019

John Keene

Chorusmaster

Creative Team

Orchestra, Chorus, & Additional Artists

Orchestra

Violin I
Brittany Breeden, Concertmaster
Mae Lin, Asst. Concertmaster
Evan Anderson
Jennifer Bai
Blayne Barnes
Cecilia Poellein Buss
Timothy Garland
Clark Story
Jeannie Wells Yablonsky
Arthur Zadinsky

Violin II
Michael Miropolsky, Principal
Kathleen Boyer, Asst. Principal
Natasha Bazhanov
Stephen Bryant
Linda Cole
Xiao-po Fei
Artur Girsky
Caitlin Kelley

Viola
Mara Gearman, Principal
Timothy Hale, Asst. Principal
Wesley Dyring
Allison Farkas
Sayaka Kokubo
Laura Renz

Cello
Meeka Quan Dilorenzo, Principal
Nathan Chan, Asst. Principal
Eric Han
Roberta Downey
Charles Jacot
Joy Payton-Stevens

Bass
Jordan Anderson, Principal
Jonathan Burnstein
Jennifer Godfrey
Travis Gore, Asst. Principal

Flute/Piccolo
Jeffrey Barker, Principal
Zartouhi Dombourian-Eby

Piccolo
Zartouhi Dombourian-Eby

Oboe
Mary Lynch, Principal
Stefan Farkas

English Horn
Stefan Farkas

Clarinet
Emil Khudyev, Principal
Frank Kowalsky

Bassoon
Seth Krimsky, Principal
Paul Rafanelli

Horn
Jeffrey Fair, Principal
Jenna Breen
John Turman
Danielle Kuhlmann

Trumpet
Alexander White, Principal
Christopher Stingle

Trombone
Ko-ichiro Yamamoto, Principal
David Lawrence Ritt
Stephen Fissel

Cimbasso
John DiCesare, Principal

Timpani
James Benoit, Principal

Percussion
Rob Tucker, Principal
Gunnar Folsom

 

Offstage Banda

Flute
Robin Peery, Principal

Piccolo
Alicia Suarez

Oboe
Ben Hausmann, Principal

Clarinet
Sean Osborn, Principal
Jennifer Nelson

Contrabassoon
Dana Bliss, Principal

Horn
Jonathan Karschney, Principal
Rodger Burnett

Trumpet
Gabriel Palmer, Principal

Trombone
Keith Winkle, Principal
Grant Reed
Doug Nierman

Percussion
Rob Tucker

Personnel Manager
Scott Wilson

Assistant Personnel Manager
Keith Higgins

 

The Orchestra is composed of members of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Rotating members of the string section are listed alphabetically.

 

Chorus

Tenor
DuWayne Andrews
Joshua Carlisle
Benjamin Cleveland
Joel Cummings
Andrew Etherington
Jon Farmer
James Galbraith
Anthony James
Tim Janecke
German Mendoza
Karl Reyes
Korland Simmons
Stephen Wall
Colin Ward

Bass/Baritone
Ryan Bede
Michael Dunlap
Craig Garretson
Craig Grayson
Glenn Guhr
Ben Kramer
Dierre Lopez
Zachary Martin
Julian Reisenthel
Revere Taylor

 

Actors

Diane Abbey
Julee Felts
Skyler Gahley
Yena Han
Ben Leiataua
Tim Maass
Ruby Mimosa
Arlando Smith
Jamie von Stratton
Olivia Taguinod

Supernumeraries

Henry Brown
Richard Eidal

 

Orchestra, Chorus, & Additional Artists

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Plan Your Visit

Performances take place at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle. Join our email list to receive personalized alerts with updates on traffic, dining, and parking for your specific performance, or choose a topic below to learn more.

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Sponsors

2019/20 Season Sponsor

In memory of Karyl Winn

Production Sponsor

Kreielsheimer Endowment Fund

 

Main Image © Philip Newton | Photos: © Sunny Martini, © Philip Newton, © Sunny Martini