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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

The Cost of Corruption.

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Overview

A believable, imaginative, always effective interpretation of a classic."

Limelight Magazine


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 director Lindy Hume's production in an interview posted on our blog

Pricing and Availability

As of July 18, 2019

  • Best availability: Sunday, August 18 and Sunday, August 25
  • Lowest prices on Wednesdays and Friday.
  • Prices start at $35 with main floor seating start at $88 for all performances.

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
A party in the palace of the Duke of Mantua. The Duke boasts to his friend Borsa that he is about to complete the conquest of a beautiful young woman he has seen at church. He then dances with the lovely Countess Ceprano, flatters her, and escorts her from the room. The Duke’s odd-looking jester, Rigoletto, mocks the Countess’s jealous husband. The courtiers, all of whom hate Rigoletto, are astonished to hear a rumor that this ugly, hateful man keeps a mistress. Rigoletto suggests the Duke banish, execute, or imprison Count Ceprano. The Count swears vengeance on Rigoletto. Suddenly Monterone, an elderly nobleman, enters and accuses the Duke of having seduced his daughter. Rigoletto ridicules him, whereupon Monterone curses both Duke and jester.

That evening, Rigoletto’s home. The sound of Monterone’s curse ringing in his ears, Rigoletto is returning home when Sparafucile, an assassin, offers his services. Rigoletto politely declines, then muses on what he has in common with the murderer. As he enters his home, a young woman rushes into his arms: his ‘mistress’ turns out to be his daughter, Gilda. She questions Rigoletto about his name, his occupation, and her mother, but her father avoids answering her questions. He charges Giovanna, Gilda’s servant, never to admit anyone into the house. As Rigoletto leaves, the Duke slips into the garden.

Gilda tells Giovanna of a handsome stranger whom she sees at church. Suddenly the Duke, her unknown admirer, steps forward and declares his love, saying he is a penniless student. They sing a rapturous love duet, “È il sol dell’anima;” but then, hearing footsteps, Gilda begs “Gualtier Maldé” to leave.

The footsteps turn out to be the Duke’s courtiers, who are plotting to kidnap Rigoletto’s “mistress.” When Rigoletto, returning home, stumbles into them in the dark, they tell him they’re kidnapping Ceprano’s wife, and he eagerly offers to help. While he holds the ladder, they carry Gilda off. He recognizes her voice as she calls for help—too late. Realizing what has happened, the jester recognizes the work of Monterone’s curse.

Act II
The next morning; The Duke’s Palace. The Duke fumes over the news of Gilda’s kidnapping; he wonders whether she might be the only woman he could love faithfully (aria: “Parmi veder le lagrime”). His courtiers enter, hoping to cheer him up with the humorous story of the prank they’ve played on Rigoletto. Realizing they’ve brought the young lady in question to his palace, the Duke rushes off to complete his seduction of Gilda.

Rigoletto confronts the courtiers, and when they block him from entering the room where Gilda is with the Duke, he begins the aria “Cortigiani” with an explosion of fury and frustration. That gets him nowhere, so he falls to his knees, cringing and whimpering, begging them for mercy. Even when he recovers his dignity and asks them simply to give an old man back his daughter, they refuse him.

Gilda appears and Rigoletto orders the others to leave. Gilda tells her father of the Duke’s courtship and her capture. Rigoletto vows he will wreak the vengeance of Monterone’s curse on the Duke, but Gilda begs Rigoletto to pardon the man she loves (duet: “Si, vendetta”).

Act III
Several weeks later, evening; a dilapidated inn on a river-bank. Rigoletto and Gilda are outside the seedy tavern where Sparafucile lives with his sister Maddalena. The Duke enters, sings the aria “La donna è mobile,” and calls for Maddalena. Rigoletto forces Gilda, who still believes the Duke loves her, to watch the Duke seduce Maddalena.

Rigoletto tells Gilda to disguise herself as a man and travel to Verona, where he will join her the next day. Sparafucile comes out of the inn and collects half his fee from Rigoletto for the delivery of the Duke’s body at midnight. Rigoletto leaves.

Gilda appears outside the inn, dressed as a man. Inside, Maddalena, who has fallen for the Duke, begs her brother not to kill him. She convinces him to kill, instead, the next stranger who comes to their door. Gilda overhears their conversation. Even though the Duke has betrayed her, she is determined to sacrifice her own life to save his. She knocks on the door. Sparafucile stabs her.

Rigoletto returns to the inn, and Sparafucile drags out the sack containing the victim. Rigoletto hears the voice of the supposedly murdered Duke in the distance, opens the sack, and finds his beloved daughter. She tells Rigoletto that she wanted to die to spare the Duke and asks for Rigoletto’s forgiveness before she dies.

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Pricing & Availability

  • Best availability Sunday, August 18 and Sunday, August 25.
  • Lowest prices on Wednesdays and Friday. 
  • Prices start at $35 with main floor seating start at $88 for all performances. 

As of 07/18/19

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Cast

Lester Lynch

Rigoletto

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Rigoletto, Rigoletto

Hometown: New York, NY
Seattle Opera Debut:  Crown, Porgy and Bess (’95)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Crown, Porgy and Bess (’18), Di Luna, Il trovatore ('97)
Recently: Enrico, Lucia di Lammermoor (English National Opera); Shylock, The Merchant of Venice (Royal Opera Covent Garden); Crown, Porgy and Bess (Teatro alla Scala)
Upcoming: Josh Gibson, The Summer King (Michigan Opera Theatre); The Prisoner, The Prisoner (Semperoper Dresden); Crown, Porgy and Bess (Volksoper Wien)

Last updated: October 2018

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, L’elisier d’amore (Teatro Massimo di Palermo); Jago, 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: June 2019


Upcoming: Germont, La traviata (Fondazione del Teatro del Maggio Musicale)

Last Updated: December 2018

Giuseppe Altomare

Rigoletto

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

Madison Leonard

Gilda

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Chrisann, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, and Frasquita, Carmen
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)
Recently: Juliette, Romeo et Juliette and Ilia, Idomeneo (Wolf Trap Opera); Morgana, Alcina (Washington National Opera); Susanna, The Marriage of Figaro (Inland Northwest Opera)
Upcoming: Emmeline, Emmeline (Tulsa Opera); Gilda, Rigoletto (Austin Opera, Seattle Opera); Pamina, The Magic Flute (North Carolina Opera)

Last Updated: April 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, Hãnsel und 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, Le Nozze Di 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 Germont, La traviata (Staatsoper Berlin); Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto (Semperoper Dresden); Tamino, The Magic Flute (Festival Castell de Perelada)
Upcoming: Alfredo, La traviata (Royal Opera House, Opernhaus Zürich); Nemorino, Elisir d'amore (Glyndebourne Festival); Lensky, Eugene Onegin (Semperoper Dresden)

Last Updated: June 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 Saltan (Bruxelles)
Upcoming: Timur, Turandot (Gran Teatre del Liceu); Sparafucile/Count Monterone, Rigoletto (Bayerische Staatsoper München); Gurnemanz, Parsifal (Oéra du Rhin Strasbourg)

Last Updated: June 2019

Ante Jerkunica

Sparafucile

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

Emily Fons

Maddalena

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Laurene Powell Jobs, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs
At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Maddalena, Rigoletto

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Seattle Opera Debut: Laurene Powell Jobs, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs
Recently: Sister Helen Prejean, Dead Man Walking (Kentucky Opera); Ruby Thewes, Cold Mountain (North Carolina Opera); Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro (Boston Lyric Opera)
Upcoming: The Child, L’enfant et les sortilèges (Berlin Philharmonic); The Child, L’enfant et les sortilèges and La Ciesca, Gianni Schicchi (Ongaku-Juku); Orontea, Orontea (Haymarket Opera)

Last updated: March 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); Prince Orlofsky, Die Fledermaus, and Marcellina, The Marriage of Figaro (Tacoma Opera)
Upcoming: Recitals in Vancouver BC and Seattle

Last updated: June 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)

Last Updated: June 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); High Priest of Baal, Nabucco (’15)
Recently: Leporello, Don Giovanni and Zuniga, Carmen (Pacific Northwest Opera); Oroveso, Norma (Skagit Opera)

Last Updated: December 2018 

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: Cherubino cover, The Marriage of Figaro; Carmen cover, Carmen; 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, Oregon Symphony)

Last Updated: June 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: Steve Hubbell, A Streetcar Named Desire (Vashon Opera)

Last Updated: December 2018

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 2018/19: Il trovatore
At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Rigoletto

Hometown: Cecina, Italy
Seattle Opera Debut
Don Quichotte (’11) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Madame Butterfly (’17) Mary Stuart (’16); Nabucco (’15) 
Recently:
 Lucia di Lammermoor (Opera Australia, Sydney); Rigoletto (Opéra de Montréal)
Upcoming: Werther (Opera Australia, Sydney); Mozart's Requiem (Teatro Regio di Parma); La traviata (Operà Garnier, Paris)

Last Updated: December 2018

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: Carmen (Oper Leipzig)

Last Updated: December 2018

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: June 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, Carmen (Seattle Opera); Assistant Conductor, Der Ring des Nibelungen (Seattle Opera)
Upcoming: Chorusmaster, Cinderella, Eugene Onegin (Seattle Opera); Judge, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; Pianist, Three Singing Sisters (Seattle Opera)

Last updated: June 2019

John Keene

Chorusmaster

Creative Team

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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: Rigoletto, Opera Queensland, 2014 © Stephanie Do Rozario, Rigoletto, Opera Queensland, 2014 © Stephanie Do Rozario, Rigoletto, New Zealand Opera, 2012 © Neil Mackenzie