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Rigoletto

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October
Friday
18
07:00 PM
October
Sunday
20
02:00 PM
October
Saturday
26
07:30 PM
October
Tuesday
29
07:30 PM
November
Friday
01
07:30 PM
  • SubjectSubject
  • Running TimeRunning Time
  • AgeAge
  • LanguageLanguage
Language

Sung in Italian with projected English translation

Age

Appropriate for all ages

Running Time

2 hours and 40 minutes
2 intermissions

Subject

Verdi
Rigoletto
A man who seeks revenge should dig two graves.

New Production

Featuring some of opera’s more recognizable music, Verdi’s Rigoletto is a tragic story of jealousy, lust, and revenge. The antagonistic jester, Rigoletto, is cursed after a joke goes too far in the court of the villainous Duke. Despite his best efforts to protect his beloved daughter, Rigoletto is unable to keep her safe from the outside world and the curse’s fulfillment. He most certainly will not have the last laugh.

Director Tomer Zvulun returns to the Wortham after his haunting production of The Flying Dutchman last season. American baritones Michael Mayes and Scott Hendricks share the role of Rigoletto alongside an outstanding cast filled with renowned HGO Studio alumni, including Mexican tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz as the Duke of Mantua and Armenian soprano Mané Galoyan as Gilda.

Sung in Italian with projected English translation.

 

CAST    
Rigoletto
(10/18, 10/20, 10/26)
   Michael Mayes
     
Rigoletto
(10/29, 11/01)
  Scott Hendricks
     
Duke of Mantua   Arturo Chacón-Cruz
     
Gilda   Mané Galoyan
     
Sparafucile   David Shipley
     
Maddalena   Zoie Reams
     
Monterone   Nicholas Newton
     
Borsa   Richard Trey Smagur
     
Marullo   Geoffrey Hahn
     
Count Ceprano   Daniel Noyola
     
Countess Ceprano   Dorothy Gal
     
Page   Elena Villalón
     
Giovanna   Lindsay Kate Brown
     
Usher   William Guanbo Su
     
CREATIVE TEAM    
Conductor   Jordan de Souza
     
Director   Tomer Zvulun
     
Associate Director   Stephanie Havey
     
Set Designer   Erhard Rom
     
Costume Designer   Jessica Jahn
     
Lighting Designer   Robert Wierzel

 

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Richard Bado, Chorus Master
The Sarah and Ernest Butler Chorus Master Chair


Scenic design originally created for Wolf Trap Opera.

Grand Underwriters: ConocoPhillips and Margaret Alkek Williams

ACT I

At the ducal court of Mantua, a ball is in progress. The licentious Duke of Mantua openly pursues Countess Ceprano, much to her husband’s mortification. Further humiliated by the duke’s jester, Rigoletto, the furious Count Ceprano enlists the help of the courtiers in exacting revenge upon Rigoletto. They need no encouragement, for Rigoletto has many enemies. He has been seen in the company of a young woman, and in this his enemies recognize an opportunity for reprisal. Count Monterone arrives, demanding revenge upon the Duke, who has dishonored his daughter. Rigoletto cruelly mocks him, and Monterone curses both the Duke and his jester.

Later that night, Rigoletto agonizes over the curse. The assassin Sparafucile approaches him, cryptically offering to rid the tormented jester of his rival. Unnerved, Rigoletto turns down the offer and sends Sparafucile away.

Rigoletto returns home to his daughter Gilda, whom he keeps hidden from the world, only allowing her out to attend church. She does not know her father’s position in the court and doesn’t even know his name. The spying Duke overhears their conversation and is surprised to learn that the girl he admired in church and followed home is his own jester’s daughter. As soon as Rigoletto leaves, the Duke, posing as a poor student named Gualtier Maldè, charms Gilda. Their meeting is cut short by noises from the street, and Gilda, fearing the return of her father, sends the Duke away. Gilda sings dreamily of her student lover while the courtiers gather outside to abduct the woman they presume to be Rigoletto’s mistress. When Rigoletto returns, the courtiers fool him into thinking they are abducting Countess Ceprano and ask for his help. Rigoletto discovers too late that he has helped the courtiers kidnap his own Gilda. He blames Monterone’s curse.

INTERMISSION

ACT II

At the palace, the Duke laments Gilda’s sudden disappearance, until the courtiers bring news that they have abducted Rigoletto’s mistress for his pleasure. Elated, the Duke cannot wait to reveal his true identity to Gilda. Rigoletto enters, searching for his daughter, only to learn that she is with the Duke in his chambers. He demands, entreats, and finally begs the courtiers to have pity. A disheveled Gilda suddenly appears and rushes into her father’s arms. Rigoletto is devastated and furiously rebuffs her pleas that he forgive the Duke. Monterone appears, bemoaning the ineffectiveness of his curse, while Rigoletto swears vengeance on the Duke.

INTERMISSION

ACT III

On a stormy night, Rigoletto drags Gilda to a remote inn owned by the assassin Sparafucile. He forces her to watch as the Duke seduces Sparafucile’s sister, Maddalena. Rigoletto sends the heartbroken Gilda away, and then hires Sparafucile to kill the Duke. Maddalena, however, has taken a fancy to the Duke and begs her brother to spare him; Sparafucile agrees, provided that another victim can be found. Gilda, who has returned in disguise, resolves to sacrifice herself to save the Duke’s life.

Rigoletto returns at midnight as arranged. Sparafucile gives him a sack containing the body and disappears. When Rigoletto hears the Duke singing in the distance, he realizes he has been duped. Ripping open the sack, he discovers Gilda, who begs for forgiveness with her last breath. Monterone’s curse has been fulfilled.

HGO PERFORMANCE HISTORY

Rigoletto was first performed at HGO during the 1958–59 season—HGO’s fourth season. It has since been performed on the main stage during seasons 1965–66, 1969–70, 1976–77, 1982–83, 1989–90, 1994–95, 2001–02, 2008–09, and 2013–14. Additionally, it was performed on tour by Texas Opera Theater during the 1981–82 season and at Miller Outdoor Theatre in May 2009.

CAST

Michael Mayes Headshot
Rigoletto (10/18, 10/20, 10/26)
Scott Hendricks
Rigoletto (10/29, 11/01)
Duke of Mantua
Gilda
Sparafucile
Maddalena
Monterone
Geoffrey Hahn
Marullo
Daniel Noyola
Count Ceprano
Dorothy Gal
Countess Ceprano
Page
Lindsay Kate Brown
Giovanna

CREATIVE TEAM

Jordan de Souza
Conductor
Tomer Zvulun
Director
Stephanie Havey
Associate Director
Erhard Rom
Set Designer
Jessica Jahn
Costume Designer
Lighting Designer
Richard Bado
Chorus Master

* HGO debut
** HGO Studio Artist
*** Former HGO Studio Artist
Learn more about Rigoletto

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