One of the world's leading stage directors, Nikolaus Lehnhoff (1939-2015) will always be remembered for his outstanding work on many operas, and notably for this spectacular production of Giuseppe Verdi's popular opera Rigoletto, here showcased at the Dresden Semperoper. The version released here stars two internationally-acclaimed singers, tenor Juan Diego Flórez and soprano Diana Damrau.
Rigoletto (1851) is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo. Writting the libretto took time because the Austrian censors judged the opera immoral. On the other hand, its composition took only forty days.
The staging of Nikolaus Lehnhoff is exceptional. The distribution combines incomparable voices with intense stage presence. Serbian baritone Željko Lučić interprets Rigoletto, Juan Diego Flórez is the seductive Duca di Mantova and Diana Damrau is Gilda. These performers give beautiful renditions of the work's very popular arias "Cortigiani vil razza dannata" and "La donna è mobile." At head of the Staatskapelle Dresden, the conductor Fabio Luisi enhances Rigoletto's score.
The argument of Rigoletto deals with the amatory escapades of the Duca di Mantova. Rigoletto, his jester, is a hunchback. He has made many enemies at court with his unscrupulous conduct. Count Monterone, who comes to address the court after his daughter is dishonoured by the Duke, is met by the jester with laughter and derision. The Count curses Rigoletto, who is stricken with superstitious terror.
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Behind the scenes