The first part of Verdi's 'popular trilogy'—alongside Il Trovatore and La Traviata—Rigoletto tells the story of the eponymous character, an evil buffoon in court by day, a protective and tender father at home by night. He protects his daughter Gilda in vain, since his master, the Duke, makes himself love her and deflowers her. Wishing to avenge his honor, Rigoletto provokes the death of his beloved child. In this moving masterpiece, Verdi shifts the traditional focus of melodrama from the lord to the grotesque, deformed buffoon. This was not the composer's initial choice, but it ultimately constitutes a step forward in Verdi's dramatic conception; the Venetian censors did not authorize the opera in its original form, as it undermined a royal character (as in Victor Hugo's historical drama Le Roi s'amuse, which inspired the libretto). Verdi then replaced the King by the Duke of Mantua, but the censor still refused: the story is impious, the love affairs too daring...the composer was then obliged to pay more attention to the ambigious character of Rigoletto, both pitiful and odious, who serves as a thread within the opera and whose pscyhology is analyzed in depth.
On the formal level, Verdi replaced the aria as the fundamental unit by the scene, and thus sought greater musical cohesion: the scene can contain arias, duets, and chorsuses, but their placement and duration are dependent on the dramatic structure of the scene, whereas previously, the scene simply marked the addition of conventional independent numbers (recitative, aria, cabaletta, and ensemble). This technical invention is full of merit, but the most remarkable aspect of Rigoletto is certainly the continuous level of inspiration that is expressed through refined orchestral writing, a breathless melodic profusion, and the incredible characterization of the characters.
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medici.tv is the best online platform for live streaming Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto opera, offering you a VIP ticket to the most famous productions with world-class artists captured in the best audio quality and HD video. A cornerstone of the operatic repertoire, Rigoletto comprises a number of stunning musical works and arias, from the dramatic orchestral overture to the sparkling Figlia! Mio padre, the romantic Bella figura dell'amor, and the timeless La donna è mobile from act III. Rediscover the adventures of glamorous protagonists tenor Duke of Mantua, baritone jester Rigoletto, his soprano daughter Gilda, bass hired assassin Sparafucile, his mezzo-soprano sister Maddalena, alongside a host of other characters on medici.tv at any place and any time!
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Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) was a Romantic Italian composer, best known for his operas and particularly celebrated for Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La traviata, forming the pillars of the Italian operatic repertoire. This exceptional three-act opéra comique, based on the controversial play Le roi s’amuse by Victor Hugo, was initially censored by the French government, but after several subsequent submissions and revisions of the plot, the premiere was well-received in its republished form in Venice in 1851. Set in Mantua, the opera revolves around the amatory escapes of the Duke of Mantua, cheered on by his jester, Rigoletto, who has made enemies at court due to his unscrupulous conduct. Count Monterone comes to address the court after his daughter is dishonoured by the Duke, but is met by the jester with derision. The Count curses Rigoletto, who is then struck with superstitious terror…With masterfully clear orchestral writing, pointed musical and psychological characterization, melodic innovation, and dramatic cohesion, Rigoletto marks a classic operatic oeuvre which shows Verdi using the scene (as opposed to the aria) as the fundamental block of his musical dramas. Listen to new and old set productions of this groundbreaking masterpiece with medici.tv’s online music streaming experience!