Verdi composed Rigoletto
in the mid 1800’s and it was first performed in 1851 in Venice at La Fenice. Verdi is ranked amongst 19th
Century’s most influential music composers. He based Rigoletto
on the work of world renowned French poet, novelist and playwright Sir Victor Hugo called Le roi s’amuse. Francesco Maria Piave wrote the Italian libretto version of it. The opera came to London at the Covert Garden at the Royal Opera House in 1853. In the year 1885 it was seen in New York at the Academy of Music. This play of Victor Hugo was bold, intrepid and controversial, and due to this it faced a ban for many years in France as discussing these topics were not allowed during the restoration period in Europe.
Giuseppe Verdi was born in a village near Busseto in Italy. He went to Milan for studies and there he attended opera performances. He also took private lessons in music and eventually was advised by friends to pursue a career in music as a composer of theater music. When Giuseppe returned to Busseto he was supported by a famous local trader who loved his music and Giuseppe became the music master of the town. Giuseppe gave his first ever performance in the year 1830. Some of his world famous works are Oberto, Nabucco, I Lombardi alla prima crociata, Emani, I due Foscari, Alzira, Attila, Macbeth, II corsaro, La battaglia di Leganano. Aida, Otello and Falstaff
are his last three works that he composed in 1871, 1887 and 1893 respectively.
The required instruments for the opera are 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 oboes, 2 flutes, bass drum, timpani, cimbasso and 3 trombones. Offstage instruments include bells, bass drums, banda and machine to create the sound of thunder. Some members of the original orchestra included Felice Varesi as Rigoletto
as the Duke’s jester
(baritone), Paola Damini as Sparafucile an assassin
(bass), Teresa Brambilla as Gilda who is Rigoletto’s daughter
(soprano), Raffaele Mirate as Duke of Mantua
(tenor), Laura Saini as Giovanna Gilda’s sister
(mezzo-soprano), Annetta Casaloni as Maddalena playing a sister
(contralto) and Andrea Bellini as Count Ceprano
This play of Victor Hugo primarily deals with the escapades of Francs 1, who was the king of France from 1515 till 1547. The literal translation of Le roi s’amuse
is “The King’s Fool” or “The King has Fun”. The play was allegedly believed to be insulting the French King therefore it was banned for almost fifty years. Verdi also faced criticism due to this and eventually Verdi had to move it to Mantua from France on the order of Austrian Authorities in Venice.
Most of the critics as well as music fans have a high regard for Rigoletto
. Some famous numbers of this opera have taken roots even in popular culture clearly proving the class of it. Fans our advice to you is don’t wait just book your Rigoletto Tickets
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