At The Opera, Verdi: Rigoletto, January 28, 2017
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Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo. Despite serious initial problems with the Austrian censors who had control over northern Italian theatres at the time, the opera had a triumphant premiere at La Fenice in Venice on March 11, 1851.
It is considered by many to be the first of the operatic masterpieces of Verdi's middle-to-late career. Its tragic story revolves around the licentious Duke of Mantua, his hunch-backed court jester Rigoletto and Rigoletto's beautiful daughter Gilda. The opera's original title, La maledizione (The Curse), refers to the curse placed on both the Duke and Rigoletto by a courtier whose daughter had been seduced by the Duke with Rigoletto's encouragement. The curse comes to fruition when Gilda likewise falls in love with the Duke and eventually sacrifices her life to save him from the assassins hired by her father.
Robert Merrill – Rigoletto
Richard Tucker – The Duke
Roberta Peters – Gilda
Recorded live at the Metropolitan Opera February 22, 1964.
Fausto Cleva - conductor
Cavalleria rusticana, opera Intemezzo
Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony; Ondrej Lenard, conductor
Rigoletto live 1964
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; Fausta Cleva, conductor
Cotrubas, Domingo, Milnes
La Traviata excerpts
; Carlos Kleiber, conductor
Giovanni Martinelli - selected arias on Nimbus
; various, conductor
Kiri Te Kanawa
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), opera, K. 492: Dove sono
Die Zauberflote(The Magic Flute), opera, K. 620: Der VogelfÃ¤nger bin ich ja
Norma Casta diva
Turandot, opera: In questa reggia
London Symphony; Zubin Mehta, conductor Joan Sutherland / Luciano Pavarotti