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Rigoletto (1982)

This summary contains the complete plot of the opera Rigoletto by Guiseppi Verdi. Rigoletto is a jester in the court of the Duke of Mantua. He has a hunch-back and he's rather unattractive,... See full summary »


(play), (libretto)

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Cast overview:
Ingvar Wixell ...
Ferruccio Furlanetto ...
Victoria Vergara ...
Fedora Barbieri ...
Bernd Weikl ...
Marullo (singing voice)
Roland Bracht ...
Louis Otey ...
Rémy Corazza ...
Kathleen Kuhlmann ...


This summary contains the complete plot of the opera Rigoletto by Guiseppi Verdi. Rigoletto is a jester in the court of the Duke of Mantua. He has a hunch-back and he's rather unattractive, but he's good at his job of humiliating the courtiers for the amusement of the Duke. The courtiers, of course, are not amused. The Duke is a ladies man who feels his life would be meaningless if he couldn't chase every skirt he sees. In fact, we learn as the opera begins that he's recently been noticing a young lady every Sunday on her way to church, and he's vowed to have his way with her. What nobody realizes is that the girl is the jester's beloved daughter, Gilda, and that Gilda has seen the Duke every Sunday and is smitten with him. Suddenly Count Monterone appears at court, furious that the Duke has seduced his daughter. Rigoletto ridicules Monterone, the Duke laughs, and Monterone casts an awful curse on both of them. Later, the courtiers discover that Rigoletto is secretly living with Gilda... Written by Bill Anderson <billanderson@my-deja.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Music





Release Date:

24 January 1992 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Ponnelle Leaves His Signature
23 December 2000 | by (Cleveland,Ohio) – See all my reviews

There is really nothing to say about the musical aspects of this production:it's all very well-done.We have to look at the directoral touches that Ponnelle has left on the production.And,boy,he wrote his name on this in red paint.First,I think that Ponnelle has an obsession with the early Renaissance-look where he placed "The Coronation of Poppea".And Rigoletto is not an early,but a middle Renaissance setting.The ducal court is not only licentious,but also depraved and unsanitary.Mice in the salad!And the party at the beginning throws in everything including the kitchen sink.The minor characters are all strikingly portrayed-and Bracht's cyclopean Ceprano is a physical indication of the corruption and taint of the court.Pavarotti,as the Duke,is a case-book psychopath.Lusty,charming,extroverted,and a creature at the mercy of his appetites and impulses,he lacks the faintest trace of mercy,compassion,and decency.Violent,vicious,and totally without morals,he will,and does destroy anyone who gets in his way.Interesting idea to have Wixell play both Rigoletto and Count Monterone-emphasizes the parallel between the two characters,but you could only do it in a film.Furlanetto's Sparafucile is a clinical example of Paranoid Schizophrenia;this guy is not living in the same reality that the rest of us inhabit.And Gruberova's Gilda,splendidly sung,is a little too sweet for my tastes;the character should display some ambiguous traits.The emphasis in this production is on evil,corruption,depravity,and every other noxious trait on the list.Save Gilda(and the Count of Monterone)none of these portrayals offers a redeeming grace.

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