Rigoletto 

Giuseppe Verdi

22 January – 1 April 2022

This event has passed.

His difference is his curse

In a world controlled by the privileged and powerful, Rigoletto is loathed and mocked for his difference. The only thing he lives for is his beautiful daughter Gilda, whom he hides away from a corrupt society. But when she is discovered by the predatory Duke, Rigoletto sets out on a path of vengeance from which there is no return.

Verdi’s dramatic masterpiece contains some of his most passionate music including the instantly recognisable melody of the Duke’s song ‘La donna è mobile’. Leading UK theatre artist, Femi Elufowoju jr directs this new production that maps identity and inequality onto a contemporary canvas to powerful effect.

“a bold, innovative and purposeful re-imagining”
★★★★★ — The Telegraph

“This new take on Rigoletto really works… chillingly excellent…”
★★★★ — The Guardian

“a landmark production… spectacular…”
★★★★★ — Bachtrack

Please be aware that Act III of Rigoletto includes flashing lights.

#ONRigoletto

Price
From £15*

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Running time
Approximately 2 hours 40 minutes

Language
Sung in Italian with English titles

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*Prices vary by venue. Booking fees may apply.

Story

The womanising Duke of Mantua is throwing a party in his basement – a private art gallery. The Duke mentions the women that he is eyeing up, and Rigoletto, the Duke’s jester, mocks the husbands of his employer’s conquests. He also mocks Monterone, a statesman whose underage daughter has been seduced, who fires a curse back at Rigoletto.

Rigoletto, terrified by the curse, returns to his safehouse to check on his own daughter Gilda, who he keeps hidden away. But in spite of his precautions, the Duke, disguised as a poor student, follows his Head of Security Sparafucile to Rigoletto’s hideout. He swears his love for Gilda, who falls for him completely.

Later that night, smarting from Rigoletto’s insults, a group of the Duke’s guests plot to kidnap Gilda (who they actually believe at this point to be the jester’s secret mistress). Rigoletto is tricked into assisting with the abduction and is distraught when he realises what has happened. The curse has begun…

The next morning, Rigoletto returns to the Duke’s court, desperately searching for Gilda. He tries to be nonchalant but is overcome with fear and anger, and begs for his daughter’s return. Suddenly Gilda appears, devastated. She confesses to her father everything that has happened.

Rigoletto is furious and swears he will have revenge on the Duke, but Gilda pleads for mercy, as she is still deeply in love with him. Rigoletto makes a plan for both him and his daughter to leave Mantua.

Rigoletto has arranged for Sparafucile (the Duke’s Head of Security) to assassinate his own boss. Sparafucile will use his sister Maddalena as bait in their secret lair – a location on the other side of town.

The Duke arrives and flirts with Maddalena. Gilda, who Rigoletto has brought to watch to convince her of the Duke’s true nature, is heartbroken. Rigoletto sends her away to get ready for their departure from Mantua, and then confirms the arrangements with Sparafucile. But Maddalena, hearing the plan, begs her brother to spare the man that she too has now fallen in love with. He says that unless Maddalena can find another victim before midnight, the Duke will die.

Gilda, dressed as a boy  and ready to leave, overhears and decides to sacrifice herself to save the man she still loves. She is stabbed by Sparafucile. Rigoletto returns to collect the body bag in which he expects to find the dead Duke, but when he opens it he finds his own daughter, fatally wounded. The curse has come to pass.

Access

This audio introduction gives detailed information about the story, the sets and costumes, the cast list, and the dates and venues of the performances.

It is to aid customers who are blind or partially sighted. Please note, the story and the details of the sets and costumes contain spoilers, so avoid them if you would prefer not to know what happens!

Introduction — 0:00
Story —3:15
Sets — 4:24
Characters and costumes – 8:39
Creative team – 17:13
Further information — 17:36

Cast & creative

Roman Arndt

DUKE OF MANTUA

Eric Greene

RIGOLETTO

Jasmine Habersham

GILDA

Callum Thorpe

SPARAFUCILE

Alyona Abramova

MADDALENA

Hazel Croft
Hazel Croft

GIOVANNA

Sir Willard White

COUNT MONTERONE

Themba Mvula

MARULLO

Campbell Russell 

MATTEO BORSA

Ross McInroy
Ross McInroy

COUNT CEPRANO

Molly Barker

COUNTESS CEPRANO

Gordon D. Shaw
Gordon D. Shaw

COURT USHER / BODYGUARD

Image of conductor Garry Walker
Garry Walker

CONDUCTOR (EXC. 19 FEB, 16 MAR)

Patrick Milne

CONDUCTOR (19 FEB, 16 MAR)

Femi Elufowoju jr

DIRECTOR

Rae Smith

SET AND COSTUME DESIGNER

Howard Hudson

LIGHTING DESIGNER

Laila Diallo

MOVEMENT

Alison de Burgh

FIGHT DIRECTOR

Rigoletto 
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