For Immediate Release September 24, 2012
Contact: Debra L. Bell, Director of Marketing and Communications
Office: (412) 281-0912 ext 214 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pittsburgh Opera opens 2012-13 season with Rigoletto
What: Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Rigoletto
Where: Benedum Center for the Performing Arts
7th Street and Penn Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh
When: Saturday, October 6, 8:00 PM Tuesday, October 9, 7:00 PM
Friday, October 12, 8:00 PM Sunday, October 14, 2:00 PM
Run Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes, including 2 intermissions
Language: Sung in Italian with English titles projected above the stage
Tickets: Start at $10 for all performances.
Call 412-456-6666 for more information or visit www.pittsburghopera.org
Related Events: FREE Meet the Artists and Brown Bag Concert.
Pittsburgh, PA…Pittsburgh Opera brings a handsome production of Verdi’s Rigoletto to the Benedum stage to begin the 2012-13 opera season of classics. The tragic tale of the court jester bent on revenge features Pittsburgh favorite Mark Delavan (Falstaff, 2009; Tosca, 2012) in the title role, with Lyubov Petrova (Ariadne auf Naxos, 2006) as Gilda and Michael Wade Lee in his Pittsburgh Opera debut as the Duke of Mantua. Rigoletto’s dramatic twists and turns and its well-known tunes such as “La donna è mobile,” “Si, vendetta” and “Questa o quella” make this opera a perpetual favorite. It’s said that immediately after Rigoletto’s premiere in 1851, “La donna è mobile” was sung and whistled in the streets, making it an instant classic.
Opening on the grandeur of the Duke’s of Mantua’s court and ending with tragic death outside a seedy inn, Verdi’s masterful Rigoletto is the story of a father’s love for his daughter, a curse, rage, revenge, and ultimately, tragedy. The impressive cast features a debut by Raymond Aceto as the assassin Sparafucile, a return for former Resident Artist Adam Fry (Tosca, 2012; The Abduction from the Seraglio, 2012), and also showcases seven Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artists in supporting roles: Juan José de León as
Matteo Borsa; Jasmine Muhammad as Countess Ceprano; Kyle Oliver as Marullo; Joseph Barron as Monterone; Nicole Rodin as Giovanna; Meredith Lustig as the Page, and Samantha Korbey as Maddalena. Music Director Antony Walker returns to conduct, fresh from critically-acclaimed performances of Bellini’s La sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) at Washington Concert Opera; Linda Brovsky (L’elisir d’amore, 1998) returns as stage director.
Tickets to Rigoletto start at $10, with all performances at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, 7th Street and Penn Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh. For additional information or to purchase tickets call 412-456-6666 or visit www.pittsburghopera.org.
Facts about the opera
Rigoletto underwent many revisions during arguments with censors who thought the royal antagonist’s amoral character too closely resembled a real French monarch (Francis I, lampooned by Victor Hugo in Le roi s’amuse). Verdi and librettist Piave finally settled on a duke from the extinct Gonzaga noble family in Mantua, so that no living officials could be offended.
At the premiere of Rigoletto, Verdi had to roughly shove his anxious, overly-humped Rigoletto (Felice Varesi) out onto the stage, so that he appeared to tumble on his first entrance. The audience thought it was intentional, and applauded.
Rigoletto, a jester in the Duke of Mantua’s court, is suspected of keeping a mistress. When the nobleman Monterone denounces the Duke for seducing his daughter, Rigoletto ridicules him, and he curses both the Duke and his jester. At home, Rigoletto reminisces about his late wife with his daughter, Gilda, whom he keeps hidden. Nevertheless, the Duke gains entry, claims to be a student, and declares his love to Gilda, but runs away when the courtiers stop Rigoletto outside his house. They blindfold him while they abduct Gilda, and, hearing her cries, Rigoletto rushes into the house. Realizing she is gone, he remembers Monterone's curse.
At court, the Duke is distraught over Gilda’s disappearance until the courtiers reveal that she is in his bedchamber, and he rushes to the conquest. Rigoletto comes in looking for Gilda, and reveals to the courtiers that she is not his mistress, but his daughter. A disheveled Gilda appears and Rigoletto vows revenge.
At night, at the assassin Sparafucile’s inn, Rigoletto and Gilda watch as the Duke flirts with the assassin's sister and accomplice, Maddalena. Rigoletto sends Gilda away to prepare for escape, and pays Sparafucile to murder the Duke. As a storm rages, Gilda returns to hear Maddalena persuade her brother not to kill the Duke, but kill the next visitor instead. Resolving to sacrifice herself for the Duke, Gilda enters and is stabbed. Rigoletto comes back to claim the Duke’s body and gloats over the sack Sparafucile gives him, only to hear his supposed victim singing in the distance. Frantically opening the sack, he finds Gilda, who dies asking forgiveness. Monterone's curse is fulfilled.
Rigoletto opens Saturday, October 6 and continues October 9, 12, and 14, 2012. Tickets start at $10. Call 412-456-6666 or visitwww.pittsburghopera.org .
The Pittsburgh Opera 2012-2013 season is generously sponsored by PNC Foundation.
Tickets and Group Discounts
Tickets for all performances of Rigoletto start at $10. Group discounts are available. For tickets, call (412) 456-6666 or visit www.pittsburghopera.org. For discounted group tickets (6 or more), contact Randy Adams at 412-281-0912, x 213.
Pittsburgh Opera’s 2012-2013 season continues a 74-year tradition of excellence in opera. As part of the Company’s continued efforts to make opera accessible to all members of the community, single tickets for the 2012-2013 season again start at just $10, with subscriptions starting at just $43 for four operas.
Rigoletto October 6, 9, 12, 14, 2012
Don Giovanni November 3, 6, 9, 11, 2012
Il matrimonio segreto January 26, 29; February 1, 3, 2013
Cabaret 2013 February 22, 23, 24, 26, 2013
Madama Butterfly March 16, 19; 22, 24, 2013
La cenerentola April 27, 30; May 3, 5, 2013
Single tickets for as little as $10
Season subscriptions for as little as $43
For ticket information visit our website www.pittsburghopera.org or call (412) 281-0912
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