Rigoletto: Arena di Verona — 100th Opera Festival

Verona, Arena di Verona

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About the Event

The city of Mantova is brought into the Arena by director Ivo Guerra who stages Rigoletto, an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi on the drama of Victor Hugo's Le Roi s'amuse.

Rigoletto is a three‐act play by Guiseppe Verdi written in 1851 and based on Victor Hugo’s play 'Le Roi s’amuse' (Fr.: The king amuses himself). The play was banned by the censors for its depiction of immorality and satirical undermining of royal authority, therefore in Verdi’s opera the character of the king becomes a duke. 'Rigoletto' was the first of Verdi's masterpiece to achieve immediate box‐office success following its premiere at the Teatro 'La Fenice' in Venice.

Act 1
A party at the court of the Duke of Mantua. Rigoletto makes jokes at the expense of Count Monterone, whose daughter has been seduced by the Duke, and Monterone curses Rigoletto. Despite Rigoletto's best efforts to shield his daughter Gilda from the outside world, she has met and fallen in love with the lascivious Duke, disguised as a simple student. The Duke and his henchmen kidnap Gilda from her home, leaving Rigoletto devastated.

Act 2
The next morning, the Duke's henchmen gleefully recount the kidnapping. Rigoletto arrives at the Duke's palace, desperate to discover what has happened to Gilda. When he finds her and learns that she has been with the Duke, Rigoletto becomes obsessed with vengeance.

Act 3
Rigoletto hires a hitman named Sparfucile to murder the Duke. Sparfucile's seductive sister Maddelena lures the Duke to an isolated inn. Rigoletto forces Gilda to witness the Duke flirting with Maddalena. Maddelena feels drawn to the Duke, and asks Sparfucile to spare him Sparfucile agrees to do so, if anyone should arrive to die in the Duke's place. Still in love with the Duke, Gilda enters the inn and is killed. Rigoletto discovers that his plot has resulted in Gilda's death, and Monterone's curse is complete.

Practical Information

Included are:
- Ticket to the opera performance in the chosen category
- two months, no‐obligation access to a premium classical music streaming service
- self‐guided audio tour of Verona in English


  • Verdi, Giuseppe – Rigoletto
Program is subject to change


Arena di Verona, Piazza Bra 28, Verona, Italy — Google Maps

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