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Rigoletto: Sydney Opera House

About the Event

Seize this opportunity at the beautiful Sydney Opera House in Sydney to experience the breathtaking opear performance of Verdi's Rigoletto.

Sung in Italian with English surtitles

Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House hosts performances from many genres in Sydney, Australia. One of the 20th Century's most famous and distinctive structures, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Opera House was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon as a multiple performance venue. The complex hosts more than 1.2 million people annually with a season of 1,500 performances. Performers include international and local guest artists, and three resident companies: the Sydney Theatre Company, Opera Australia, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.


Rigoletto is a three‐act play by Guiseppe Verdi written in 1851 and based on Victor Gugo’s play Le Roi S’amuse Fr.: The king has fun. The play was banned by the censors for its immoral character and sabotaging the authority of king’s court, therefore in Verdi’s opera the king’s character was substituted with a duke. Rigoletto is thought to be the composer’s first opera masterpiece which presented an immediate box‐office success since its premiere in La Fenice Theatre in Venice.

Act One
The first act opens with a party at the court of the Duke of Mantua. When Rigoletto jokes at the expense of Count Monterone, whose daughter has been seduced by the Duke, Monterone calls down a curse upon Rigoletto. Later, we learn that 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. When the Duke's henchmen kidnap Gilda from her home, Rigoletto is devastated.

Act Two
Act Two opens the next morning, with the Duke's henchmen gleefully recounting their 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 Three
In Act Three, Rigoletto hires a hitman named Sparfucile to murder the Duke. Sparfucile's seductive sister Maddelena lures the Duke to an isolated inn. Maddelena feels drawn to the Duke, and asks Sparfucile to spare him Sparfucile agrees to do so if anyone arrives to die in the Duke's place. Gilda overhears this conversation. Still tragically in love with the Duke, she enters the inn and is killed. Rigoletto discovers that his plot has resulted in Gilda's death, and Monterone's curse is complete.

Cast / Production

CONDUCTOR: Renato Palumbo
DIRECTOR: Elijah Moshinsky
REVIVAL DIRECTOR: Shane Placentino

RIGOLETTO: Ernesto Petti
GILDA: Stacey Alleaume
MONTERONE: David Parkin
SPARAFUCILE: Roberto Scandiuzzi
MARULLO: Luke Gabbedy
BORSA: Virgilio Marino
CEPRANO: Anthony Mackey
GIOVANNA: Sian Sharp
PAGE: Jennifer Bonner
USHER: Nathan Lay

Opera Australia Chorus
Opera Australia Orchestra

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