Production by the St.
Petersburg Chamber Opera at the Hermitage Theatre.
The performance has been nominated for Golden Mask, Russian national theatre award.
Verdi himself believed that the plot of “Rigoletto”, borrowed from “The King amuses himself”, drama by Victor Hugo, was the best one ever set to music by him. For the first time in opera history the main character was an old hunchback, a court jester, a hypocrite, hateful to the world. He cruelly avenges himself on all those who do not have a hump on their back.
The director offered a new version of this psychological drama, where instead of being merely a hunchback, the court jester is a sarcastic, smart, and angry man, who, by the way, is not old at all. His hump and his mask are nothing but a clownish appearance that he wears only at the Duke’s court. However, moral ugliness can not be thrown away like a mask. An extraordinary man, forced to endure constant humiliation, he entertains himself with intrigues, willingly taking part in all dirty amusements of his lord and his entourage. The fate punishes Rigoletto for his cruelty, making him kill his own daughter, Gilda.
Luxurious, exquisite costumes immerse the audience in the historic atmosphere. The characters of the play, dressed in expensive fabrics and whimsical masks, seem to have come directly from the paintings of the old masters.
The performance is solid, full of thoughtful details, and just beautiful. Both acting and superb musical performance correspond to the idea of the composer himself who was the creator of the musical drama genre.
Music: Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave after the tragedy “Le roi s´amuse” by Victor Hugo