The Met: Live in HD Presents Verdi's RIGOLETTO, 6/18
*check local theaters for dates and times.
In his acclaimed new production that was the talk of the opera world when it premiered in 2013, Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) moves the opera's tragic events from a decadent 16th-century Italian court to the glitzy, depraved setting of the Las Vegas strip circa 1960. As featured on 60 Minutes, this bold new vision stars Polish tenor Piotr Beczala as the Duke, an amoral lounge singer whose entourage includes the world-weary comedian Rigoletto, sung by Serbian baritone Željko Lucic. German soprano Diana Damrau sings the role of the innocent Gilda, Rigoletto's daughter and the victim of the predatory Duke. Slovakian bass Štefan Kocán is the assassin-for-hire Sparafucile and Belarusian mezzo-soprano Oksana Volkova makes her Met debut as his seductive sister, Maddalena. Italian conductor Michele Mariotti leads the Verdi masterwork, which features one of the most famous arias in all of opera, "La donna è mobile." (Running time: approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes)
"Rigoletto hits the jackpot."-Associated Press
"It's impossible not to like the new production. It's wildly entertaining, inventive, strangely funny and yet also deeply sad... Mayer captures both the emotional depth and surface glitter in an audacious staging.... The audience whooped approval at the end."-Bloomberg News
As Rigoletto, Željko Lucic's "voice is big and penetrating, focused and true... His phrasing is supple and elegant," and Diana Damrau sings Gilda "radiantly, combining agile coloratura with plush, vibrant sound, the embodiment of youthful yearning and restlessness."-The New York Times
As the Duke, Piotr Beczala displays a "big, beautiful tenor with great presence," and Mayer's production "gives a contemporary immediacy to this tale of how power and vice corrupt everything around them... The strong cast of principals carries out the concept with gusto."-The Wall Street Journal
Photo Credit: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera