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VIDEO: Get A First Look At The Met's RIGOLETTO

Now on stage through June 11th.

Get a first look at The Met's production of Rigoletto, now on stage through June 11th.

The Met rings in the new year with the gala premiere of a bold new take on Verdi's timeless tragedy from Bartlett Sher. The Tony Award­-winning director resets the opera's action in 1920s Europe, with Art Deco sets by Michael Yeargan and elegant costumes by Catherine Zuber, themselves boasting a combined eight Tony Awards.

Baritone Quinn Kelsey, a commanding artist at the height of his powers, brings his searing portrayal of the title role to the Met for the first time, starring alongside soprano Rosa Feola as Gilda and tenor Piotr Beczała as the Duke of Mantua, with leading maestro Daniele Rustioni on the podium. A second run of performances in the spring features soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan, and tenor Stephen Costello, conducted by Karel Mark Chichon.

A dramatic journey of undeniable force, Rigoletto was immensely popular from its premiere and remains fresh and powerful to this day. The story, based on a controversial play by Victor Hugo, tells of an outsider-a hunchbacked jester-who struggles to balance the dueling elements of beauty and evil that exist in his life. Written during the most fertile period of Verdi's artistic life, the opera resonates with a universality that is frequently called Shakespearean.

Rigoletto contains a wealth of melody, including one that is among the world's most famous: "La donna è mobile." All the opera's solos are rich with character insight and dramatic development. The famous Act III quartet, "Bella figlia dell'amore," is an ingenious musical analysis of the diverging reactions of the four principals in the same moment: the Duke's music rises with urgency and impatience, Gilda's droops with disappointment, Rigoletto's remains measured and paternal, while the promiscuous Maddalena is literally all over the place. In the context of the opera, the merely lovely music becomes inspired drama.

Rosa Feola sings Gilda's Act I aria in the New Year's Eve gala premiere of Bartlett Sher's new production.

Piotr Beczała sings the Duke of Mantua's Act II aria in the New Year's Eve gala premiere of Bartlett Sher's new production.

Quinn Kelsey sings Rigoletto's Act II aria in the New Year's Eve gala premiere of Bartlett Sher's new production.



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