Rigoletto





In three acts by VERDI.



Text by PIAVE from VICTOR HUGO'S drama: "Le roi s'amuse".





No opera has become popular in so short a time as Rigoletto in Italy.

The music is very winning and is, like all that Verdi has

written, full of exquisite melodies.



In Germany it has not met with the same favor, which is due in great

part to its awful libretto, which is a faithful copy of Hugo's drama,

and developed in a truly dramatic manner. The subject is however

rather disgusting. Excepting Gilda, we do not meet with one noble

character.



The Duke of Mantua, a wild and debauched youth, covets every girl or

woman he sees, and is assisted in his vile purposes by his jester,

Rigoletto an ugly, hump-backed man. We meet him first helping the Duke

to seduce the wife of Count Ceprano, and afterwards the wife of Count

Monterone. Both husbands curse the vile Rigoletto and swear to be

avenged. Monterone especially, appearing like a ghost in the midst of

a festival, hurls such a fearful curse at them, that Rigoletto shudders.



This bad man has one tender point, it is his blind love for his

beautiful daughter Gilda, whom he brings up carefully, keeping her

hidden from the world and shielding her from all wickedness.



But the cunning Duke discovers her and gains her love under the assumed

name of a student, named Gualtier Malde.



Gilda is finally carried off by Ceprano and two other courtiers, aided

by her own father, who holds the ladder believing that Count Ceprano's

wife is to be the victim.--A mask blinds Rigoletto and he discovers,

too late, by Gilda's cries that he has been duped. Gilda is

brought to the Duke's palace.--Rigoletto appears in the midst of the

courtiers to claim Gilda, and then they hear that she, whom they

believed to be his mistress, is his daughter, for whose honor he is

willing to sacrifice everything.--Gilda enters and though she sees that

she has been deceived, she implores her father to pardon the Duke, whom

she still loves. But Rigoletto vows vengeance, and engages Sparafucile

to stab the Duke. Sparafucile decoys him into his inn, where his

sister Maddalena awaits him. She too is enamoured of the Duke, who

makes love to her, as to all young females, and she entreats her

brother to have mercy on him. Sparafucile declares that he will wait

until midnight, and will spare him, if another victim should turn up

before then. Meanwhile Rigoletto persuades his daughter to fly from

the Duke's pursuit, but before he takes her away, he wants to show her

lover's fickleness, in order to cure her of her love.



She comes to the inn in masculine attire, and hearing the discourse

between Sparafucile and his sister, resolves to save her lover. She

enters the inn and is instantly put to death, placed in a sack and

given to Rigoletto, who proceeds to the river to dispose of the corpse.

At this instant he hears the voice of the Duke, who passes by, singing

a frivolous tune. Terrified, Rigoletto opens the sack, and recognizes

his daughter, who is yet able to tell him, that she gave her life for

that of her seducer and then expires. With an awful cry, the

unhappy father sinks upon the corpse. Count Monterone's curse has been

fulfilled.





Rienzi The Last Of The Tribunes Robert Le Diable facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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