Utah Opera will present Verdi’s masterpiece “Rigoletto” in January
Published: December 21, 2011 11:42AM
Updated: December 21, 2011 11:42AM


Utah Opera will present Verdi’s masterpiece “Rigoletto,” a classic tale of revenge and regret, at the Capitol Theatre January 21, 23, 25 and 27 at 7:30 p.m. and January 29 at 2 p.m.

From the press release, since my Verdi knowledge is a little shaky:

Verdi’s opera follows Rigoletto, a hunchbacked jester notorious for ridiculing and mocking the fathers and husbands of the women dishonored by the Duke of Mantua. Rigoletto’s malicious tongue ultimately earns him a curse that haunts his every step toward revenge against the Duke for deceiving his own daughter, Gilda. In his vengeful chase, Rigoletto pays an assassin to trick and kill the duke, but finds he is the fool and instead pays for his cruel mockeries with a loss of horrific proportion.

“Rigoletto” has become a staple of the standard operatic repertoire. It contains some of opera’s most recognizable arias, such as “Questa o Quella,” “Caro Nome” and “La Donna é Mobile,” and is considered to be the first masterpiece of Verdi’s middle-to-late career.

Cast members include Guido LeBrón as Rigoletto, Robert McPherson as the Duke of Mantua, Eric Jordan as Sparafucile and local Utah favorite Celena Shafer as Gilda, Directed by Tara Faircloth.

The Utah Symphony will accompany each performance, conducted by Robert Tweten.

The opera will be sung in Italian with English supertitles with two 20-minute intermissions and an approximate final curtain time at 9:45 p.m. for evening performances and 4:15 p.m. for the matinee.

Utah Opera’s customary Opera Preview Lectures have been replaced this season with sets of in-depth online learning materials. The online course for “Rigoletto,” prepared by Dr. Paul Dorgan of the University of Utah’s School of Music, will become available January 7, free of charge, and will highlight the opera’s origin, as well as composer Giuseppe Verdi, librettist Francesco Maria Piave and “Le roi s'amuse,” the play by Victor Hugo on which the opera was based. Opera enthusiasts will also be able to access audio and video recordings of the opera and a YouTube guide to the story and music in this interactive course by clicking the “learn more” button on the “Rigoletto” page at www.utahopera.org.

Utah Opera Principal Coach Carol Anderson will offer an Opera Prelude Lecture, free of charge, in the front of the orchestra seating level of Capitol Theatre one hour before curtain of each performance.

Utah Opera Artistic Director Christopher McBeth will hold a Q&A session, free of charge, immediately following each performance in the Founders room on the mezzanine level at Capitol Theatre (50 West 200 South).

Tickets for the performances range from $16 to $75 and can be purchased by calling (801) 355-ARTS (2787), in person at the Abravanel Hall ticket office or by visiting www.usuo.org. Students can purchase discounted tickets with a student ID. Ticket prices will increase $5 when purchased on the day of the performance.