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 Giuseppe Verdi's artistic life, the opera resonates with a universality that is frequently called Shakespearean.
The tragic jester returns in a neon-bedecked, Las Vegas-themed production from Michael Mayer. Baritones Roberto Frontali and George Gagnidze share the title role, and soprano Nadine Sierra reprises her portrayal of Gilda, the role that helped launch her now-blossoming Met career. Tenors Vittorio Grigolo and Bryan Hymel share the role of the lascivious Duke, and Nicola Luisotti conducts.