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2000 production photo from Rigoletto

Rigoletto 2000

June 30 - August 26, 2000

Misfired revenge and betrayals galore…

Women are but playthings to the Duke of Mantua. Even court jester Rigoletto is helpless to preserve the honor of his daughter, Gilda. With one gorgeous melody after another, Verdi wreaks heartbreak in the first of his masterpieces.


Music By
Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto By
Francesco Maria Piave


Act I

Scene I. The Duke’s Court – Evening. The Duke of Mantua, an incorrigible womanizer, boasts of his amours to his courtiers, but his jester, the hunchback Rigoletto, goes too far in ridiculing first the husband of the Duke’s latest conquest and then the father of another. The father, Monterone, delivers a scalding curse on Rigoletto, a curse that comes to haunt him fatally.

Scene 2. Rigoletto’s house and the street outside – Later that night. The courtiers plot to kidnap a young girl whom they believe to be Rigoletto’s mistress. She is, however, his beloved daughter Gilda, recently returned from a convent. Although he has sought to protect her from the outside world, she has secretly been exchanging amorous glances with a young man in church. That young man is the Duke, pretending to be a poor student. Leaving Gilda in the care of his housekeeper, Rigoletto goes to join the courtiers, but in the dark the Duke manages to slip past him into the house. The two lovers exchange rapturous vows.

Outside, the courtiers claim to be abducting the wife of a nobleman for the Duke’s pleasure. Actually it is Gilda they are after, and they dupe Rigoletto into holding a ladder while they make away with her. When he realizes what has happened, Rigoletto remembers Monterone’s curse.

Act II

The Duke’s Palace – The next morning. The Duke is bewildered by Gilda’s mysterious disappearance. The courtiers gleefully describe the abduction of Rigoletto’s “mistress,” whom they have placed in the Duke’s bedroom. The Duke rushes to her.

Rigoletto is frantic to find his daughter and vilifies the courtiers. They are astonished to learn he is Gilda’s father. When the two are reunited, Gilda confesses her love for the Duke. Monterone addresses the Duke’s portrait on his way to prison, regretting he has escaped his wrath. Unmoved by Gilda’s pleas, Rigoletto vows revenge.


Sparafucile’s Inn – A few days later. Accompanied by Gilda, Rigoletto seeks out Sparafucile, an innkeeper who hires out as an assassin on the side. Ironically, father and daughter discover the Duke at the inn. True to form, he is trying to seduce Sparafucile’s beautiful sister, Maddalena. Rigoletto thinks this ugly revelation will discourage Gilda. Before striking a bargain with Sparafucile, Rigoletto sends Gilda away to prepare for their journey to Verona, bidding her to disguise herself as a boy. But Gilda overhears Rigoletto paying Sparafucile to kill the Duke — and then hears Maddalena persuade Sparafucile to spare the Duke and kill another instead. Resolving to sacrifice herself, Gilda knocks at the door and is stabbed. When Rigoletto returns to collect his victim’s body, he is stunned to hear the Duke singing. Frantically opening the body bag, he finds Gilda. She dies asking forgiveness. Devastated, Rigoletto realizes that Monterone’s curse has been fulfilled.


Kim Josephson headshot

Kim Josephson



Elizabeth Futral headshot

Elizabeth Futral



Martin Thompson headshot

Martin Thompson


Duke of Mantua (June 30 - August 8)

Paul Charles Clarke headshot

Paul Charles Clarke


Duke of Mantua (August 12-26)

Bradley Williams headshot

Bradley Williams



Brian Montgomery headshot

Brian Montgomery



Stephen West headshot

Stephen West


Count Monterone

Raymond Aceto headshot

Raymond Aceto



Beth Clayton headshot

Beth Clayton



Natalie Anne Levin headshot

Natalie Anne Levin


Countess Ceprano

Zeffin Quinn Hollis headshot

Zeffin Quinn Hollis


Count Ceprano

Jennifer Powell headshot

Jennifer Powell



Santa Fe Opera

Katja Nicolai


A Page

Mark Risinger headshot

Mark Risinger


Court Usher

Richard Buckley headshot

Richard Buckley


Mikael Melbye headshot

Mikael Melbye


Director & Scenic Designer

Zack Brown headshot

Zack Brown

Scenic & Costume Designer

Duane Schuler headshot

Duane Schuler

Lighting Designer

Peggy Hickey headshot

Peggy Hickey


Robert Moody headshot

Robert Moody