The Santa Fe Opera

Skip to main content Skip to search
2025 Season Graphic image


July 12 - August 20, 2025

In the court of the Duke swirls a storm of intrigue, lust and betrayal. Rigoletto the jester struggles in vain to keep his daughter from the Duke’s relentless desires. Vowing vengeance, he takes matters into his own hands only to become the unwitting punchline of a darker force.

Music By
Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto By
Francesco Maria Piave
A Co-production with
Irish National Opera and Opera Zuid
Sung In
Instant Translation Screen
English and Spanish
Run Time
Approximately 2 hours 20 min; includes a 25-minute intermission


Act I

The Duke’s palace. Amidst a palace fête, courtiers and pages whirl by. The libertine Duke sings of a new beauty whose identity he must discover, then flirts with the Countess Ceprano. The jester Rigoletto turns his acid tongue on Count Ceprano, then sidles off in search of other targets. Marullo tells the nobles that Rigoletto has a mistress, and the embittered Ceprano tells the others to meet the next night to carry her off. Old Count Monterone bursts in and curses the Duke, who dishonored his daughter, and Rigoletto, who eggs his master on. Rigoletto is terror-stricken by the curse of a father.

Brooding on his way home, Rigoletto meets the assassin Sparafucile, who offers his services in ridding clients of rivals. Both stab to the heart, Rigoletto muses: he with words, and the assassin with a blade. He enters and his daughter Gilda throws herself into his arms. He cautions her about going out, and she says she only goes to church. He warns her nurse Giovanna not to let anyone in. As he is leaving again, they hear footsteps outside. Rigoletto goes, and Giovanna lets the disguised Duke in to hide. As Gilda recalls the beautiful young man she saw in church, the Duke sweeps in and professes his love. He tells her he is a poor student named Gualtier Maldé. When he leaves, she contemplates his name and her heart’s flowering.

The kidnappers are struck by Gilda’s beauty, but they are ready to get to work. Rigoletto encounters them on his way back home, and they tell him they are kidnapping the Countess Ceprano, whose mansion is next door. He is eager to hold the ladder. They blindfold him and leave him while they carry Gilda away. She calls out desperately for her father. He rips off the blindfold. “The curse!” he cries.

Act II

The Duke’s palace. The Duke is distraught. He has gone back to Rigoletto’s house and his beloved is nowhere to be found. The courtiers run in and tell him they have abducted Rigoletto’s mistress. He realizes what has happened and exults, then goes into his apartments to meet her. Rigoletto enters darkly and has a brief exchange with the assembled men, rails against them, then implores them to tell him what they have done with his daughter. She emerges, covered in shame. Rigoletto orders everyone out of sight, and she tells him how she met a beautiful student, then discovered that he was the Duke in disguise. Monterone passes by, being led to his execution for denouncing the Duke. Rigoletto swears vengeance for himself and the old man, and Gilda begs forgiveness for herself and for her lover.


The city outskirts. Rigoletto has brought Gilda to a lonely spot by a dilapidated inn, in hopes of showing her the faithlessness of her seducer. Sparafucile and his sister Maddalena can be seen making preparations for the evening’s guests. The Duke enters and sings of women’s fickleness. Maddalena joins him for the customary overtures and rebuffs. Gilda is stricken. Rigoletto is muttering. Sparafucile comes out and Rigoletto pays him half the fee to murder the Duke, the other half to be paid when the body is delivered. Rigoletto leaves, sending Gilda home to dress herself as a boy and leave for Verona to avoid danger.

She returns to hear Maddalena, who is quite taken with the Duke, proposing a solution to her brother: if they find a substitute victim, they can save the Duke. Sparafucile reluctantly agrees. A storm rages. Gilda seizes the moment, knocks on the door, presents herself–and is stabbed to death. When Rigoletto returns, Sparafucile shows him the body bag, and Rigoletto insists on disposing of it himself. He hears the Duke singing in the distance and is aghast to discover his dying daughter in the bag. She begs his forgiveness as she dies in his arms. The curse is fulfilled.


Gerardo Bullon

Gerardo Bullón



Elena Villalon

Elena Villalón



Duke Kim

Duke Kim



Stefano Park

Stephano Park



Marcela Rahal

Marcela Rahal



Le Bu

Le Bu



Carlo Montanaro

Carlo Montanaro


Julien Chavaz

Julien Chavaz


Jamie Vartan

Jamie Vartan

Scenic Designer

Jean Jacques Delmotte headshot

Jean-Jacques Delmotte

Costume Designer

Rick Fisher headshot

Rick Fisher

Lighting Designer

Nicole Morel

Nicole Morel

Movement Director

Susanne Sheston headshot

Susanne Sheston

Chorus Master