24 March 2014

Opera Blog: The History of the Court Jester and Verdi’s “Rigoletto”




The court jester is a universal character. He can be found in ancient Rome and in China, in Renaissance Europe and in czarist Russia, at the courts of the Middle East and in classical Sanskrit plays of ancient India. Although there were a few known female jesters, historical studies show that the majority of jesters […]

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17 March 2014

Opera Blog: A Conversation with David Rosen about “Rigoletto”




Magda Romanska, BLO Dramaturg and visiting associate professor at Harvard University, talks to Professor David Rosen about Verdi’s Rigoletto. Professor Rosen is a world-renowned musicologist, a leading expert on Verdi, and professor emeritus of Music at Cornell University. Professor Rosen was responsible for the critical edition of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem (published in The Works […]

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12 March 2014

Opera Blog: Boston Lyric Opera’s Version of Verdi’s “Rigoletto”




BLO’s version of Rigoletto returns the opera to its original historical context. The dramatic structure of the story is framed by two necessary conditions: the world in which a ruler has absolute power over life and death, and a world in which the curse of a father is to be believed and feared. Verdi was […]

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10 March 2014

Opera Blog: “Rigoletto” Production History




Verdi’s Rigoletto is based on Victor Hugo’s 1832 play Le Roi s’amuse (The King Amuses Himself), which centers on the excesses of a cynical and ruthless king who revels in the cruel treatment of his courtiers, particularly his jester. The play was meant to depict the story of Francis I of France (1494–1547) and his […]

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