The Moores School of Music takes Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece “Rigoletto” to the UH stage for the first time at the Moores Opera House.
Based on the play “Le roi s‘amuse” by Victor Hugo, the Italian opera follows the cruel court jester Rigoletto and his womanizing lord, the Duke of Mantua. The story takes a tragic turn when the father of one of the Duke’s lovers places a curse on them both just before Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda falls for the Duke.
Directed and produced by Buck Ross with music direction by conductor and assistant professor Brett Mitchell, the opera stars graduate students James Rodriguez as Rigoletto, Chris Trapani as the Duke, and Ashly Neumann and Kirsten Leslie alternating the role of Gilda.
A vocally challenging and complex opera, “Rigoletto” includes famous arias “La Donna è Mobile” and “Bella Figlia dell’Amore.”
Ross said the inspiration came from having the right group of singers.
“Getting a chance to work on a strong, blood and guts Italian opera has been great fun,” Ross said.
“Audiences can expect a fast moving, concise story of selfless sacrifice, revenge, murder and a mysterious curse set in the Italian Renaissance era.”
The production will include special video effects in Act Three and will be performed in Italian with an English translation projected above the stage.
“Rigoletto” premieres at 7:30 p.m. Friday and will show again at 2 p.m. Sunday.