|opera by giuseppe verdi|
set design by philippe chaperon
|librettist||francesco maria piave|
|based on||le roi s'amuse|
by victor hugo
rigoletto (pronounced [riɡoˈletto]) is an opera in three acts by giuseppe verdi. the italian libretto was written by francesco maria piave based on the play le roi s'amuse by victor hugo. despite serious initial problems with the austrian censors who had control over northern italian theatres at the time, the opera had a triumphant premiere at la fenice in venice on 11 march 1851.
it is widely considered to be the first of the operatic masterpieces of verdi's middle-to-late career. its tragic story revolves around the licentious duke of mantua, his hunch-backed court jester rigoletto, and rigoletto's beautiful daughter gilda. the opera's original title, la maledizione (the curse), refers to a curse placed on both the duke and rigoletto by a courtier whose daughter the duke has seduced with rigoletto's encouragement. the curse comes to fruition when gilda falls in love with the duke and sacrifices her life to save him from the assassin hired by her father.