New production of Verdi’s Rigoletto, directed by Bartlett Sher, premieres on New Year’s Eve

  •  Quinn Kelsey makes his Met role debut as Rigoletto in Sher’s Art Deco staging, inspired by 1920s Europe
  •  Daniele Rustioni conducts a cast that also stars Rosa Feola as Gilda and Piotr Beczała as the Duke of Mantua
  •  On Saturday, January 29, live transmissions of Rigoletto will be presented in cinemas as part of The Met: Live in HD series and over the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network  

New York, NY (December 23, 2021)—The Metropolitan Opera rings in the new year with a new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto on December 31, with an additional eight performances January 4–January 29, 2022. The Tony Award-winning creative team, including director Bartlett Sher, set designer Michael Yeargan, costume designer Catherine Zuber, and lighting designer Donald Holder, sets the classic tragedy in 1920s Europe, featuring Art Deco sets and elegant costumes. Conductor Daniele Rustioni takes the podium to lead a cast starring Quinn Kelsey in his Met role debut as Rigoletto, Rosa Feola as Gilda, and Piotr Beczała as the Duke of Mantua. Varduhi Abrahamyan makes her Met debut as Maddalena, and Andrea Mastroni is Sparafucile.

Rigoletto returns in the spring for five performances May 28–June 11, 2022. Kelsey reprises the title role opposite Kristina Mkhitaryan as Gilda and Stephen Costello as the Duke of Mantua. In their Met debuts, Yulia Matochkina sings Maddalena, and Ante Jerkunica sings Sparafucile. Karel Mark Chichon conducts.

Rigoletto Worldwide Broadcasts in Cinema, Radio, and Online

The performance of Rigoletto on Saturday, January 29, 2022, will be transmitted live to cinemas around the globe as part of The Met: Live in HD series and broadcast over the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network. The December 31 performance, as well as the January 4, 19, 29, and June 8, 2022, performances of Rigoletto will be broadcast live on Met Opera Radio on Sirius XM Channel 355.

Audio from the December 31, 2021, as well as the January 4, 19, and June 8, 2022, performances will be streamed live on the Met’s website,

Rigoletto Artist Biographies

Italian conductor Daniele Rustioni returns to the Met after previously conducting Aida in 2017. This season, he begins his tenure as the principal guest conductor at the Bavarian State Opera. He has served as principal conductor the Opéra National de Lyon since 2017 and chief conductor of the Ulster Orchestra since 2019. Between 2014 and 2020, he was music director of the Orchestra della Toscana, where he is currently artistic director. He has conducted all of the major Italian symphony orchestras, as well as many throughout Europe, and has also led productions at La Scala, Staatsoper Berlin, Dutch National Opera, the Paris Opera, Pesaro’s Rossini Opera Festival, and in Aix-en-Provence, Valencia, Venice, Madrid, Stuttgart, Zurich, Tokyo, Rome, and Naples, among others. Also this season at the Met, he conducts performances of Le Nozze di Figaro in January.

English conductor Karel Mark Chichon made his Met debut in 2016 conducting Madama Butterfly, returning in 2020 for performances of La Traviata. In May 2017, he was appointed chief conductor and artistic director of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria and was the chief conductor of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie from 2011 to 2017. He has previously conducted at opera companies  around the world, including the Bavarian State Opera, Paris Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Vienna State Opera, Teatro Real in Madrid, and Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

Rigoletto is the ninth opera Bartlett Sher has directed at the Met. He made his Met debut with a production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia during the 2006–07 season, followed by stagings of Les Contes d’Hoffmann, L’Elisir d’Amore, Otello, and Roméo et Juliette, as well as the company premieres of Le Comte Ory and Nico Muhly’s Two Boys. He earned a Tony Award for directing South Pacific in 2008 and received Tony nominations for his Broadway productions of Golden Boy, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Awake and Sing!, and The Light in the Piazza. He is a resident director of Lincoln Center Theater, where his productions have included My Fair Lady, Oslo, The King and I, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

American set designer Michael Yeargan has designed more than a dozen productions for the Met, including the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Roméo et Juliette, L’Elisir d’Amore, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Le Comte Ory, and Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He made his Met debut in 1993 with Elijah Moshinsky’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos, which also returns this season. A two-time Tony Award–winner, his designs for Seascape, The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific, Awake and Sing, and Ah, Wilderness have all been seen on Broadway. He is a professor at the Yale School of Drama. 

American lighting designer Donald Holder’s credits at the Met include the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Die Zauberflöte, Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, Otello, and Samson et Dalila. He has been nominated for 13 Tony Awards—winning in 2008 for South Pacific and 1998 for The Lion King—in a career featuring more than 50 productions on Broadway. His most-recent work on Broadway includes Tootsie, Kiss Me Kate, and My Fair Lady.

British costume designer Catherine Zuber has been designing for productions at the Met since her debut with Bartlett Sher’s staging of Il Barbiere di Siviglia in 2006. A seven-time Tony Award–winner, her work has been seen on Broadway in productions such as My Fair Lady, Oslo, The King and I, Golden Boy, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Born Yesterday, South Pacific, and The Light in the Piazza. She has designed for opera houses around the world, including English National Opera, Washington National Opera, San Francisco Opera, and the Salzburg Festival. Her costume designs are currently featured in the new Broadway production of Moulin Rouge!.

Italian soprano Rosa Feola returns to the Met this season as Gilda, the role of her 2019 company debut. She has also sung Gilda at the Bavarian State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Ravenna Festival, and in Rome, Zurich, Turin, and Savona. Other recent highlights include Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi at the Bavarian State Opera, Norina in Don Pasquale and Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore at La Scala, Fiorilla in Il Turco in Italia in Zurich, and Ilia in Idomeneo and Micaëla in Carmen in Rome. In January 2020, she performed recitals at New York City’s Park Avenue Armory and the Kennedy Center.

Russian soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan makes her Met role debut as Gilda. She made her Met debut during the 2018–19 season performing the role of Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. She is currently a studio artist at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, which she joined after singing at the Galina Vishnevskaya Theatre Studio. She recently made her debut at Covent Garden as Micaëla in Carmen.

            Armenian mezzo-soprano Varduhi Abrahamyan makes her Met debut as Maddalena. She has performed many roles with the Paris Opera, including Ottone in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera, and the title role of Carmen and Olga in Eugene Onegin. Other appearances include Siébel in Faust at Covent Garden, Bradamante in Alcina in Zurich, and Malcolm in La Donna del Lago at Pesaro’s Rossini Opera Festival. This season at the Met, she also sings Olga in Eugene Onegin

Russian mezzo-soprano Yulia Matochkina makes her Met debut as Maddalena. She frequently sings at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and LA Opera. She made her debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2019, where she sang the role of Federica in a concert performance of Luisa Miller. She performs regularly at the Moscow Easter Festival, St. Petersburg’s Stars of the White Nights Festival, and has also appeared at the Edinburgh and Verbier Festivals.

Polish tenor Piotr Beczała reprises his portrayal of the Duke of Mantua, the role of his Met debut in 2006. His Met repertory has also included Rodolfo in Luisa Miller and La Bohème, Vaudémont in the company premiere of Iolanta, Lenski in Eugene Onegin, the title role of Faust, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, the Chevalier des Grieux in Manon, Gustavo in Un Ballo in Maschera, and Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur. His other recent performances include Cavaradossi in Tosca at the Vienna State Opera, des Grieux in Manon in Zurich, and Rodolfo in Luisa Miller at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. Later this season, he sings Lenski in Eugene Onegin at the Met.

American tenor Stephen Costello reprises his portrayal of the Duke of Mantua, a role he previously performed in 2015 at the Met. He made his Met debut in 2007 as Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, with other roles for the company including Camille de Rosillon in The Merry Widow, Lord Percy in Anna Bolena, Roméo in Roméo et Juliette, and Alfredo Germont in La Traviata. He has appeared at many of the world’s leading opera houses and festivals, including Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Vienna State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, and the Salzburg Festival.

American baritone Quinn Kelsey returns to the Met this season, making his company role debut in the title role of Rigoletto. The winner of the 2015 Beverly Sills Artist Award, his other company credits include Amonasro in Aida, Count di Luna in Il Trovatore, Enrico in  Lucia di Lammermoor, Peter in Hansel and Gretel, Monterone in Rigoletto, Marcello in La Bohème, and Giorgio Germont in La Traviata. His recent Verdi roles elsewhere include Miller in Luisa Miller at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Ford in Falstaff at the Dallas Opera, and Rigoletto in Zurich.

Italian bass Andrea Mastroni reprises his portrayal of Sparafucile, a role he has previously sung at the Met in 2017 and La Scala. Other notable roles include Ramfis in Aida in Verona and Zurich, Giorgio Germont in La Traviata at La Scala, Colline in La Bohème in Venice, and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte at the Hamburg State Opera.

Croatian bass Ante Jerkunica makes his Met debut as Sparafucile this season. Recently, he performed Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte in Cologne, Philip II in excerpts of Don Carlo at Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Hamburg State Opera. Elsewhere this season, he sings Sarastro at the Vienna State Opera.

For More Information

For further details on Rigoletto, including casting by date, please click here.