In adapting Victor Hugo’s scandalous play Le Roi s’Amuse for the operatic stage, Giuseppe Verdi created one of his most grim—though no less tuneful—scores. Composed at a turning point of his career, the opera revolves around the titular court jester, whose attempts to protect his daughter from the corruption and immorality of his employer, the lascivious Duke of Mantua, only ends in tragedy. Only days after making his Met debut, baritone George Gagnidze headlines this radio broadcast as Rigoletto, starring alongside soprano Aleksandra Kurzak as his naive daughter, Gilda, and tenor Giuseppe Filianoti as the Duke. Maestro Riccardo Frizza is on the podium to lead this powerful performance, which also features bass Mikhail Petrenko and mezzo-soprano Viktoria Vizin as the sinister siblings Sparafucile and Maddalena.
Jan 31, 2009
Francesco Maria Piave
1 HRS 56 MIN
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus