Cynical Rigoletto, a disfigured outsider, is ruthless in his ridicule of the victims of the love-lust of his master, the Duke. The curse of the Count of Monterone, whose daughter fell victim to the Duke’s courtship, hits him with full force. When his own daughter Gilda falls in love with the Duke, Rigoletto completely loses the ground under his feet. Together with a hit-man named Sparafucile, he wants to put a stop to the Duke - with tragic consequences!
Alongside "Trovatore" and "Traviata" (both 1853), "Rigoletto" belongs to the so-called "Trilogia popolare", which ushers in the maturation of Verdi's great musical dramas. After the early Shakespeare opera "Macbeth", "Rigoletto" in particular represents the "striven-for solution to Verdi's operatic problem: the gaining of a new artificial language based on tradition, in a concise as well as economical manner" (Ulrich Schreiber). The material is based on Victor Hugo's play "Le roi s'amuse" (1832), which praised Verdi as "perhaps the greatest drama of modern times". "Triboulet", as Rigoletto’s companion in the play says, "is an invention worthy of Shakespeare!"
After his acclaimed production of Rossini's "Barber of Seville" in the 17/18 season, director Markus Trabusch again tries his hand as the director of the opera. With "Rigoletto", he continues his exploration of the work of Verdi, which he started in 2011 with "La traviata" in Augsburg.