Rigoletto: a minstrel who makes us reflect on the arrogance of power


Opera Omnia: gennaio 2018

Rigoletto, set in the fairy tale Mantua, is one of the three operas in Giuseppe Verdi’s “popular trilogy”.

It was written in 1851 and debuted on 11 March of the same year at the Teatro la Fenice in Venice.

It is a three-act opera based on the novel by Victor Hugo “Le Roi s’amuse”.

Questa o quella is the air of the Duke of Mantua. It is sung in the first act immediately after the prelude and it is also defined as, the Ballad of the Duke. 

In this air shines all the contempt that the Duke of Mantua shows towards women and love by saying that for him all lovers are the same and that he would never fall in love with anyone.

Victor Hugo’s novel “Le Roi s’amuse” did not appeal to either the public or the critics because the character of Rigoletto, the court jester, clearly highlighted all the scoundreling and immorality of the French court. 

Verdi’s opera was initially opposed by the Austrian censorship too 

The name Rigoletto comes from the French “rigoler” which means to laugh.

Here is another example of high-class satire, where a jester or minstrel helps everyone to reflect.

Video: Questa o Quella

Un abbraccio/ a big Hug

Marcus Dardi

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