|Sarasota Opera’s Rigoletto|
Sarasota Opera continues to distinguish itself from opera companies worldwide by finding innovation through tradition. Returning this fall is the opera which was specifically chosen to open the newly renovated Sarasota Opera House in 2008; Verdi’s tragic masterpiece Rigoletto [rih-go-lehtto]. Having been completed just a month prior to its debut on March 11, 1851, at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Italy, the curtain rose at the world premiere of Rigoletto amid a cloud of controversy. The overall story of Rigoletto, particularly the fate of his daughter Gilda, was deemed immoral by a society not accustomed to seeing such brutality played out on stage. However, despite its poor initial reception in both Europe and the United States, Rigoletto survived the test of time to become one of the most frequently performed operas today!
A tragedy of operatic proportions, Verdi’s Rigoletto follows the story of a hunchbacked jester in the court of the Duke of Mantua. The jester’s malicious tongue mocks the husbands and fathers of his employers’ conquests until Gilda, his only daughter, is dishonored by the Duke himself. An enraged Rigoletto plots his revenge, but a sinister curse dictates a tragic outcome.
Baritone Marco Nisticò will make his role debut as the vengeful jester. A native of Naples, Italy, and born into a musical family, Mr. Nisticò has performed at the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera as well as on operatic stages in Austria, Germany, France, and Italy. He has been a favorite of Sarasota Opera audiences since his 2008 debut as Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, and was most recently seen as the Consul Sharpless in the fall 2011 production of Madama Butterfly. Of his upcoming performances, Mr. Nisticò says, “for a baritone, the title role of Rigoletto is as good as it gets. Vocally it’s a very rewarding opera but also challenging because of its dramatic intensity and length.”
Sharing the stage with Mr. Nisticò will be mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson and tenor Hak Soo Kim, who will make their own role debuts as the seductive Maddalena and the lustful Duke of Mantua. Ms. Johnson returns to Sarasota Opera for her fifth season having previously appeared in leading roles such as Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, Angiolina in La Cenerentola, and Hansel in Hansel and Gretel. Mr. Kim returns after a dazzling debut as Prince Ramiro in the fall 2010 production of La Cenerentola. Finally, bass Young Bok Kim, a veteran of many performances at Sarasota Opera, returns to sing the assassin Sparafucile.
With tickets starting at only $19, this is an amazing opportunity to see one of Verdi’s most celebrated works - presented true to the vision of the composer. Performances are October 26, 28 (matinee), November 1, 3, 7, and 12 (matinee). Evening performances begin at 8pm and matinee performances (both weekend and weekday) begin at 1:30pm. Come and experience the drama and musical richness of Verdi, and you will understand why Sarasota Opera is Verdi’s American Home! For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300 or visit us at www.sarasotaopera.org.