G. Verdi
Оpera in 3 acts
160 Minutes.

Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave based on the 1832 play Le roi s’amuse by Victor Hugo

In the opera “Rigoletto”, Giuseppe Verdi reaches the apogee of feelings and passions that only the human soul can withstand.

Innocent love, temptation, humiliation, remorse and thirst for revenge – the dramatic plot and the most famous melodies have ensured the opera’s widespread popularity from the day of its premiere until now.

Performed in Italian with Ukrainian subtitles


Сhief conductor

Igor Latsanych People’s Artist of Ukraine


Ivan Cherednichenko Winner of international competitions

Iryna Stasyshyn Honored Artist of Ukraine

Stage director

Anatoly Lymariev

Set designer

Tadey Ryndzak People's Artist of Ukraine

Chorus master

Iryna Koval


German Isupov People's аrtist of Ukraine

Act 1

Scene 1

Rigoletto, jester of the lecherous Duke of Mantua, lives a double life. At the court he is a willing performer of his master’s will, but in a small house far from the palace he is a loving father, who conceals his daughter Gilda from the world. Rigoletto cruelly mocked grief of the old Count Monterone, whose daughter was seduced by the Duke. Monterone angrily curses the jester.

Scene 2

Like a terrible burden weighs the old man’s curse over Rigoletto. Late in the evening near the house where Gilda lives, Rigoletto meets a stranger who offers to carry out any crime for money. The meeting of Rigoletto and his daughter is full of tenderness and love. But Gilda hides her acquaintance with a young man and passionate feelings that were born in her heart, from her father.

The courtiers learn about Rigoletto’s secret visits. They kidnap Gilda, believing that she is the jester’s lover. Rigoletto is filled with despair.

Act 2

The Duke is angry: beautiful stranger has disappeared. Willing to please their lord, the courtiers tell him about the night adventure – the girl is in the palace. The Duke hurries to his apartments. Neither threats nor entreaties can help Rigoletto bring his daughter back. Gilda runs out from the Duke’s bedroom. Holding back tears, she tells her father the sad story of her love. Anger and thirst for revenge fill the heart of Rigoletto.

Act 3

House of the assassin Sparafucile. Rigoletto bargains with him of murder of the Duke, who is now fascinated with the bandit’s sister Maddalena. But the girl persuades her brother to have mercy upon her lover and kill the first passerby instead. Gilda, who is brought here by Rigoletto to prove the Duke’s debauchery, becomes a secret witness of their conversation. At the cost of her own life, she decides to save her lover. At midnight Rigoletto arrives to make sure that his revenge is fulfilled. But at that moment he hears the Duke singing a careless song. The wretched father sees his Gilda dying.

About show


“Rigoletto” is an exciting story about affection, jealousy, intrigue, and devoted and sincere parental love. One of the most famous operas of the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi is based on Victor Hugo’s play “Le roi s’amuse”.

It was created specifically for the Venetian La Fenice theatre in collaboration with the librettist Francesco Maria Piave. The composer called the plot of V. Hugo “the greatest drama of our time.”

During the work on the opera, the author, the librettist, and the theatre management were aware that libretto censorship could be difficult. After the premiere of the play in 1832, it had been banned in France due to the unacceptably scandalous depiction of the womanizing king Francis I of France and the royal court (it was not to be staged again until 1882).

Initially, the libretto for the future opera was entitled “La maledizione” (The Curse), and G. Verdi and F. M. Piave revised resorted the libretto to avoid censorship. A duke replaced the king, the action was moved from France to Italy, and the plot was somewhat “smoothed”, reducing some shocking aspects of the story. However, as in the original source, Rigoletto remained a cruel hunchbacked jester as the composer wished. To present the new opera to the public, firstly, it was to come before the Austrian Board of Censors (as Austria at that time directly controlled much of Northern Italy.

Opera “Rigoletto” was premiered in 1851 in a sold-out La Fenice theatre in Venice. Later, Verdi noted that the opera had “the best and the most spectacular theme that I had set to music.” So the composition was performed in almost all European opera houses during the next few years. It was first performed in Lviv in 1853. On November 17, 1900, the opera was staged in the City Theatre (today Lviv National Opera) under the baton of Ludvík Čelanský.

The musical atmosphere of “Rigoletto” is emotionally heavy, gloomy and pensive; it is full of tragedy from the beginning. We hear it clearly in the opening prelude to the opera, in the orchestra during Rigoletto’s first meeting with the murderer Sparafucile, and in the depiction of the storm in Act III.

The main character Rigoletto does not belong to the outwardly civilized world of the royal court, and he stands out from everyone. And just as he breaks social conventions, G. Verdi’s score breaks musical ones. While the Duke of Mantua sings traditional opera arias, the musical portrait of Rigoletto constantly “wanders” in monologues between live speech and singing.

The musical structure of the opera is also adapted to the new dramatic style. “I conceived “Rigoletto” without arias, finales, as a continuous sequence of duets,” wrote G. Verdi. Due to this, the opera has an expressive and flexible musical style that reflects the subtlest psychological features of the plot.

The opera score has considerable dramatic latitude, from a tragic musical drama to light and vivid song melodies. The brilliant and frivolous music of the Duke and his courtiers contrasts sharply with the intense, deep music that characterizes Rigoletto and the innocent sincerity and sweetness of Gilda’s musical portrait.

The theme of the curse, which first appears in the prelude to the opera, becomes a thread that runs through the opera, “emerging” every time Rigoletto thinks about or accepts his fate. It became the cornerstone, the dominant idea that allowed the composer to create an opera filled with complex and long-lasting emotional dramatism.

The opera shows true and pure love, which forces a young girl to sacrifice herself for her beloved. In addition, it has betrayal, a professional assassin, mystery and the agonizing pain of a father who has lost his only daughter but is forced to remain in his mask of a jester.

“Rigoletto” by G. Verdi is a masterpiece of Italian opera, which gained world fame and became a genre classic. We invite you to an unforgettable journey into the world of opera with “Rigoletto” performed by soloists, chorus singers, ballet and orchestra of Lviv National Opera.

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Upcoming events

Orest Sydir People’s Artist of Ukraine

Roman Strakhov winner of the international competition

Duke of Mantua

Maksym Vorochek

Roman Trochymuk Honored artist of Ukraine

Oleg Sadetsky Honored artist of Ukraine


Anastasiya Kornutyak winner of the international competition

Nataliya Kuryltsiv

Marianna Tsvietinska winner of the international competitions


Taras Berezhanskyy winner of the international competition

Volodymyr Dutchak

Yurii Trytsetskyi Honored artist of Ukraine


Liliya Nikitchuk winner of the international competition

Olena Skitsko winner of the international competition

Anastasiia Polishchuk winner of the international competitions

Count Monterone

Ihor Mikhnevych

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Volodymyr Shynkarenko winner of the international competition


Vitalij Zagorbenskyj winner of the international competition

Mykola Kornutyak winner of the international competition

Petro Radeyko winner of the international competition

Yurii Shevchuk winner of the international competition

Matteo Borsa

Vitaliy Voytko

Yuriy Hetsko

Vitaliy Rozdaihora winner of the international competition

Count Ceprano

Dmytro Kokotko

Yurii Trytsetskyi Honored artist of Ukraine

Countess Ceprano

Lyubov Kachala People’s Artist of Ukraine

Halyna Harbit


Nataliya Datsko People’s Artist of Ukraine

A Court Usher

Vitalij Zagorbenskyj winner of the international competition

Oleksandr Zozulya

Petro Radeyko winner of the international competition

A Page

Galyna Geryavenko

Halyna Honcharova

Olena Romaniv

print*The theater reserves the right to replace performers
print*The theater reserves the right to replace performers