Overture Opera Guides: Rigoletto - Giuseppe Verdi

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Overture Opera Guides: Rigoletto - Giuseppe Verdi

Rigoletto was first produced at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice, in 1851, and is generally seen as marking the beginning of Giuseppe Verdi’s extraordinary middle period. It was followed in quick succession by Il trovatore and La traviata, and even after the great success of these two works Verdi regarded it as his ‘best opera’ up to that time. Based on Victor Hugo’s play Le Roi s’amuse, which was banned after its premiere in Paris in 1832, the opera faced considerable difficulties with local censors before performance was permitted. In the story of the hunchbacked court jester and his beloved daughter, Verdi believed he had found “the greatest subject and perhaps the greatest drama of modern times”.

The guide contains articles on the place of Rigoletto in Verdi’s oeuvre and the background to its composition, a detailed examination of its musical structure and a survey of its performance history including discussions of some of its most distinguished interpreters. A further article highlights aspects of the opera’s particularly Italian character. The guide also includes the full Italian libretto with English translation, sixteen pages of illustrations, a musical thematic guide, a bibliography and discography, and DVD and website guides.


The Making of Rigoletto, Jonathan Keates

The Music of Rigoletto, Roger Parker

A Selective Performance History, George Hall

Rigoletto: Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave after Victor Hugo’s play Le Roi s’amuse

Rigoletto: English Translation by William Weaver

Overture Opera Guides: Rigoletto - Giuseppe Verdi - About the Author:

Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) is one of Italy's most celebrated opera composers. His best-known operas include Rigoletto, Il trovatore, La traviata and Aida.

Overture Opera Guides: Rigoletto - Giuseppe Verdi - Reviews:

‘Neat little volumes they are, handy for carrying around, clearly printed and well set-out, complete with libretto and translation, discography and a generous selection of illustrations.’ Gramophone

'Brilliantly produced and superb value.' The Sunday Times

'The jolliest of bargains.' The Musical Times

'Marvellous... the best books of their kind.' Hugh Canning

‘The first thing noticeable about these initial items in the revamped Opera Guides series... is how much more solid and attractive these volumes are compared with the old ones. Production values are up, with more appealing design, clearer print and much better paper, making these books altogether more shelf-worthy.’

BBC Music Magazine

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  • Book Binding


  • Book Dimensions

    19.4 x 12.8 x 2 cm

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  • Book Page Count


  • Book Publication Date

    26 Jan. 2017

  • Book Publisher

    Overture Publishing

  • Product Supplier

    Macmillan distribution

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