Sydney opera fans will soon be able to enjoy Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, with Opera Australia presenting this exciting performance from Tuesday 13 June to Monday 26 June 2023. Verdi, considered the god of Italian opera claims Rigoletto to be his best opera. This opera remains an audience favourite with its catchy tunes, thrilling pace and dramatic characters – which also makes it an excellent introduction to opera for those who wish to experience it for the first time. Rigoletto explores themes that are just as relevant today as when it opened in 1851.

The gripping plot of love and revenge explores the concepts of wealth and power, questioning the complicity of a mob society in enabling corruption.

Verdi proclaimed he would never write better than this sensational score, including the simple, short ‘La donna è mobile’ which became an instant hit at the opera’s premiere and ‘Bella figlia dell’ amore’, considered to be among the finest opera ensemble writing. These widely recognised tunes have infiltrated pop culture from pasta advertisements to feature films.

Leading the lively action onstage, rising star Italian baritone Ernesto Petti will make both his Australian and role debuts as the vengeful Rigoletto. Beloved Australian soprano Stacey Alleaume will sing Gilda, which she has performed to high acclaim at Austria’s Bregenz Festival.

Rigoletto Opera Australia

Sought after Brazilian tenor Atalla Ayan will reprise his role as the Duke of Mantua and the ruthless Sparafucile will be portrayed by one of the world’s most prominent basses, Roberto Scandiuzzi, who will also perform in Aida this winter.

Locals, bass David Parkin will make his role debut as Monterone while mezzo soprano Sian Sharp will be busy playing both Maddalena and Giovanna.

The principal cast will be completed by a stellar ensemble of Opera Australia singers, including Luke Gabbedy, Virgilio Marino, Anthony Mackey, Ruth Strutt, Jennifer Bonner and Nathan Lay, alongside the Opera Australia Chorus.

Inspired by Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, Elijah Moshinsky’s glamorous production presents traditional staging expected of grand opera complete with a revolving two-storey doll house set, lavish 1950s-inspired costumes, and a scene-stealing Fiat 500.

With Verdi’s sensational score, magnificent sets, and exciting performances, Rigoletto is one of Opera Australia’s most popular and enduring productions.

In a nutshell, what is Rigoletto about?

​​The Duke of Mantua lives only for pleasure of the female kind. No man’s wife or daughter is out of his reach, and while the Duke seduces their women, Rigoletto mocks their misfortune. The men of the court plot vengeance, hatching a plan to abduct a beautiful woman they believe Rigoletto has hidden away.

The woman is Rigoletto’s daughter, who despite his best efforts to keep her hidden, has already caught the eye of the lustful Duke. He pays a visit to seduce the beautiful Gilda. Before he can complete his mission, Gilda is kidnapped by the mob of men, who take her to the Duke’s palace for his amusement. The distraught Rigoletto vows to take vengeance.

But Gilda loves the Duke, in spite of everything, and is prepared to go to any lengths to save him from her father’s wrath.

Love and vengeance meet in the darkness as the opera draws to its dramatic, devastating conclusion.

  • Where: Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
  • When: Evenings at 7.30pm Jun 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 26 Matinee at 12pm Jun 24 
  • Book tickets here