Live Cinema Season

Rigoletto (D McVicar) (2018)

Recorded | Opera

Running time: The performance lasts about 2 hours 50 minutes, including one interval

Rigoletto (D McVicar) (2018)

David McVicar’s acclaimed production of Verdi’s potent and tragic opera is conducted by Alexander Joel, with an excellent cast led by Dimitri Platanias, Lucy Crowe and Michael Fabiano.
This production contains brief nudity and scenes of a sexual nature


The story

Rigoletto, court jester to the libertine Duke of Mantua, is cursed by the father of one of the Duke’s victims for his irreverent laughter. When the Duke seduces Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda, it seems the curse is taking effect…

Rigoletto arranges to have the Duke assassinated. But Gilda still loves the womanizing Duke and sacrifices herself in his place. Rigoletto eagerly uncovers the corpse only to find instead his fatally wounded daughter, who dies in his arms.


Giuseppe Verdi wrote in 1855 that Rigoletto, based on Victor Hugo’s play Le Roi s’amuse, was his ‘best opera’. He had had to overcome state censorship to stage it – the censors objected to its depiction of an immoral ruler – but he was vindicated by the premiere’s huge success in 1851. Rigoletto was performed 250 times in the next 10 years and has remained one of the most popular of all operas.

David McVicar’s production highlights the cruelty at the heart of the court of Mantua. Richly dressed courtiers engage in orgies and revelries to Verdi’s heady, spirited dances. The opera’s many musical highlights include the ebullient ‘La donna è mobile’, in which the Duke boasts of his disregard for women; Gilda’s exquisite, plangent duets with Rigoletto and the Duke; and the gorgeous Act III quartet that beautifully weaves the voices together as the story quickens to its shattering conclusion.



Giuseppe Verdi


Francesco Maria Piave


David McVicar

Set Designer

Michael Vale

Costume Designer

Tanya McCallin

Lighting Designer

Paule Constable

Movement Director

Leah Hausman


Alexander Joel
Duke of Mantua
Michael Fabiano
Dimitri Platanias
Lucy Crowe
Andrea Mastroni
Nadia Krasteva
Kathleen Wilkinson
Count Monterone
James Rutherford
Dominic Sedgwick
Matteo Borsa
Luis Gomes
Count Ceprano
Simon Shibambu
Countess Ceprano
Jacquelyn Stucker
Royal Opera Chorus
Concert Master
Sergey Levitin
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

News and features

To find out more visit the Rigoletto (D McVicar) (2018) production page.