The performance of Verdi's Rigoletto on February 21, 2005, will mark the third première in the Bavarian State Opera's 2004/2005 season.

Le Roi s'amuse, Victor Hugo's drama written in the seething spirit of the July Revolution in Paris initially kindled Verdi's inspiration when it hit him "like a lightning bolt, like a sudden enlightenment". This material offered him a possibility to retain the grand gestures and rebelliousness of his earlier works in a new concept of figura scenica, adding greater dimension to structures and situations.

The Duke of Mantua is a womanizer, incapable of being domesticated, restless, self-assured without scruples or qualms. The society that has formed around him gladly accommodates his whims. After all, what's life without a little fun? These people fear nothing more than having some woman turn the duke's head and take the spice out of their lives.

Avoiding melancholy and boredom, that's also the job of court jester Rigoletto. People laugh with and at the hunchback, whose physical affliction has marked him as an outsider. This stigmatization denies him any opportunity of belonging, driving him into isolation and igniting an insane urge to make a bit of normal, unspoiled life for himself in secret.

With Rigoletto, Verdi completed his years of training as an operatic composer, and brought him decisively closer to his goal of creating a mirror image of reality in the characters and situations he depicted. A chance to perceive this reality as contemporary is the grand offering of this piece.

This has been taken up by stage director Doris Dörrie and set and costume designer Bernd Lepel in this new production of Rigoletto. This represents Doris Dörrie's directorial début at the Bavarian State Opera after an initial staging at the Berlin State Opera.

Following his new Wagner productions in previous seasons, Zubin Mehta will assume the musical direction of this Verdi opera, in which Mark Delavan will be making his Bavarian State Opera début in the title role.

Already a household name in Munich for her interpretations of Zerbinetta, Adele and the Queen of the Night, soprano Diana Damrau will be singing his daughter Gilda, who encounters her irresistible heartbreaker in the person of Ramon Vargas as the Duke of Mantua.

The première will take place February 21, 2005 at 7:00 P.M. in the Nationaltheater.

Further performances are scheduled for February 24 and 27 and on March 2, each at 7:00 P.M. as well as on March 5 at 8:00 P.M., all in the Nationaltheater.

Tickets priced between € 13.00 and € 190.00 can be purchased as of January 21 by phoning (+49/89) 2185-1920 or ordered online.

An introductory matinée will take place on February 13 at 11:00 A.M. in the Max-Joseph Hall of the Residence.

We will be happy to supply you with additional information or photos.
With cordial regards and best wishes for the New Year,

Susanne Lutz
Bavarian State Opera
Press Office
Tel: (+49/89) 2185-1021
Fax: (+49/89) 2185-1023
www.staatsoper.de back