The time for vengeance has come. I've been waiting thirty days, crying tears of blood behind my jester's mask.Rigoletto
How could a jester ever make a King tremble? Above all, monsters reveal the monstrosity of the societies that engender them. Thus the July Monarchy could not tolerate the mirror held up to it by Le Roi s'amuse: the day after the premiere on 22 November 1832, the censors sealed the fate of Victor Hugo's tragedy.
Twenty years later, Verdi saw in Triboulet's antics a theatre worthy of Shakespeare and set about turning it into an opera. With Rigoletto, which would become the first part of his popular trilogy, the composer accomplished his revolution: bel canto yielded to the necessities of drama. In the dismal night of Mantua, song expresses the grace and the ugliness, the sublime and the absurdity of this accursed jester who wants to save his daughter and ultimately kills her.
Recognising all the force of a dance of death in this music, Richard Brunel sets his staging within the strict and hierarchical framework of a ballet - a place of excellence and rivalry - he replaces the deformed body of the jester with the invisible violence of normalized, carefully selected and mutilated bodies. Never stealing the drama from the eyes of this micro-society, he endeavours to reconstruct a story of revenge, from repression to the final deed.
Rigoletto, opera in three acts
Performed at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, March 11, 1851
New production Opéra national de Lorraine
Coproduction Opéra de Rouen Normandie, Opéra de Toulon, Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg
Francesco Maria Piave, d’après la pièce de Victor Hugo, Le Roi s’amuse
Lorraine National Opera Orchestra
Lorraine National Opera Chorus
Catherine Ailloud Nicolas
Clémence de Vergnette
Juan Jesús Rodríguez
Agnès Letestu (Danseuse étoile
of the Opéra de Paris)
Adèle Borde, Eliot Chevalme, Gianni Illiaquer, Rémy Kouadio,
Olivia Lindon, Joséphine Meunier