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  Rigoletto at Lyric Opera


Lyric Opera
20 N. Wacker Drive Chicago

Rigoletto, Verdi's masterpiece of 1851, presents a magnificent, deeply moving characterization of a hunchbacked court jester consumed by bitterness and revenge. Rigoletto is the father of Gilda, who is seduced and abandoned by the licentious Duke of Mantua. Sparafucile is the assassin hired by Rigoletto to murder the Duke; Maddalena is Sparafucile's seductive sister; and Count Monterone's curse on Rigoletto initiates the drama of the opera.

Thru - Nov 3, 2017

Price: $17-$319

Show Type: Opera

Box Office: 312-332-2244

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  Rigoletto Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"... Driven by a perfect storm of glorious singing, superb acting and stunning design, the performance was met by the sort of extended ovation not often heard these days. And it deserved every bravo that echoed through the audience."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Since his days at the Ryan Opera Center, baritone Quinn Kelsey has made this heartbreaking role his own; his performance in this not-to-be-missed Lyric Opera production is bolstered by superb soprano Rosa Feola as his self-sacrificing daughter, Gilda, and dashing tenor Matthew Polenzani as the libertine who seduces her. The drama's heightened by Michael Yeargan's surrealistic sets (designed for San Francisco Opera and inspired by de Chirico paintings), featuring sharp shadows, deserted arcades, and blood-red interiors on an ominously raked stage. Marco Armiliato conducts the Lyric Opera orchestra and chorus."
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Deanna Isaacs

Chicago On the Aisle - Recommended

"...Thanks to the vocally resplendent and emotionally engaged performances by baritone Quinn Kelsey as the hateful and paranoid court jester Rigoletto, soprano Rosa Feola as his sheltered and naïve daughter Gilda and tenor Matthew Polenzani as the sexually predatory Duke of Mantua, the Lyric's "Rigoletto" pays significant rewards as psychological drama. But this bleak, objectified take, created 20 years ago for the San Francisco Opera with sets by Michael Yeargan - and directed here by E. Loren Meeker - all but nullifies the work as theater."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...Rigoletto is classic Italian opera; and classic Verdi. Even if you’ve seen Rigoletto before, this magnificent, new-to-Chicago production shouldn’t be missed!"
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Barnaby Hughes

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Pretty much everyone who loves opera loves Rigoletto, and in the new-to-Chicago production directed by E. Loren Meeker now at the Lyric Opera, the characters’ vivacity matches that of Verdi’s dramatic, horn-heavy music. Quinn Kelsey and Rosa Feola, as father and daughter pair Rigoletto and Gilda, set their considerable vocal skills to work in service of their captivating acting. The connection they and the other cast members forge with the audience works on a familiar human level even amid the Victor Hugo-inspired melodramatic story and the fast-paced music of conductor Marco Armiliato’s orchestra."
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Jacob Davis

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...If conductor Marco Armiliato occasionally seemed to lose contact with the troops, director E. Loren Meeker neglected to give the men’s ensemble something to do other than slap each other on the shoulder altogether too much of the time, and Michael Yeargan’s stark set design missed the opportunity to heighten the tragedy by contrast, this production is still a wild success via Matthew Polenzani’s portrayal of The Duke. Totally at ease in his role as unrepentant reprobate, Polenzani lilted one golden phrase after another. Usually a tenor progresses to verismo roles after cutting his teeth on Mozart and his ilk and then, out of necessity, leaves them behind. It is astonishing to remember that Polenzani gave us an aching, beautifully phrased Tamino in last year’s “Magic Flute.” Either Polenzani can sing anything, or perhaps Polenzani can sing anything he damn well pleases."
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Aaron Hunt

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"...This production of "Rigoletto" is satisfying to connoisseurs of the opera and also to newcomers. The plot, if shaky, is accessible and the dazzling performances and the originality of the sets set this staging apart. The show comes in at a reasonable 2½ hours, a balm to those who are wary of Wagnerian four-hour and more sits that are standard in many operas. Best of all, the singing is thrilling."
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Dan Zeff

Chicagoland Musical Theatre - Highly Recommended

"...It's always a challenge to breathe new life into an oft-done piece, but this production does that and more. A dynamite cast and an insightful design make this production of Rigoletto a can't miss."
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Jane Recker

Picture This Post - Highly Recommended

"...This was singing that truly transported as only an operatic voice can do. How amazing that this stunning feeling of experiencing perfection returned in Acts II and III— when both tenor Matthew Polenzani performing as the Duke of Mantua and baritone Quinn Kelsey as Rigoletto similarly sang. If this wasn’t a trifecta of perfection, it was darn close."
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Amy Munice

Chicago Theater and Arts - Highly Recommended

"...Directed by E. Loren Meeker, conducted by Mario Armiliato with stylisticly simple but dramatic back drops by Michael Yeargan, this new-to Lyric production should match opera aficionados’ expectations and attract new opera goers."
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Jodie Jacobs

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