For the first time, Guiseppe Verdi’s masterpiece was performed on the Constance lake stage in the summer of 2019 at Bregenzer Festspiele, Austria. Set on a unique, open-air floating stage on Lake Constance, Rigoletto was a phenomenal delight to the eyes. Directed and designed by Philip Stölzl who has staged successful productions at the Salzburg Festival, Theatre an der Wien and the Staatsoper in Berlin and Dresden. Wired Aerial Theatre brought captivating larger than life aerial artistry and stunts to the production.
Rigoletto, the court jester jokes about the licentious ways of his master the duke, whom he actively supports in his various conquests. His laughter incenses Monterone, whose daughter has been dishonoured by the duke, and it sticks in his throat when Monterone curses him. The compelling, blood-curling but beautiful opera provides a mixture of spectacle and intimate chamber drama.
Without realising it, Rigoletto becomes an accomplice in the kidnapping of his own daughter Gilda, whom he protectively keeps confined to the house. She sees the duke's advances as a chance to escape from her father's custody. Rigoletto engages a murderer to put an end once and for all to the duke's egotistical philandering. But when Rigoletto is about to throw the shrouded body into the water, he hears the duke singing his cynical credo "La donna è mobile" and fears for his daughter's life …
Want to see what you missed? Then feast your eyes on photos of the show here.
Rigoletto will be back next summer in 2020 at Bregenzer Festspiele, get your ticket here.
Credit: Bregenzer Festspiele / Karl Forster