Whether you love opera or you’ve never seen live opera before, the latest version of Verdi’s famous masterpiece 'Rigoletto' has something to dazzle everyone. Here are five excellent excuses to experience this unforgettable story.
1. It's February, and this opera has plot twists and performances you could light a fire with
It’s cold and grey outside. When better to experience the heat and the passion of Giuseppe Verdi's great tale of lust, revenge and murder? Based on a novel by ‘Les Miserables’ author Victor Hugo, it’s the story of professional joker Rigoletto. He has a tendency to carry a joke too far, and when his latest wisecrack starts a vendetta, things start to turn ugly. Even worse, his beautiful daughter is seduced by the debauched Duke and Rigoletto is out for revenge.
2. Rigoletto is the Godfather of operas
This production showcases an ENO modern classic: Jonathan Miller's acclaimed 'Mafia' update on Verdi’s original. Relocating the setting of the story from the court of the Duke of Mantua to New York’s Little Italy in the 1950s, Miller created a stunning and unique interpretation of a familiar classic.
3. You’ll recognise the music
From the dramatic cinematic sweep of the Prelude and Rigoletto’s raging ‘Filthy rabble, you liars, you cowards’ (‘Cortigiani, vil razza dannata’), to the Duke’s buoyant aria ‘Women abandon us’ (‘La donna è mobile’ – surely the ultimate Italian opera aria and regularly borrowed for football chants), there is tension, humour and passion in Verdi’s score, featuring many famous pieces.
4. ENO performances are sung in English
Making opera entirely accessible, English National Opera sing all operas in English, with surtitles above the stage – so you can enjoy the visual feast, hear every note and follow the story with ease. If you've never done opera before, this is the one for you.
5. You can see world-class opera for just £12
Yes, tickets for each performance start at £12, with 500 seats for every show at £20 or less (plus booking fee). If you’ve resolved to make 2017 the year you try exciting new things, this should get you off to a great start.
Rigoletto – February 2, 4, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 25, 28. Tickets from £12, under-16s half price. London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4ES. www.eno.org