Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Opera House to stage Rigoletto in September

A major production of Italian opera Rigoletto is set to hit Belfast this September.

Giuseppe Verdi's three-act performance tells the tragic story of the promiscuous Duke of Mantua, hunch-backed jester Rigoletto, and his beautiful daughter Gilda.

It was was hit with censorship and controversy after opening in northern Italian theatres in the mid-19th century.

The performance shall be staged by Northern Ireland Opera in co-operation with Opera Nacional de Chile.

Some of the best international talent will take to the stage, including multi-award winning Verdi Baritone Sebastian Catana, in his UK debut, stars as Rigoletto, with Cardiff Singer of the World Nadine Koutcher as Gilda and Davide Giusti, winner at Placido Domingo’s Operalia World Opera Competition 2017, as the Duke of Mantua.

Northern Ireland talent will also be given a chance to shine with the the Chorus of Northern Ireland Opera and the Ulster Orchestra conducted by Gareth Hancock involved.

The production is designed by Kaspar Glarner and directed by Northern Ireland Opera Artistic Director Walter Sutcliffe.

"Rigoletto is one of the wonders of the world," said Mr Sutcliffe.

"Forget Wagner. Forget the Pyramids. This is the piece that takes our potential for darkness, negativity, self-absorption and blind idiocy and immerses it in a sound world that pushes our deepest emotional buttons. It throws us down a tunnel to give us one of the purest experiences of the power of musical drama."

Ciaran Scullion, head of music, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added, “Northern Ireland Opera is one of our best artistic companies whose critically-acclaimed work truly champions the exceptional quality of the arts sector here regionally, nationally and internationally."

Richard Wigley, Managing Director of the Ulster Orchestra, commented: “We are very pleased to be collaborating again with Northern Ireland Opera; and in Rigoletto, one of the great scores of the repertoire. Walter is building a fantastic energy at the company and it is a thrill for us to be part of this new era.”

The performance shall run from September 30, 2018 until October 6, 2018.

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