Rigoletto

John Turturro directs the new staging
Renato Palumbo takes the podium of the Orchestra and Chorus at the Regio

Teatro Regio, Wednesday 6 February 2019 at 8pm

After Il trovatore for the Season opening and La traviata staged in December, the Teatro Regio continues and completes its dedication to Giuseppe Verdi's popular trilogy with Rigoletto, an opera that, since 1851, has continued to disturb the sensitivity of spectators due to the coarseness of its themes and the ambivalence of its protagonist, at the same time a very tender father and a cruel executioner.

On Wednesday 6 February at 8pm the new staging of Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto takes to the stage – co-produced with Palermo's Teatro Massimo (where it debuted last October), the Shaanxi Opera House and the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège – directed by John Turturro, making his debut in the opera world. The New York actor with Italian origins has acted in over 70 films by directors of the calibre of Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Woody Allen, Francesco Rosi and the Coen brothers. Taking the podium of the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Regio will be Renato Palumbo. Rigoletto will be the great Carlos Álvarez, Gilda will be played by Ruth Iniesta and the Duke of Mantua by Stefan Pop. The Chorus is masterfully instructed by Andrea Secchi.

The production is staged with the contribution of the Company Reale Mutua di Assicurazioni, whose Chairman Luigi Lana has said: "Our Company, a founding member of the Teatro Regio since 2012, has always striven to promote the development and dissemination of culture, as an essential instrument for the social and economic growth of the territory in which it has worked for over 190 years. We are therefore very happy to continue to offer concrete support in favour of the opera tradition and the activity of one of the most prestigious theatres of the international artistic and musical panorama, participating once again this year in the subalpine opera season with Rigoletto, a work by the famous Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi".

Debuting in 1832 in Le Roi s’amuse by Victor Hugo with the name of Triboulet and later becoming Rigoletto in the libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, the hunch-backed and tormented figure of the court jester - who, initially, by necessity, supported the Duke, and later, touched in the intimacy of his purest affections, tried in vain to rebel against the violence and ended up becoming, in turn, an executioner - seemed immediately destined to revolutionise the theatrical conventions of the time, scandalising the public and challenging the censors.

Verdi's music, still today a monument of melodrama not only due to its subject but also due to the entirely innovative formal solutions that the composer had the flair to adopt, will be accompanied in this Season by a new staging which emphasises the dark and desperate tones of the story. The direction is by a champion of Hollywood film, John Turturro, in his first foray into musical theatre: Turturro, Italian by origin and in his heart, always a keen listener of Verdi's melodramas, approaches the text almost on tip-toe, with the clear intention of not overloading the drama - already loaded with meaning - with “extraneous” elements, in full awareness of the difference of theatrical direction from that of cinema. "The starting point," explains Turturro "was to reduce everything to a minimum, to avoid any excess, so as to give the singers and the music the chance to emerge fully": a direction, therefore, in service of the story and the music.

The characters move on the stage hinged in the role reserved to them by the drama and the theme of the curse from the very start, with no possibility of emerging from their characteristic blindness, the complete amorality of the holders of power and the desperation of the oppressed; the only exception is the integrity of Gilda, prey for the Duke's carnality but also involuntary victim of Rigoletto and his possessive love. Gilda, to maintain her integrity, decides, deliberately, to sacrifice herself and remove herself from the cruel game of strength between tyranny and a private justice devoid of mercy.

The dark shades of the affair are projected over time in a decadent and grotesque eighteenth century, designed by asphyxiated and closed environments in the perspective lines of Francesco Frigeri's scenes; the costumes by Marco Piemontese and the lights by Alessandro Carletti trace out a path of colours that ranges from the livid tones of a luxurious world - but monochromatic in its lack of morality - to the red of passion and tragedy. The choreography is by Giuseppe Bonanno, Cecilia Ligorio is the assistant director, while the lights are taken over by Ludovico Gobbi.

The maestro Renato Palumbo, often a star on the Turin podium and once again now at the helm of the Orchestra after Tosca in 2016, boasts a lengthy international career which confirms him as an historic and rigorous interpreter of the Italian melodramatic repertoire.

Rigoletto will be played by the baritone Carlos Álvarez, who, in his fortunate career, has often trodden the stage at the Regio in extremely successful titles such as Don Giovanni, La traviata, Falstaff and Tosca, and who includes the famous hunch-backed jester among his most appreciated roles. Playing Gilda will be the Spanish soprano Ruth Iniesta, who, after a career beginning in musicals, a path which provided her with considerable security in her acting management of the stage, is revealing a young operatic voice with growing maturity. Iniesta has already played the difficult role of Gilda on stage at the Teatro Massimo di Palermo, making herself known the cleanliness of her coloratura and her expressiveness. The character of the Duke of Mantua finds full expression in the bold and clear timbre voice of Stefan Pop, a thirty-two year old Romanian tenor who has won numerous musical awards, including the first prize and the audience award at the Operalia competition and the sixth edition of the International Music Competition in Seoul, both in 2010. The cast is completed by: Gianluca Buratto (Sparafucile), Carmen Topciu (Maddalena), Carlotta Vichi (Giovanna), Alessio Verna (Monterone), Paolo Maria Orecchia (Marullo), Luca Casalin (Matteo Borsa), Federico Benetti (Count Ceprano), Claudia De Pian/Ivana Cravero (Countess), Riccardo Mattiotto/Giuseppe Capoferri (usher) and Ashley Milanese (the page). Over the 10 performances the following will alternate in the star roles Amartuvshin Enkhbat (Rigoletto), Gilda Fiume (Gilda), Iván Ayón Rivas (the Duke) and Romano Dal Zovo (Sparafucile).

The live performance on Rai Radio 3 of Rigoletto, conducted by Susanna Franchi, will be broadcast on Wednesday 6 February at 8pm. Daniele Spini, for the Conferenze del Regio, Wednesday 30 January at 5:30pm at Piccolo Regio, will lead the meeting with free entry entitled Non dire Duca se non l’hai nel sacco!

Tickets on sale at the Ticket Office of the Teatro Regio, Piazza Castello 215 - Tel. 011.8815.241/242, at Infopiemonte-Torinocultura, in Vivaticket stores, online at www.vivaticket.it and by telephone at no. 011.8815.270. Performance of 6 February: €170 - 135 - 120 - 100 - 70 - 55. Performances of 8, 10, 13, 15 and 17 February: €95 - 80 - 75 - 70 - 60 - 29. Performances of 9, 14 and 16 February: €90 - 75 - 70 - 65 - 55 - 29. Performance of 12 February: €60 - 55 - 50 - 45 - 40 - 29. Tickets reduced by 20% for under-30s and by 10% for over-65s. 18app: single seat €25 (performance of 6 February). One hour before the shows, seats will be sold with a 20% reduction on the full price. The reductions are not valid for the 12 February performance. For further information: Tel. 011.8815.557 and www.teatroregio.torino.it.
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Turin, 16 January 2019

PRESS OFFICE
Teatro Regio, Communication and Press Department - Paola Giunti (Director), Sara Zago (Press Relations) - Tel. +39 011.8815.239/730 ufficiostampa@teatroregio.torino.it - giunti@teatroregio.torino.it - zago@teatroregio.torino.it - www.teatroregio.torino.it