Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901)

19:30 - 22:15
B-Prices: € 86,00 / € 66,00 / € 44,00 / € 26,00 / € 20,00
Information about the work

Melodramma in 3 acts
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
First performed on 11th March 1851 in Venice
Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 21. April 2013

2 hrs 45 mins / 1 interval

In Italian with German and English surtitles

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance

recommended from 14 years
Share this post
Our thanks to our partners

Supported by Förderkreis der Deutschen Oper Berlin e. V.

19:30 - 22:15
B-Prices: € 86,00 / € 66,00 / € 44,00 / € 26,00 / € 20,00
the content

About the work
“As for the effect that a work has as a piece of theatre, I’d say that RIGOLETTO is the best material that I’ve ever set to music […]. It has very powerful scenes, there’s temperament, pathos, a lot of variety.” [Verdi to Antonio Somma, 22nd April 1853]

In describing the attributes of his 1851 melodrama based on Victor Hugo’s acclaimed play “Le roi s’amuse” Verdi also puts his finger on the challenges that any director has to address: RIGOLETTO is namely a masterpiece whose particularity lies in the clash between the characters’ psychology and the improbable action of a fantasy storyline.

It’s a tale that smacks of gothic horror. In his role as court jester to the Duke of Mantua, the hunchbacked Rigoletto is despised by the collected courtiers and in return makes fun of all the men whose wives have been ravished by his boss, a notorious womaniser. So nervous is he that his own daughter, Gilda, might fall victim to the Duke that he conceals her very existence. Finally Rigoletto realises that his attempt to preserve the cocoon of his family life is doomed to fail in this environment of wanton violence. Gilda is seduced too by the Duke, even laying down her life for him.

It is Verdi’s music that gives the story its emotional credibility and makes RIGOLETTO a tragedy that unfurls as a result of the interaction of three very different people – the Duke, a rake for whom Verdi wrote such seductive music that Gilda and the audience alike are swept up in his aura; Rigoletto, one of those typical Verdi creations who have good and bad sides to them; and finally Gilda, a pristine personification of innocence and sympathy. In RIGOLETTO we identify especially with these three people and come to view even the craziest chance incidents as the characters’ inescapable destiny.

About the production
In his first opera production in Berlin, Jan Bosse too was attracted by this exploitation of musical theatre to maximum effect. In his production Bosse transforms the auditorium of the Deutsche Oper into the Court of Mantua and the under-stage trap room into the hiding place used by Gilda, the daughter of Rigoletto the jester. Rigoletto’s efforts to keep his private life separate from his job in the service of a corrupt regime are futile, however, and his world gradually collapses into its component parts. In the end, with his daughter dead and all his plans dashed, Rigoletto is left, literally, with nothing.

Our recommendations

La traviata
La traviata


News about the schedule
and the start of advance booking
Personal recommendations
Special offers ...
Stay well informed!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our Newsletter and receive 25% off your next ticket purchase.

* Mandatory field



Advents-Verlosung: Das 2. Fensterchen

In today's Advent calendar window, we are giving away 3 DVDs of "Der Schatzgräber" - an opera in a prelude, four acts and a postlude by Franz Schreker. If you would like to win one of the three DVDs, please send an e-mail today with the subject "The 2nd window" to advent@deutscheoperberlin.de.

DER SCHATZGRÄBER (THE TREASURE HUNTER) by Franz Schreker was a triumph at its world premiere in Frankfurt in 1920 and went on to play 44 times at assorted venues over the next five years. It then fell victim to a shifting zeitgeist and slipped from opera-house programmes, with a National Socialist ban on performances sealing its demise. Even after 1945 the Schreker revival was a long time coming – and THE TREASURE HUNTER has not featured prominently in the renaissance.

As with the vast majority of Schreker’s libretti, the story of Els and Elis explores the relationship between fantasy and reality, between art and life. Soulmates in the sense that they are both at the mercy of the king’s disposition, Els and Elis set off in search of different treasures. Elis, the minstrel, uses his magic lute to locate a stash of jewels and do humanity a good turn. Els, an innkeeper’s daughter who has grown up motherless in a tough, male-chauvinist world, becomes a liar, cheat and murderess in pursuit of her goal, tasking her suitors to steal the queen’s jewels and then having them killed once they have returned with the haul of treasure. Yet even with the gold in their possession, the pair are not content, and so, true to form, Schreker turns his attention to the theme of yearning per se, which is the actual “treasure” that the composer is interested in, “a dream of happiness and redemption”. Elis and Els are caught up in a swirl of dreams, memories, premonitions, songs and music. Their stories take on a dreamlike quality in a world beset by greed, murder and emotional inconstancy. For Franz Schreker the path to redemption could only be via art. Composed during the turmoil of the First World War, the TREASURE HUNTER score amounts to Schreker’s personal confession of artistic faith, executed in florid strokes of late-Romantic musical colour.

Conductor Marc Albrecht; Staging Christof Loy; Set design Johannes Leiacker; Costume design Barbara Drosihn; With Tuomas Pursio, Doke Pauwels, Clemens Bieber, Michael Adams, Joel Allison, Michael Laurenz, Thomas Johannes Mayer, Seth Carico, Daniel Johansson, Gideon Poppe, Stephen Bronk, Elisabet Strid, Patrick Cook, Tyler Zimmerman a. o.; Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

Closing date: 2 December 2023, the winners will be informed by email on 4 December 2023. The DVDs will then be sent by post. Legal recourse is excluded.