Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House


The fires are burning merrily in the Duke’s palace as beautiful people at magnificent candlelit dinners party on into the night. Meanwhile, in the streets of Mantua, shadows tread softly.

Words pass between hooded figures, their meaning drowned out by the sounds of drunken revelry. Are they whispering sweet nothings, or bitter secrets? Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference in the gloom.

Verdi’s dark tale glitters with passion and suspense in this glamorous new production. Tell your jokes, lock up your daughter and trust nobody.

The moment he wrote it, Verdi knew he had a hit on his hands.

So much so that for the first performance of Rigoletto he rehearsed the Duke’s famous aria, ‘La donna è mobile’, in secret to avoid giving away what was to prove one of the catchiest tunes in opera.

‘La donna è mobile’ is just one of many fabulous arias in Rigoletto and to serve it well requires exceptional singers.


Verdi is about voice, voice and more voice and Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini is determined to let Australian audiences hear the finest on the world stage.

The cast for this new production of Rigoletto is a gathering from around the world. One of the world's great Verdi experts, Renato Palumbo, conducts.

As the swaggering Duke, Mexican tenor Diego Torre and Italian Gianluca Terranova, who performed this role at La Scala  and the Arena di Verona.

As Gilda, an Australian star, Emma Matthews.

And taking the momentous step into one of Verdi’s most important baritone roles, two singers who have enjoyed immense success in Australia and around the world, Giorgio Caoduro and José Carbó.

Not every singer is discovered on the world stage or developed through the Opera Australia ensemble, however. David Parkin was discovered on television, when he won the role of Sparafucile on Operatunity Oz.

It doesn’t really matter what path leads an artist to this demanding repertoire, nothing beats the thrill of hearing great Verdi singing.


Conductor Renato Palumbo (until 31 July except 26 July evening)
Anthony Legge (26 July evening & from 2 August)
Director Roger Hodgman
Set Designer Richard Roberts
Costume Designer Tracy Grant Lord
Lighting Designer Matt Scott
Rigoletto Giorgio Caoduro*
José Carbó
Warwick Fyfe§
Duke of Mantua

Gianluca Terranova*§
Diego Torre

Gilda Emma Matthews**
Eva Kong§
Monterone Gennadi Dubinsky
Sparafucile David Parkin
Pelham Andrews
Maddalena Sian Pendry
Marullo Luke Gabbedy
Borsa David Corcoran
Ceprano Samuel Dundas
Giovanna Dominica Matthews
Countess Ceprano Eleanor Greenwood
Page Jodie McGuren
Usher Ryan Sharp

Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra

Opera Australia Chorus

* 26, 28 June; 2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 17, 19 July
23, 26. 31 July; 2, 6, 9, 14, 16, 22, 24 August
§ 26 July evening
** 26, 28 June; 2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 17, 19, 23, 26, 31 July; 2, 6, 9, 14, 16, 22, 24 August

Please note that this production briefly contains partial nudity.

Running time: 2 hours & 20 minutes, including one 20-minute interval

"What a treat this production is: An outstanding cast, a simple but effective set with two huge rotating set pieces, colourful costumes and the joy of some of opera’s most glorious music."
The Daily Telegraph

"... the moment where orchestral, vocal and staging planets come into true alignment is in the energetic second act. [...] The muscular strength of the orchestra dissolves into a single cello solo as Rigoletto is reduced to tears over his loss."
The Guardian

"...let the music speak. And how beautifully it does so under conductor Renato Palumbo, with a trio of principals as individual in their artistry as they are consistent in their quality."
The Sydney Morning Herald

"Palumbo and the orchestra’s stylish, sensitive accompaniment was the first of three key ingredients that made this version of Rigoletto such an outstanding achievement. [...] The other successful ingredient was director Roger Hodgman’s new production, returning the opera to its 16th-century context."
The Australian (login required)



Buy TicketsBuy Tickets
View Cart
0 Items