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Friday, February 10, 2017 at 8pm  

Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 2pm 

Speakeasy on the south side of Chicago, 1929

Act I

‘The Duke’ boasts to his gangsters of his romantic conquests, escorting Ceprano’s wife, his latest prize, from the room. His hunchback bootlegger, Rigoletto, openly makes fun of the Ceprano. Marullo announces that Rigoletto is suspected of keeping a young mistress, and Ceprano plots with the gangsters to punish the hated buffoon. Later Monterone, a rival gang member, enters to denounce the Duke for seducing his daughter. Accepting his dark fate, Monterone pronounces a curse of revenge on both the Duke and Rigoletto, who becomes overwhelmed with fear. 

On his way home that very night Rigoletto broods on the curse, rejecting services offered by Sparafucile a professional assassin, claiming the word can be deadlier than the dagger. Greeted by his daughter, Gilda, whom he keeps hidden from the world, he reminisces about his wife, then warns the governess Giovanna to admit no one into the apartment.  As Rigoletto leaves, the Duke slips into the tenement and pays off Giovanna to buy her silence. He declares his love to Gilda who has noticed him at church. He is a poor student, he tells her, named Gualtier Malde, but at the sound of footsteps he rushes away. Tenderly repeating his name, Gilda retires. Meanwhile, the malicious gangsters stop Rigoletto outside his house and ask him to help abduct Ceprano’s wife who lives nearby. The bootlegger is duped into wearing a blindfold and holding a ladder against his own tenement wall. The gangsters break into his home and carry Gilda off. Rigoletto, hearing her crying for help, tears off his blindfold and rushes into the apartment discovering that his daughter has been taken.  As he collapses, he remembers Monterone’s curse. 

Act II

In his hotel suite, the Duke is distraught over the kidnaping of Gilda. When his gangsters return, saying it is they who have taken her and that she is now in his bedroom, he rushes off to the conquest. Soon Rigoletto enters looking for Gilda.  The entourage prevents him from storming the Duke’s bedroom, but are astonished to learn she is not his mistress, but his daughter. The bootlegger reviles them, then embraces the disheveled Gilda as she tells her father of her courtship and abduction. As Monterone is led to his death still cursing the Duke, Rigoletto swears vengeance for their wrongs. 

Rigoletto brings Gilda to the outskirts of town, where Sparafucile and his prostitute sister, Maddalena, live. The Duke arrives and Rigoletto and Gilda watch from outside as he amuses himself with Maddalena. Rigoletto sends his distraught daughter off to disguise herself as a boy for their escape, then pays Sparafucile to murder the Duke. Gilda returns to hear Maddalena persuade her brother to kill, not the handsome Duke, but her next customer instead. Resolving to sacrifice herself for the Duke, despite his betrayal, Gilda enters the den and is stabbed. Rigoletto returns, and assuming the body is the corpse of the Duke, gloats over his revenge.  But when he hears the supposed victim singing in the distance, he frantically cuts open the sack to finds his daughter.  Gilda dies asking for her father’s forgiveness. The curse is fulfilled.

All attendees are invited to a free conductor pre-talk an hour prior to each production.

*Receive complimentary drinks when you purchase dinner at Maxwell's in Hanover Square Friday, February 10th!

*Meet our poster model and full-time heart-throb Chris Wiacek during intermission at both performances! Snuggle up to him on a loveseat for a photo-op to remember! 



Production Team and Cast Information

Christian Capocaccia, Conductor

Stephanie Havey , Director

Kathleen Stakenas, Stage Manager

In Order of Appearance,

Eric Barry, Duke

Adam Bonanni, Borsa

Danan Tsan, Countess Ceprano

Todd Thomas, Rigoletto

Tom Anzalone, Marullo

Philip Eisenman, Ceprano

Steven Stull, Monterone

Eric Johnson, Sparafucile

Cree Carrico, Gilda

Shannon Procter, Giovanna

Easton Clark, Usher

Maria Whitcomb, Page

Cathleen O'Brien Brown, Maddelena

Symphoria, Orchestra

Syracuse Opera Chorus, Ensemble