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July 2023 Next



Scene 1 


A festive ball is taking place at the court of Mantua. The Duke happily tells the courtier Borsa about his amorous adventure with a beautiful girl who lives at a house in a remote alley where she is visited by an unknown man every evening. He has met her only in church so far, so she does not know who he is. The Duke makes advances to Countess Ceprano, and her husband is mocked by Rigoletto, the hunchbacked jester. Marullo reveals a sensation to other courtiers: he has discovered that Rigoletto has a mistress. All arcs convulsed with laughter. Rigoletto suggests ways in which the Duke might get rid of the Count in order to seduce his wife. Ceprano is enraged. Suddenly Monterone storms in, accusing the Duke of having dishonoured his daughter. When the jester mocks his grief the old man curses him. Rigoletto is filled with a sense of dread. 


Scene 2 


Rigoletto remembers Monterone's curse with dark foreboding. Sparafucile the hired assassin approaches him and offers his services. Left alone, Rigoletto reflects on the humiliations of his existence as a cripple and as court buffoon. Only in his love for his daughter Gilda is he a human being. Gilda comes out of the house and throws herself into his arms. When she begs him to tell her about her early life, Rigoletto pours out the sorrow of his lost Love; his daughter is the only joy remaining to him, He forbids Gilda ought to leave the house, and orders the housekeeper Giovanna to guard her. Having bribed Giovanna to admit him, the Duke - incognito - surprizes Gilda and makes passionate declarations of love. Gilda is overjoyed. In the darkness Ceprano, Marullo and the courtiers arrive, intending to abduct Rigoletto's supposed mistress. Made to believe that it is Countess Ceprano, who is being abducted, the blindfolded Rigoletto even holds the ladder for them. As Gilda is dragged away he tears the blindfold from his eyes, too late. The curse has begun to take effect. 




The Duke has discovered to his genuine despair that Gilda has been abducted. The courtiers triumphantly tell how they seized Rigoletto's 'mistress' - Gilda. The Duke rushes to her. Rigoletto appears with feigned indifference. He has to realize that Gilda is with the Duke. The courtiers prevent him from rushing in. When she is brought to him, Gilda tearfully confesses her liaison with the Duke, which has robbed her of her honour. Led past on his way to prison, Monterone again curses the despairing Rigoletto, who thinks only of vengeance. 




Rigoletto has paid Sparafucile to murder the Dulce. He and Gilda watch the building from a vantagepoint outside. Gilda recognizes the Duke flirting with the assassin's sister Maddalena. Taking pity on the handsome young woman, Maddalena persuades her brother to kill someone else instead of him. Gilda overhears the plan and resolves to sacrifice herself for her lover. She knocks at the door behind which Sparafucile is lurking with a knife ready to slay whoever enters. The door opens - night and the thunderstorm obscure everything. The victim is concealed in a sack. The returning Rigoletto is about to throw it into the river when he hears the Duke singing his wooing canzone. Rigoletto tears open the sack to discover his dying daughter. She begs his forgiveness, and dies in the hope of heavenly bliss. Rigoletto is utterly broken. Monterone's curse has been fulfilled. 

Program and cast


Ádám Medveczky

Duke of Mantua

Gergely Boncsér


Alexandru Agache


Rita Rácz


Géza Gábor


Viktória Mester

Count Monterone

László Szvétek


Antal Cseh


Balázs Papp univ. stud.

Count Ceprano

Lajos Geiger

Countess Ceprano

Zsuzsanna Kapi univ.stud.


Bernadett Wiedemann


Zsófia Nagy

Court usher

Lőrinc Kósa

Photo gallery

Hungarian State Opera


If all the seats are sold out for the selected time, but you still want to see the production on that day, 84 of the extremely affordable standing seats will be sold at the theatre, 2 hours before the start of the performance, with which you can visit the gallery on the 3rd floor. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office of the Budapest Opera House. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that the stage can only be seen to a limited extent from the standing places and the side seats, but at the same time, following the performance is also supported by television broadcasting on the spot.

The Opera House is not only one of the most significant art relic of Budapest, but the symbol of the Hungarian operatic tradition of more than three hundred years as well. The long-awaited moment in Hungarian opera life arrived on September 27, 1884, when, in the presence of Franz Joseph I. the Opera House was opened amid great pomp and ceremony. The event, however, erupted into a small scandal - the curious crowd broke into the entrance hall and overran the security guards in order to catch a glimpse of the splendid Palace on Sugar út. Designed by Mikós Ybl, a major figure of 19th century Hungarian architecture, the construction lived up to the highest expectations. Ornamentation included paintings and sculptures by leading figures of Hungarian art of the time: Károly Lotz, Bertalan Székely, Mór Than and Alajos Stróbl. The great bronze chandelier from Mainz and the stage machinery moda by the Asphaleia company of Vienna were both considered as cutting-edge technology at that time.


Many important artists were guests here including Gustav Mahler, the composer who was director in Budapest from 1887 to 1891. He founded the international prestige of the institution, performing Wagner operas as well as Magcagni’ Cavalleria Rusticana. The Hungarian State Opera has always maintained high professional standards, inviting international stars like Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Monserrat Caballé, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, José Cura, Thomas Hampson and Juan Diego Flórez to perform on its stage. The Hungarian cast include outstanding and renowed artists like Éva Marton, Ilona Tokody, Andrea Rost, Dénes Gulyás, Attila Fekete and Gábor Bretz.

Attila Nagy
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