The 2013/14 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season begins on WRTI with a live broadcast of Verdi’s tragic masterpiece Rigoletto, set in Las Vegas and starring baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in his first company performance of the title role. Tenor Matthew Polenzani co-stars as the Duke, and two artists make their network broadcast debuts: Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva, who sings Gilda, and Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado. Bass Štefan Kocán and mezzo-soprano Oksana Volkova are the corrupt siblings Sparafucile and Maddalena.
This is a world where murder’s a sport and debauchery’s a way of life. At its rotten core reigns the Duke of Mantua, a serial seducer who’s out to conquer anyone in skirts—from servant girls to the wives and daughters of his noblemen friends. Aiding his boss in the game and cheering him on when he scores is Rigoletto, the despised court jester. Only one person brings him joy—his innocent daughter Gilda, whom he keeps behind locked doors and guards with his life.