The giant clown’s head whose peaceful expression can change into the leer of a misogynist and a screaming grimace; the illuminated captive balloon which Gilda is abducted from after singing of her love in the aria »Caro nome«; the unscrupulous but seductive duke with his entourage of daring acrobats – spectacular images from Philipp Stölzl’s staging have been shared all round the world since the premiere. The opera and film director makes Giuseppe Verdi’s stirring music visible. The Rigoletto he presents on the Bregenz lake stage is a gripping drama that combines the thrills of the circus with the subtleties of a chamber play.
The court jester Rigoletto jokes about the licentious ways of his master the duke, but actively supports him in his conquests. His laughter at the incensed Monterone, whose daughter has been dishonoured by the duke, sticks in his throat when Monterone curses him. Without realising it, Rigoletto becomes an accomplice in the kidnapping of his own daughter Gilda, who he keeps confined to the house. Rigoletto engages a murderer to put an end once and for all to the duke's egotistical philandering. But when Rigoletto is about to throw the shrouded corpse into the water, he hears the duke singing his cynical credo »La donna è mobile« and fears for his daughter's life …
The director and stage designer Philipp Stölzl made a name for himself with music videos for Madonna and the German band Rammstein, and went on to make films like North Face, The Physician, Winnetou and most recently Schachnovelle (“chess novella”), which will go on release in 2021. His movie Ich war noch niemals in New York won special prize at the German Film Awards in 2019. For the opera stage he has directed acclaimed productions at the Salzburg Festival, Theater an der Wien and the Staatsoper in Berlin, Dresden and Munich. Directing Rigoletto on the lake stage at Bregenz is the fulfilment of a long-cherished dream for Stölzl.
The 2021 Bregenz Festival runs from 21 July to 22 August 2021. For tickets and details visit www.bregenzerfestspiele.com or call 0043 5574 4076.+43 (0)5574 407-6.
Musical director Julia Jones, Daniel Cohen
Stage director Philipp Stölzl
Stage designer Philipp Stölzl, Heike Vollmer
Costume designer Kathi Maurer
Lighting designer Georg Veit, Philipp Stölzl
Movement and Stunt Director Wendy Hesketh-Ogilvie
Associate stage director Philipp M. Krenn
Choral director Lukáš Vasilek | Benjamin Lack
Dramaturg Olaf A. Schmitt
Bregenz Festival Choir
Prague Philharmonic Choir
Music on stage in cooperation with Vorarlberg Conservatory
Wired Aerial Theatre