Giuseppe Verdis Rigoletto recorded in high definition in the Renaissance splendor of Mantua, Italy, in the actual places and hours of the day specified in the libretto comes to Great Performances on the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) Sunday, July 17, at 1 p.m.
Directed by Marco Bellocchio, Rigoletto from Mantua stars Plàcido Domingo in the baritone title role of Rigoletto; Julia Novikova as his innocent daughter Gilda; Vittorio Grigolo as the womanizing Duke; and Ruggero Raimondi as the assassin Sparafucile.
Rigoletto is a court jester who after publicly ridiculing a nobleman, Count Ceprano, is tragically punished by the courtiers for his unforgivable insolence.
Gilda, the attractive, sheltered daughter of Rigoletto, pays the price with her life for the errors of her father and the mistaken love for the cynical Duke of Mantua, a powerful and handsome man, intoxicated and driven by the taste of female conquest. Gilda becomes bewitched by the Duke in disguise, believing that he is a young student, and subsequently falls in love with him. In reality, nothing is what it appears to be, and the fate of the characters entwines dangerously until the tragic end.
Based on how it was conceived and developed, Rigoletto from Mantua is one of the most complex audio-visual operations ever attempted. Through an advanced and sophisticated technological system, the locations in different points of the city of Mantua were seamlessly linked together.
The locations chosen included: the sumptuous rooms of Palazzo Te, the famous villa of parties, receptions and idleness of the Duke of Mantua, built between 1525 and 1535 by the architect and painter Giulio Romano at the will of Federico II Gonzaga; Palazzo Ducale, the main residence of the Gonzaga rulers, Marquis and ultimately the dukes of the city of Mantua; and The Fortress of Sparafucile, known as the Rock of Rigoletto, a former military garrison Gonzaga located at the entrance to the city of Mantua.
The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is Arkansass statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. For more information, visit www.aetn.org, or follow the AETN blog at www.aetn.org/engage. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).