If he was to be remembered for just one opera, Verdi was once asked, what would it be? With the figurative gun to his head, he replied, “Il mio gobbo” (“My hunchback”). The reference, of course, was to Rigoletto, the tale of a tormented court jester’s revenge gone hideously wrong. Bart Sher’s new Met production, which rings in the New Year, is mostly double cast. Through January 29, under the baton of Daniele Rustioni, the resplendent Rosa Feola portrays Gilda, the convent-bred innocent, opposite Piotr Beczała as that impenitent serial seducer, the Duke of Mantua. In May and June, Kristina Mkhitaryan and Stephen Costello step in, along with new faces in the supporting roles, paced by Karel Mark Chichon. The only principal slated for all performances is the Honolulu native Quinn Kelsey, as the eponymous buffoon. A Verdi baritone of rare authority, he’s becoming indispensable to impresarios in top houses all over the world. Time for his coronation? —M.G.
Metropolitan Opera 30 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023, USA Get Directions »