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GIUSEPPE VERDI


Celebrate the Mississippi. Buy your Grand Flotilla tickets today! www.grandexcursion.com

elebrate

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Theater

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rand Excursion 2004 celebrates the power and magic of the Mississippi River with two spectacular programs: The Twin Cities will salute the mighty river all year with

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100% of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Public Schools have signed up for free Grand Excursion River Exploration Trunks, an unprecedented educational outreach program cited by the US Department of Education for excellence.


Uncommon wisdom. Common sense.

Putting our collective minds to work on our clients’ goals comes first and foremost at Leonard, Street and Deinard. But using our heads goes beyond scholarship and knowledge. As we counsel our clients, we are also exceedingly practical about every legal matter. Think that’s smart? It’s just good common sense. To sample our thinking, call the Corporate Law Department at 612.335.1500 or visit www.leonard.com.

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Announcing a new book by the popular Minnesota author

Brenda Ueland In O Clouds, Unfold! the story of Clara Ueland, one of Minnesota’s most celebrated suffragists, is skillfully recreated through a fascinating collage of family correspondence, journal entries, and newspaper and pamphlet texts. Ueland’s service to her family, her state, and her country deserves the attention it receives in this vivid, rewarding book. — Nina M. Archabal, Director, Minnesota Historical Society A family memoir that is also social history is a literary occasion, but when the voice is as buoyant and enthralling as Brenda Ueland’s, it is also a delight. Ueland and her remarkable family embodied the best of old-style Scandinavian Minneapolis — which is to say they were progressive in politics, sophisticated about art and music, and ardent and playful about being alive. This is another beauty from a treasured Minnesota writer. —Patricia Hampl, Author of Virgin Time and A Romantic Education The discovery and publication of O Clouds, Unfold! is a literary event of major importance. The book is a wonderfully rich, detailed account of a Norwegian-American family from 1860 to 1927. It offers insights into the suffragist movement, social reforms, child labor laws, the formation of the League of Women Voters, the Minneapolis Women’s Club and much more. The use of primary sources gives it vitality and currency. It could well become the classic account of Minnesota life during that colorful period. —Elmer Andersen, Former Governor of Minnesota The revealing memoir, spiced with wonderfully written letters, diary entries and daughter Brenda’s insightful comments, is rich in history, understanding, and humor. I found O Clouds, Unfold! addictive reading… —Kay Sexton, (Former) Vice President, Barnes & Noble

Available at fine bookstores everywhere

A portion of the sale of this book has been designated by the publisher, Nodin Press, for

The Schubert Club Scholarship Funds The Schubert Club • Est. 1882 • Landmark Center, St. Paul, Minnesota • www.schubert.org


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Contents The Minnesota Opera Sta∂ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Coming Up: Lucrezia Borgia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Notes from the Leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Board of Directors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Young Professionals Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Rigoletto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Background Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Synopsis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Victor Hugo and Francis I of France. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Giuseppe Verdi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 The Artists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 A Tribute to Barbara Bemis and Kenneth Dayton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Resident Artist Recitals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 The Minnesota Opera Chorus and Orchestra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 The Minnesota Opera Fund and Volunteers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

The Minnesota Opera President & CEO Artistic Director Chair, Board of Directors

Lamps and Shades with Character

(952) 449-9802 864 E. Lake Street, Wayzata

Supporting the arts and excellent academics

Kevin Smith Dale Johnson Susan Boren

The Minnesota Opera, 620 North First Street Minneapolis, MN 55401 (612) 333-2700 www.mnopera.org The Minnesota Opera is a member of OPERA America. This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature. In addition, this activity is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

November 2003

The Minnesota Opera Program is published by Arts & Custom Publishing Corporate Administrator/Publisher Assoc. Publisher/Director of Production Senior Account Executives Creative Designer Production Designers

Todd Hyde Marsha Kitchel Liesl Hyde, Yvonne Christiansen Michael Gutierres Jill Adler, Sue Sentyrz Klapmeier, Robert Ochsner

ARTS & CUSTOM PUBLISHING CO., INC. 10001 Wayzata Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55305 Phone (612) 375-9222 FAX (612) 375-9208

Large-print and Braille programs are available at the Patron Services O∑ce

since


the minnesota opera • 6

Staff Welcome to The Minnesota Opera’s 2003 – 2004 season and today’s production of Rigoletto. Since its inception in 1963, The Minnesota Opera has continued to build and enrich the cultural life in our community by producing outstanding and innovative operas and opera education programs that inspire and entertain. The U.S. Bank Private Client Group is proud to sponsor the 2003 – 2004 season. Sponsoring the opera season is just part of our commitment to the arts and the quality of life in our community. This year’s opera season celebrates the singer. However, every production involves an ensemble of individuals committed to a common goal. From the conductor to the costume designer, the team’s objective is to enhance the singer’s ability to convey emotion beautifully. At the U.S. Bank Private Client Group, we also embrace teamwork. Our team is comprised of individuals who are committed to meeting the financial needs of our clients. And it is the client who is at the center of all we do. We’re proud of our partnership with The Minnesota Opera and to be part of the team effort you’re about to experience. Enjoy the performance.

Jose A. Peris, Senior Vice President, Region Manager, U.S. Bank Private Client Group, and Minnesota Opera board member

President & CEO Kevin Smith Artistic Director Dale Johnson General Manager John Humleker Artistic Artistic Administrator . . . . .Roxanne Cruz Artistic Associate . . . . . . Floyd Anderson Community Ed. Director . .Jamie Andrews Dramaturg . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Sander Production Stage Manager . . . Alex Farino Assistant Stage Managers . . .Kristen E. Burke, Katie Preissner Head of Music . . . . . . . . . .Bruce Stasyna Coach/Accompanist . . . . . . . .Julian Ward Resident Artists . . . . . . . . .Matt Boehler, Jeremy Cady, Genevieve Christianson, Liora Grodnikaite, Anna Jablonski, Seth Keeton, Daniel Montenegro, Evelyn Pollock, Andrew Wilkowske, Karin Wolverton, Christopher Zemliauskas Resident Artist Faculty . . . . . . . .Carlotta Dradi-Bower, Linda Talcott Lee, David Mann, Nancy Tibbetts KIDS . . . . . .Jeremiah Alto, Christy Anderson, Mario Diaz-Moresco Costumes Costume Director . . . . . . . .Gail Bakkom Assistant Costume Director . . .Beth Sanders Drapers . . . . . .Chris Bur, Angela Patten, Yancey Thrift First Hands . . . . . . . . .Helen Ammann, Mark Heiden, Valerie Hill Stitchers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jennifer Dawson, Chrystina Hanson, Stephanie Molstad, Christine Richardson, Stephanie Vogel Wig/Makeup Assistants . . .Janet Dromgoole, Jodi Heath, Emily Rosenmeier

Coming Up:

January 24, 27, 29, 31 and February 1 (matinee)

Keri Picket

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850 Grand Avenue,St Paul 55105 651-224-5687 www.cafelatte.com

The master Donizetti, who composed the unforgettable Lucia di Lammermoor, transforms the dark drama of the murderous Borgia matriarch into gleaming melody. Irini Tsirakidis, Bruce Ford and Vivica Genaux lead the cast of what will be the Bel Canto event of the year. For tickets call 651-224-4222. Renowned Bel Canto expert Philip Gossett leads an Opera Education Class on Mon., Jan. 5, 7 – 9 p.m. Call 612-342-9575.

Scenery Scenic and Lighting Director . . Tom Mays Technical Supervisor . . . . . . . . . Mike McQuiston Scenic Administrator . . . Holly Carpenter Properties Master . . Stanley Dean Hawthorne Properties Assistant . . . . . . . . Mike Long Charge Painter . . . . . . . . . . Debra Jensen Production Carpenter . . . . . . . J.C. Amel Scene Shop Foreman . . . . . . . . Rod Aird Carpenters . . . . . . Patrick Dzieweczynski, Steve Rovie Assistant Lighting Designer . .Nicole Simoneau Administration Controller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Je∂ Couture Operations/Systems Manager . . . . . . . . . . Steve Mittelholtz Accounting Associate . . . . . Jennifer Thill Executive Assistant . . . . . Theresa Murray Development Development Director . . .Patrick Dewane Development Consultant . . . . .John Spokes Institutional Gifts Manager . . . Jaime Meyer Donor Relations Coordinator . . Melissa Peterson Development Assistants . . .Kelly Classen, Claire MacDonald Marketing/Communications Marketing Director . . . . . . . . . . .Carl Lee Communications Director . . . Lani Willis Ticket O∑ce Manager . . . . Andrea Corich Receptionist/Volunteer Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Malia Cole


Notes from the Leadership Welcome to the opening of our 2003-2004 season! This company has a long history of building new productions, and Rigoletto is the latest addition to that legacy. Designed by the Minnesota Opera staff artists that brought you last year’s glorious La traviata, Costume Director Gail Bakkom and Scenic and Lighting Director Tom Mays, Rigoletto is set in the story’s historical context—late Renaissance Italy. Inspired by period art, the Italian countryside and Zelinsky’s fairytale illustrations, this production has a distinctive sense of place and transitions elegantly from scene to scene through the use of a large revolve. Supportive of our voice-centered artistic philosophy, our hunchback’s costume was created to serve both the character and the singer by highlighting the important fact of the jester’s deformity without requiring the singer to distort himself to play the part. Director Casey Stangl guides the story through not only the lens of the complicated father/daughter relationship, nor solely through the handicap of the title character, but also through deep research into the power of superstition in the period. Monterone’s curse sets so much of the story into action, and you will see how it affects Rigoletto and drives his decisions. I hope you enjoy our new production!

Dale Johnson, Artistic Director

from the Board Chair and President Rigoletto is our second production built with the Production Innovation System, a program of The Minnesota Opera’s Opera at the Ordway Initiative. Our voice-based artistic philosophy drives all aspects of production, even the non-musical ones, and inspired a reinvention of the way we produce opera. Our System allows us to create stage designs that optimize the voice and Ordway Center’s forward stage configuration and that establish our unique visual identity with an economically viable method. Having been at the forefront of the opera co-production trend, The Minnesota Opera is now leading the next evolution in making the most expensive art form more cost-efficient to produce. The Production Innovation System lowers the cost of the hidden elements while allowing greater investment in the visible aspects by creating an inventory of reusable structural elements. Up to two-thirds of the cost of a production consists of structural elements the audience doesn’t see. From this production, our inventory will gain a turntable and the structure supporting the surrounding decking, as well as a stock of modular curved wall units to complement the flat ones Rigoletto borrows from The Handmaid’s Tale. The Board is committed to raise the resources necessary to produce the kind of opera you have come to expect and supports the innovative, creative solutions the company brings to the equation. We need your help and we ask you to make The Minnesota Opera a philanthropic priority. To learn how you can contribute to the Opera at the Ordway Initiative, please contact Patrick Dewane at 612-342-9565.

Susan S. Boren, Board Chair

Kevin Smith, President and CEO

Karen Bachman Richard P. Carroll Susan J. Crockett Ellie Crosby Rolf Engh Brad F. England John G. Forsythe Steve Fox R. Thomas Greene, Jr. Dan E. Gustafson Sharon Hawkins Heinz Hutter Paula Johnson Lucy Rosenberry Jones Michael F. Kelly, Jr. Sarah B. Kling Lynne E. Looney Elizabeth “Becky” Malkerson Thomas R. McBurney Diana E. Murphy Bruce Nelson Brian E. Palmer Jose Peris Connie Remele Steven M. Rothschild Virginia L. Stringer Catie Tobin

Officers Susan S. Boren, Chair John A. Blanchard, III, Vice Chair Lucy T. Searls, Secretary Thomas J. Foley Treasurer Kevin Smith, President & CEO Julia W. Dayton, Director Emeritus Mary W. Vaughan, Director Emeritus James A. Rubenstein, legal counsel, Moss & Barnett Honorary Directors Dominick Argento Philip Brunelle Elizabeth Close Dolly Fiterman Charles C. Fullner Norton M. Hintz Donald W. Judkins David P. Keefe Liz Kochiras Jevne Pennock Patricia H. Sheppard

Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions celebrates its 50th Anniversary! Minnesota District Auditions November 22, 10am at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Master Class and Book Signing with Shirley Verrett November 23, 1pm at Landmark Center, Ramsey County Courtroom. Upper Midwest Regional Auditions January 31, 12 noon at Ordway Center All events are free and open to the public. For more information, please call 763-476-2372 (Judith Boylan, Upper Midwest Reg. Dir.) or 952-938-6908 (Margaret Houlton, MN District Dir.)

7 • rigoletto

from the Artistic Director

Board of Directors


the minnesota opera • 8

photo by Barbara Willis

Opera straight up with a twist… Are you a 20- or 30-something who’s curious about opera? Looking for something new and fun to look forward to? Join other young professionals for the hottest ticket in town — The Minnesota Opera’s Young Professionals Group! Mem-

bers are entitled to great seats at the Opera as well as preopera cocktail parties at Fhima’s, social gatherings at The Minnesota Opera Center and other special events throughout the season.

For more information about the Young Professionals Group, email us at YPG@mnopera.org or visit www.mnopera.org/Special_Events/young_professionals.htm.

The Minnesota Opera’s Young Professionals Group is sponsored by Rogers & Hollands Jewelers. Fhima’s is the official venue for Opera Nights Out.

Rider Bennett, LLP is proud to help support this evening’s performance by the Minnesota Opera Rider Bennett , LLP is a full service law firm committed to the enhancement of the arts in Minnesota


Opening Night Gala Gala Sponsor

U.S. Bank, Private Client Group Silent Auction Sponsor

Rogers & Hollands Jewelers 3M 3 Muses Restaurant & Speakeasy Bar Anderberg-Lund Printing Company Arezzo Ristorante Karen Bachman Gail Bakkom Paul Bentley The Big Picture Birdwing Spa Gus Blanchard Rod and Susan Boren Buck Holzemer Productions Café Barbette Café Latte The Capital Grille Richard P. Carroll, M.D., F.A.C.S. Chaseburg Manufacturing, Inc. Chino Latino Genevieve Christianson Clear Channel Entertainment/Theatrical Division D’Amico Cucina Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant Dale Warland Singers The Dallas Opera Deloitte & Touche Dorsey & Whitney, LLP Ecolab First Course General Mills Goodfellow’s Grandma’s Restaurant Company Great Waters Brewing Company gretchen gray, ltd.

Guthrie Theater H. & B. Gallery Haskell’s Houston Grand Opera – David Gockley, General Director Dale Johnson Jostens Miriam Kelen La Toscana Ristorante Larue’s LifeTime Fitness The Local Lori Line Music, Inc. Los Angeles Opera MacPhail Center for Music Marimar The Marquette Hotel Marshall Field’s Mell’s Beauty Bar Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle Ltd. Mill City Museum Minneapolis Institute of Arts Minnesota Fringe Festival Minnesota Historical Society The Minnesota Opera Board of Directors The Minnesota Opera Costume Shop Minnesota Orchestral Association Minnesota Public Radio Minnesota Vikings Doug Myhra New York City Opera Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Park Square Theatre Piper Jaffray

Radisson Riverfront Hotel RBC Dain Rauscher Connie and Lew Remele Ristorante Luci/Luci Ancora River Chocolate Company The Rose Ensemble Beth Sanders The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra The Saint Paul Hotel Science Museum of Minnesota The Schubert Club Seattle Opera SHAKERS – An Original American Vodka Signature Gallery SpencerStuart St. James Hotel St. Paul Saints Ed and Virginia Stringer Summit Brewing Company Sunsets of Woodbury Target Corporation David M. Terwilliger Tilka Design Valspar Donatella Vanoni Mary Vaughan VocalEssence Walker Art Center Walt Disney World Company Waterfall Resort Andy Wilkowske

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The Minnesota Opera thanks the generous supporters of the


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Conductor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .John Keenan Stage Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Casey Stangl Choreographer . . . . . . . . . . . .Linda Talcott Lee Set Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Tom Mays Costume Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . .Gail Bakkom Lighting Designer . . . . . . . . . . .Marcus Dilliard Wigs . . . . . . . . . . .Tom Watson and Associates Makeup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Charles LaPointe Assistant Director . . . . . . . . . . .Elizabeth Teefy Chorusmaster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Bruce Stasyna Italian Diction Coach . . . . . . . . .Elizabeth Teefy Production Stage Manager . . . .Alexander Farino

Music by Giuseppe Verdi Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave after Le roi s’amuse by Victor Hugo (1832) World premiere at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice, March 11, 1851 November 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22 and 23, 2003 Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Sung in Italian with English captions Background Notes by David Sander

The Cast Rigoletto, court jester to the Duke . . .Enrico Marrucci* Chen-Ye Yuan** The Duke of Mantua . . . . . . . . . . . . .Vinson Cole* Scott Piper** Gilda, Rigoletto’s daughter . . . . . . .Evelyn Pollock* Genevieve Christianson** Sparafucile, a hired assassin . . . . . . . .Eric Owens Maddalena, his sister . . . . . . . . . .Anna Jablonski Borsa, a courtier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jeremy Cady Marullo, a courtier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Bill Murray Count Monterone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Seth Keeton Count Ceprano . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Matt Boehler Countess Ceprano . . . . . . . . . . . .Karin Wolverton Giovanna, Gilda’s duenna . . . . . Liora Grodnikaite Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Tracey Gorman Court usher . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nathan Petersen-Kindem Noblemen, ladies, guards Setting: In and around Mantua during the 16th century *

performs November 15, 18, 20, 22 ** performs November 16, 21, 23

Rigoletto is sponsored by U.S. Bank, Private Client Group

The appearances of Eric Owens and Chen-Ye Yuan, winners, Tracey Gorman, Liora Grodnikaite, Anna Jablonski and Evelyn Pollock, regional finalists, and Matt Boehler, district finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, are made possible through a Minnesota Opera Endowment Fund established for Artist Enhancement by Barbara White Bemis. Additional historical dance research provided by Lance Benishek. Performances of Rigoletto are being taped for delayed broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio, ksjn 99.5 in the Twin Cities, in June 2004.

e n s o r s h i p h a s a l wa y s b e e n a d i c e y i s s u e , pa r t i c u l a r l y d u r i n g t h e fi r s t h a l f o f t h e 1 9 t h c e n t u r y. E u r o p e a n g o v ernments had to be both vigilant and severe in their response to the ever-present subversive activity undermining t h e e s ta b l i s h e d r o ya l p ow e r s . F r a n c e had seen uprisings in 1830 and again in 1848, and the Risorgimento movement for a u n i fi e d I ta l y, s i m m e r i n g d u r i n g Ve r d i ’ s “galley years” of the 1840s, had reached a boil the very same year, only to be quickly quashed by the Austrian overlords. France had been a little luckier (though only temporarily so) with the Second Republic until its ambitious president, Louis Napoleon (nephew of N a p o l e o n I ) , s e i z e d a b s o l u t e p ow e r i n a coup d’état and established yet another e m p i r e . I t a l y w o u l d h a v e t o wa i t a n other decade to expel the Austrians and set up a constitutional monarchy under its new king, Victor Emmanuel i i .

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The Minnesota Opera season is sponsored by U.S. Bank, Private Client Group. The appearances of the 2003–2004 season conductors are underwritten by SpencerStuart. The 2003–2004 Camerata Circle Dinners are sponsored by Rider, Bennett, Egan & Arundel.


sors early on so the content would be easily approved when the opera was o∑cially submitted. Apparently lulled into complacency by his experience with Ernani (which also premiered in Venice), he felt confident his great conception would pass with little fuss. Piave must have received some sort of verbal assurance that the subject would be accepted and set about the task of writing the libretto. Verdi had instructed him to stay as close to Hugo as possible, but above all to be concise (his usual dictate to the beleaguered poet who already had served him on six prior occasions). If the title must be changed, it could just as easily be La maledizione di Saint-Vallier, as the Count’s curse is at the core of the drama. By August 1850, Carlo Marzari, the president of La Fenice began to express some doubt over the play, having heard of the unsuccessful premiere in France, and feared it would not be allowed. By October, when the libretto had been completed, he immediately asked for a copy and submitted it to the Direzione d’Ordine Pubblico for approval. His concerns proved justifiable – in late November the police order came, banning the opera due to its “abundant immorality.” They would accept no further discussion on the topic. Verdi was naturally incensed and threw the blame entirely on Piave’s shoulders, whose job it had been to secure the required permission. It was already December by the time he received the news, and the opera was due to premiere at the end of January. He asked to withdraw from his contract, or accept Sti∂elio in its stead – though the opera had just opened in Trieste, it still would be new for Venice. The composer might have taken his cue from Sti∂elio, which centers on the infidelity of a parson’s wife. Censors in that port city, also on the Adriatic, had found the powerful final scene, set in a church where Sti∂elio reads of forgiveness from the pulpit, blasphemous, and they demanded it be rewritten only a few days before the premiere. Following the failed revolutions of 1848–49, censors had become especially prickly, not only of incendiary subjects, but those that touched on religion or depicted immorality. Verdi sullenly remarked that his new opera had been “castrated.” Piave quickly provided some damage control. He recast the libretto as Il duca di Vendome in accordance with the objectionable points enumerated by the censors. Francis became the ruler of a minor duchy, his debauchery was nearly eliminated, Ceprano’s wife became his unmarried sister, St. Vallier’s conflict is over the Duke’s refusal to honor a marriage contract with his child, the jester was no longer a hunchback, Background Notes continue on page 12

11 • r i g o l e t t o

This was the climate in which Giuseppe Verdi and Victor Hugo wrote their respective works. Often the guidelines involving the state’s approval of staged dramas were contradictory, immersing provocative authors into a sea of red tape. A case in point was Victor Hugo’s play, Le roi s’amuse, first produced in 1832, which portrayed the carefree philandering of a historical French monarch, Francis [François] I. Although France’s new citizen king, Louis-Philippe, had supposedly ended censorship upon his ascension in 1830, he had just recently escaped a spray of bullets three days before the premiere. As a result, Hugo’s play was banned after a single performance, as the depiction of attempted regicide apparently was still very much taboo. Verdi was more fortunate a decade later. Many of his operas from the ’40s survived the red ink, even with their whi∂ of sedition. Another Hugo-based work, Ernani, had passed the censors v i r t ua l ly u n s c at h e d, e v e n though the storyline features a rebellious bandit at odds with the aspiring Austrian emperor Charles V. No less provocative were stirring moments Set design by Tom Mays from Nabucco, Macbeth, Attila Act I, scene ii and I Lombardi that would become associated with the revolution and popular with the oppressed Italian people. No one is certain exactly when Verdi became acquainted with Le roi s’amuse – he certainly hadn’t seen it played in Paris (where it wouldn’t be staged again until 1882), but a casual reading must have made quite an impact. We find the drama mentioned in his correspondence as early as 1849, as a possible subject for Naples – he even had asked house librettist Salvadore Cammarano to draft a scenario. But dissatisfied with the Teatro San Carlo’s management of his opera, Luisa Miller, he sent Cammarano on another task – a libretto after Shakespeare’s King Lear, Verdi’s Holy Grail, a subject that consumed his life but would never be realized. The composer shifted his attention to the north, where he would soon sign a contract for an opera at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice, to be presented during the Carnival season of 1850–51. Verdi had sent his veteran librettist, Francesco Maria Piave, several subjects to consider – Antonio Gil y Zarate’s Gusmano il buono, Antonio García Guttiérez’s El trovador (two other familial dramas, the latter to become Il trovatore, with a libretto by Cammarano) and Alexandre Dumas père’s Kean – but soon sent an impassioned letter indicating his desire to produce Le roi s’amuse. “Triboulet is a creation worthy of Shakespeare,” Verdi wrote of the humpbacked jester who would become the title character and the work’s main focus. Realizing some of the drama’s inherent immorality might raise an eyebrow or two, he instructed Piave to get guarantees from the cen-


t h e m i n n e s o t a o p e r a • 12

Background Notes continued from page 11

the abduction was only intended to em- bu∂oon as well as a complex fatherbarrass Rigoletto, the bedroom scene (in daughter relationship, a common theme which Blanche – later Gilda – tries to in Verdi’s works since his very first escape Francis by unknowingly locking (Oberto also involves a father in search of herself in the King’s bedchamber) was justice for his ravaged daughter). The composer put together one of his deleted, and the sack at the end (for whatever reason) was removed. Marzari finest scores at a rapid pace – forty days, was confident the changes would be ac- so the story goes, though much of it ceptable to the censors, but when Verdi must have been sketched out earlier. The read the new version, he was further en- premiere was a triumph, and Rigoletto raged, stating that all the life had been was set on the path of immense popularsucked out of the story: “In sum a pow- ity that it has never left. However, the erful and original drama has been turned censors hadn’t quite stopped tampering with the libretto, and as the new opera into something trivial and dead.” Not giving up, Marzari sent his sec- traveled throughout Italy, it was subject r e ta r y, G u g l i e l m o Brenna, and Piave to Busseto to work something out. With Verdi they agreed on six important changes to be resubmitted to the censors. They included (1) moving the setting from the court of France to a minor duchy, either in France or Italy; (2) changing all the characters’ names; (3) removing the bedroom scene; (4) having Triboulet be responsible for luring the Set design by Tom Mays Duke to Maguelonne (later Maddalena); (5) Act III leaving the question of the sack to Verdi; to further modifications contrary to and (6) postponing the premiere until Verdi’s wishes. Bergamo, the very next March. All three parties signed the doc- city to perform Rigoletto, had to shut the production down after only one-and-aument. Surprisingly, the censors accepted half performances, the second one havthese conditions, giving testament to ing been interrupted at the beginning of Verdi’s increasing prestige as an artist of Act ii by a riotous crowd (and aborted in merit. In retrospect, nearly every favor of a hasty replacement of Luisa significant aspect of Hugo’s play remains Miller’s Act iii), not unlike the reception intact. Triboulet (from an old French of Hugo’s original play. In other cities, word, tribouler, to needle or pester) be- the opera appeared in sanitized versions, came the more benignly named Rigo- retitled Viscardello, Lionello and even the letto (after the French word, rigoler, to Sir Walter Scott-esque Clara di Perth, laugh), though he’s hardly so as the final during which, in many cases, the heroproduct. This comic element had been ine is merely wounded and her abducessential to the composer’s vision of the t i o n o m i t t e d, w i t h G i o va n na opera as having its roots in Shakespeare accompanying her to the ducal palace (in fact, the whole first scene up to Mon- and even into the bedchamber. Likely terone’s entrance is unveiled in the tradi- they used the libretto of Il duca di Vention of opera bu∂a). If it couldn’t be King dome (now lost) as a model, and Giovanni Lear, at least the opera would feature a Ricordi, Verdi’s publisher, even printed

parts and libretti for Viscardello as an alternative rental, with a choice of happy or tragic endings. One imagines that the composer eventually threw up his arms and contently collected his royalty checks, purchasing more farmland for his growing estate. It is significant that he made no further changes to the score, uncharacteristically satisfied with every note. Years later he declared Rigoletto to be his finest creation. Rigoletto marks a crucial moment in Verdi’s development as a composer. Already beginning to blur the lines between aria and recitative, the composer wrote his opera with very few traditional stops, folding one musical number into the next and making the scene the defining unit. This is most artfully displayed during the opening party in which he unveils five dances in quick succession and seamlessly transitions in and out of the Duke’s first aria “Questa o quella.” Also s t r i k i n g ly n o v e l i s Rigoletto’s soliloquy “Pari siamo” in the scene that follows. With no fewer than six tempo changes, the composer spins Rigoletto’s dark thoughts over arioso, a blend of action-moving recitative and reflective aria. In fact, there is only one traditional Bel Canto slow-fast double aria in the entire piece, the Duke’s Act ii “Parmi veder le lagrime … Possente amor mi chiama,” though one could make a case for Rigoletto’s later outburst, “Cortigiani … Miei signori, perdono,” as a Bel Canto aria in reverse – a quick, dynamic section followed by a slower-paced plea for mercy that is lyric and compassionate. And Gilda’s feathery-light cadenza of her only aria, “Caro nome,” defies the traditional power-driven cabaletta. The opera is played out in a series of duets – for Rigoletto and Sparafucile, the Duke and Gilda, and with one per act for father and daughter. But Verdi Background Notes continue on page 27


Synopsis Scene one A party is in progress at the ducal palace. The Duke privately discloses to Borsa his infatuation with a young girl he observed at a local church. In the same breath he professes his desire for the Countess Ceprano, and Borsa gently chides him for his wayward manner toward women. The Duke hardly denies the charge – he simply can’t help himself when surrounded by so many pretty faces. From across the room, the court jester Rigoletto mocks Count Ceprano as the Duke makes an advance on his wife. Tired of Rigoletto’s acid tongue, the courtiers decide to teach him a lesson. Marullo has discovered the jester is keeping a mistress whom they decide to abduct and give to the Duke for his pleasure. Count Monterone storms in and accuses the Duke of seducing his young daughter. Again, Rigoletto mocks the grieving father; in return he receives a curse – a curse the jester takes very seriously. Scene two On his way home, Rigoletto encounters Sparafucile, a Burgundian whom he soon learns is also a hired assassin. He o∂ers his services, and though Rigoletto declines for the moment, he begins to consider revenge as payment for his unfortunate lot in life. Once at home, Rigoletto revels in his one secret joy, his daughter Gilda. To protect her virtue, he demands she remain at home, only to go out for

Costume design by Gail Bakkom

church. Though very dutiful, Gilda does not disclose she has recently met a handsome young man, and as soon as Rigoletto leaves she encounters her paramour (really the Duke disguised as a poor student) in the garden. They profess their love and “Gualtier” departs. Fearing something is amiss, Rigoletto returns, only to find Marullo in the street. The courtier quickly covers his tracks – a plan is underfoot to abduct the Countess Ceprano, who lives nearby, and present her to the Duke. Rigoletto is only too happy to partake in a joke on the hated Count and agrees to steady the ladder. Marullo not only masks the jester to match the other bandits, but covers his eyes and ears so that he is unable to discover they are really at the window of his own home. Rigoletto realizes he has been duped only after the courtiers have managed to spirit his daughter away. – intermission – act ii Back at the palace, the Duke is distressed, for he witnessed the abduction of his lover and promises vengeance. He is only too delighted when his courtiers return with Gilda, whom he quickly ushers into his private apartments. Rigoletto arrives presently, feigning to take the joke in good stride while fervently looking for Gilda. The noblemen are surprised to learn she is his daughter, but still refuse to help. In desperation, Rigoletto unleashes his anger, then tries

to elicit their sympathy, but to no avail. Gilda soon emerges from the room disheveled, and runs to her father’s arms. As Rigoletto consoles his daughter, Monterone is led to his execution, and the jester promises to avenge both of their daughters’ disgrace. – intermission – act iii On the edge of town, Rigoletto and Gilda lie in wait. Gilda still professes her love for the Duke, so Rigoletto plans to show her exactly what kind of man he really is. They observe the Duke entering Sparafucile’s tavern for an amorous rendezvous with the assassin’s seductive sister, Maddalena, and Gilda’s heart is broken. Rigoletto instructs his daughter to go to Verona (disguised as a man for safety), where he will join her the next day. He then makes the final arrangements with Sparafucile for the Duke’s murder. Maddalena has grown fond of her charge and strikes a deal with her brother – the next person who knocks on their door will be killed and his body substituted for the Duke’s. Gilda, who has returned, overhears the plan, and overwrought with grief, knocks on the door and is stabbed. Sparafucile stu∂s her body into a sack and gives it to Rigoletto upon his return at the appointed hour. As Rigoletto drags the bag to the river for disposal, he learns the Duke has not died, and to his horror, discovers it contains his mortally wounded daughter.

13 • r i g o l e t t o

act i


lthough Victor Hugo (1802 – freedom. Unlike Juliette, Madame with the Pope, changing alliances as 1885) was drawn to the familial re- Biard would become a close friend and suited their needs. Marriage ties belationships that were fictionalized from often joined the family at the dinner tween these families and France began to proliferate as the balance of power in Francis le premier’s court life, he just as table. Yet as absolute power mixed with Europe began to shift. Charles of Spain easily could have found a kindred spirit in the king’s legendary debauchery, for unbridled lust makes for a destructive and Flanders soon became Charles V, the author was just as active in his ex- force, King Francis cut a far worse and as the Holy Roman Emperor, great tramarital a∂airs. His first “o∑cial” figure than Hugo with his frequent in- suzerain over Italy. Francis agreed with mistress was long-time companion discretions, and his motto “Souvent the Italian ambitions begun by his foreJuliette Drouet, whom he first met on femme varie … Bien fol qui s’y fie bearers, but after a few victories he the stage of the Théâtre Porte-Saint- (Women are fickle … It’s a real fool su∂ered a humiliating defeat at Pavia Martin – she was cast in the minor role who trusts them) has become etched and was captured. of Princesse Negroni in Lucrèce Borgia, into operatic history as the Duke’s Act At Charles’s mercy, Francis was evenand her part grew considerably as their III aria “La donna è mobile.” First tually returned to France one year later relationship flourished. Juliette was merely the apple of his mother’s eye, after an extremely harsh peace treaty was very much the typnegotiated, which ical lorette – a included the exwoman with limchange of his two ited means who young sons as worked in the theh o s ta g e s . E v e n ater but really subthough he was to sided on the favors honor only part of she gave to an the treaty, Francis overlapping sucand the remainder cession of gentleof his reign were man admirers shadowed by this (Musetta of La bodark cloud of failhème is the quintesure. He died in sential operatic 1547 of complicaexample). Natutions from syphilis. r a l l y M a d a m e Francis I, King of France, 1494–1547, The events that Federigo Gonzaga, 1st Duke of Mantua, Hugo was bitterly by Jean Clouet would inspire Le roi 1500–1540, by Titian aware of her rival’s s’amuse occurred preexistence, yet the younger woman Francis became so much more when the capture, during happier, yet treasonous would still accompany the family into opportunist Louise of Savoy observed days at court. Francis had taken for his exile to the island of Guernsey, living the gradual extinction of her son’s Val- mistress the youthful Diane de Poitiers, discreetly down the avenue. The two ois cousins, including kings Charles VIII who was already a married woman and women would only meet in person and Louis XII. Not terribly fond of ei- though only eighteen, hardly the virmany years later, in 1867. Oddly, ther Francis or his mother, at age 53 ginal waif that would inspire MonAdèle Hugo took a liking to Victor’s Louis XII made a final desperate at- terone’s daughter. Her father Jean, second mistress of importance, a cer- tempt for a male heir by taking as his Seigneur de Saint-Vallier, objected to tain Léonie Biard. The circumstances third wife the eighteen-year-old Mary the a∂air but had to back o∂ after the here are much more dramatic as the Tudor (sister of English King Henry discovery of his own culpability in a Biards were undergoing a messy di- VIII), but he died two years later before coup masterminded by Duke Charles de vorce, and Monsieur Biard hired a pri- any child could be conceived. Bourbon, another cousin in line for the vate detective to spy on his wife. She Francis inherited an empty treasury throne and Constable of France. Charles and Hugo were caught in an indiscre- and a kingdom exhausted by war. Both escaped punishment, but St. Vallier wastion and arrested. Having been ap- Charles and Louis had pursued inheri- n’t so lucky – he was sentenced to death, pointed a pair de France by King tance claims in Italy (through their mu- which was commuted to life imprisonLouis-Philippe, Hugo was exempt tual grandmother, Valentina Visconti of ment at the last minute as his head lay from prosecution, but Madame Biard Milan, and the 12th-century Angevin ready on the chopping block. Both was not so lucky. As an adulterous dukes’ claim to Naples) with limited Diane and her husband worked their wife, she was sent to the St. Lazare success – Italian states were then small wiles on Francis, who released her father Prison for wayward women and later to provinces led by savage princes, and the a few years later. After her relationship a nunnery. Adèle took an interest in houses of Este, Gonzaga, Sforza, Medici with Francis cooled, Diane moved on to her plight and eventually secured her and Aragon constantly butted heads his son, the future Henri II. Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY

A

Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY

t h e m i n n e s o t a o p e r a • 14

Victor Hugo and King Francis I of France


Giuseppe Verdi

giuseppe verdi and the gonzagas of mantua When Verdi was first refused permission to produce his new opera (then La maledizione de St. Vallier), he agreed to change the locale from the highly visible kingdom of France to a minor duchy in Italy. He chose Mantua, as its reigning family in the 16th century was also famed for flagrant sexuality. It’s no secret Francesco Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua, had a fling with Lucrezia Borgia, then married to Alfonso d’Este, Duke of Ferrara (whose sister, Isabella, was married to Francesco). In another hostage-for-ransom scenario, his son, Federigo, became an intimate friend of Francis, with whom he could be found womanizing at the French court during his captivity and later as a guest. And then there is Federigo’s grandson Vincenzo – the Gonzaga

b Le Roncole, October 9 or 10, 1813; d Milan, January 27, 1901 orn into a relatively poor family, Verdi owed his first musical training to Antonio Barezzi, a local patron. Barezzi arranged for Verdi to go to B Milan, where he failed the entrance exams to the Conservatory. Verdi then returned to Busseto to assume, amid fierce controversy, the post of maestro di musica and to marry Barezzi’s daughter, Margherita, in 1836. They had two children, but tragically, within a three-year period Margherita and their children died. In despair, Verdi pursued his career elsewhere. Then he returned to Busseto with Giuseppina Strepponi, the soprano who created the role of Abigaille in Nabucco and the woman he later married. He bought a nearby farm, built a large comfortable house and – with only occasional interruptions to travel, compose or produce an opera – managed the farm until his death in 1901. Verdi’s third opera for La Scala, Nabucco, is generally considered his first masterpiece. Its most notable element is a long, slow chorus for the Israelites, yearning for their homeland: “Va, pensiero.” Italian patriots, then under Austrian domination, heard in it their own situation; at its premiere and at most performances afterwards, audiences demanded the chorus to be sung again, despite police prohibitions. In the years that followed, Verdi and his librettists wrote as boldly as the censors would allow. His stirring patriotic choruses made him a symbol of the Risorgimento, the political movement for a unified Italy. In a 54-year period, Verdi wrote 26 operas (two of which were revised extensively and retitled). The years 1851–53 marked the peak of Verdi’s career, with the composition of his three most popular pieces: Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La traviata. These three operas hark back to the musical style of Nabucco, with simpler accompaniments and superbly crafted melodies. In 1859 Napoleon iii of France drove the Austrians out of Lombardy. As Verdi had long been considered an artist of revolution, he was pressed into accepting a seat in the new Italian Parliament. During his parliamentary career he found time to compose only one opera, La forza del destino. Macbeth was revised in 1865 and presented in Paris, where Verdi agreed to write Don Carlos. Aida, first performed at the Cairo Opera House in 1871, proved the perfect vehicle for showcasing Verdi’s gifts, and it contained some of his finest music. But Otello and Falsta∂ exceed even Aida’s grandeur. They represent the perfect culmination of an incredible career.

most often cited to be the inspiration for Verdi’s nameless Duke. Things appear to have started slowly for Vincenzo – it was rumored he was impotent, and the family of his first wife, Margharita Farnese of Parma, sought to have their marriage annulled. As the Medici Archives reveal, the family of his second betrothed, Eleonora de Medici, demanded proof – a potency test in the presence of neutral

princely peers with two virginal maidens. This was not uncommon for the day, as Lucrezia Borgia’s first husband, Giovanni Sforza, was faced with a similar proposition. Unlike Sforza, who declined the indignation, Vincenzo went through with the ordeal and after the marriage was consummated, made up for lost time, siring five children by his wife and countless more by other women.

15 • r i g o l e t t o

Francis had a hunchbacked jester, Triboulet, who began his career as a street performer. He captured the attention of Louis XII after he had been assaulted by some court pages (nailed by the ear to the town gibbet, so the story goes) and was brought on the Italian campaigns for amusement. Triboulet was a bit more convivial than his dramatic and operatic counterparts, “always pleasant, none ever resented his speech” according to one courtier. He was also somewhat of a idiot savant – accompanying Francis to Italy, Triboulet sensed disaster at Pavia, his futile warning spun e∂ortlessly into a telling riddle. There is no evidence Triboulet had a daughter, nor would have even been allowed to marry, as jesters were only slightly above the family pet in social rank and were subject to horrible indignities. It appears he was also quite vain and wore tight clothing in order to accentuate his disfigurement. Besides satisfying Hugo’s “theory of the grotesque,” the author’s interest in Triboulet shadowed a general 19th-century fascination in jesters and deformity, and it appears he learned of Triboulet from a book shelved in his father’s library in Sologne, only a short distance from Triboulet’s birthplace in Blois.


t h e m i n n e s o t a o p e r a • 16

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t h e m i n n e s o t a o p e r a • 18

The Artists Matt Boehler Count Ceprano Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Recently The Barber of Seville; La clemenza di Tito; Dardanus, Wolf Trap Opera Company La traviata; The Merry Widow; others, Minn. Opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, Minnesota Orchestra A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Central City Opera La bohème, Fargo-Moorhead Opera Orpheus…; Christopher Sly; others, Des Moines Metro Opera Upcoming Lucrezia Borgia; Passion, The Minnesota Opera

Genevieve Christianson Gilda Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Recently The Handmaid’s Tale; La traviata; The Merry Widow; Little Women; Street Scene, The Minnesota Opera Candide (ensemble; Cunegonde cover), Minnesota Orchestra Broadway Music Spectacular, Ashland Productions She Loves Me; Wonderful Town; The Merry Widow, North Star Op. Shawshank Redemption, rpn Productions Orpheus in the Underworld, Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Upcoming Passion; The Magic Flute, The Minnesota Opera

Tracey Gorman Page Minnesota Opera Debut The Handmaid’s Tale, 2003 Recently Ainadamar (Golijov),Tanglewood Festival; Lincoln Center (New York); Los Angeles Philharmonic Gloria (Poulenc), Minnesota Choral Union & Symphony Two Poems of the Sung Dynasty, Chicago Chamber Musicians The Sonnets of the Portuguese (Larsen), Tanglewood Festival Gloria; Hodie, Milwaukee Bel Canto Competition The Merry Wives of Windsor; Il re pastore; Die Fledermaus; Dialogues of the Carmelites, U of M Opera Theatre

Anna Jablonski Maddalena Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Recently Le nozze di Figaro, The Astoria Music Festival Il barbiere di Siviglia, Portland SummerFest The Handmaid’s Tale; La traviata; The Flying Dutchman; The Merry Widow, The Minnesota Opera La Cenerentola, Portland State University Albert Herring; others, Bel Canto nw Suor Angelica, suny Purchase Conservatory Upcoming Passion; The Magic Flute, The Minnesota Opera

Enrico Marrucci Rigoletto Minnesota Opera Debut Recently Madama Butterfly, Teatro delle Muse L’elisir d’amore, Macerata Opera Festival Don Pasquale, Teatro Calderón (Valladolid); Donizetti Fest. Pagliacci, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona; Teatro Regio Torino I puritani, Teatro Verdi di Trieste Il trovatore, Festival di Vigoleno Upcoming Cavalleria rusticana, Livorno Falstaff, Teatro Verdi di Trieste

Eric Owens Sparafucile Minnesota Opera Debut Cinderella, 1998 Recently Mozart’s Requiem, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Otello, San Francisco Opera Lucia di Lammermoor, Pittsburgh Opera Ariodante, English National Opera Upcoming Idomeneo, Le Grand Théâtre de Genève Don Giovanni, Florida Grand Opera Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra

Jeremy Cady Borsa Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Recently Gabriel’s Daughter, Central City Opera The Tender Land; The Magic Flute; Ariadne auf Naxos, The Minnesota Orchestra A Streetcar Named Desire; Amahl and the Night Visitors, University of Kentucky School of Music Der Rosenkavalier; Macbeth, The Minnesota Opera Upcoming Messiah, Lexington Philharmonic Lucrezia Borgia; Passion, The Minnesota Opera

Vinson Cole Duke of Mantua Minnesota Opera Debut La bohème, 1980 Recently Lucia di Lammermoor, Houston Grand Opera La bohème, San Francisco Opera Un ballo in maschera, Seattle Opera Les contes d’Hoffmann; Faust, Opera Australia La traviata, Metropolitan Opera Roméo et Juliette, Orchestre de Paris Upcoming The Tales of Hoffmann, Seattle Opera

Liora Grodnikaite Giovanna Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Recently Thaïs, Opera Theatre of St. Louis Alcina; The Rape of Lucretia; The Rake’s Progress; Der Kaiser von Atlantis; The Bartered Bride, La Cenerentola; others, Oberlin Opera Theater La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina, (Vilnius, Lithuania) L’incoronazione di Poppea, Opera North (N. H.) Upcoming Passion; The Magic Flute, The Minnesota Opera

Seth Keeton Count Monterone Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Recently La bohème; Roméo et Juliette; Don Giovanni, Chautauqua Opera La bohème; Dead Man Walking; La traviata, Austin Lyric Opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Central City Opera The Bartered Bride; Le nozze di Figaro; Orfeo; Così fan tutte; The Rake’s Progress; others, Indiana University Upcoming Lucrezia Borgia; Passion, The Minnesota Opera

Bill Murray Marullo Minnesota Opera Debut Recently The Flying Dutchman; Norma (ensemble), The Minnesota Opera Ariadne auf Naxos; The Merry Wives of Windsor, University of Minnesota Opera Theatre Le nozze di Figaro, La Musica Lyrica Gianni Schicchi; The Pirates of Penzance; The Bartered Bride, Ithaca College 2002 La Musica Lirica Festival (Urbania, Italy) 1998 Tanglewood Music Festival

Scott Piper Duke of Mantua Minnesota Opera Debut Recently Manon, Houston Grand Opera La traviata; Aida, Franco Zeffirelli productions (dvd) La bohème, Opera Pacific Madama Butterfly, Florida Grand Opera Madama Butterfly; The Flying Dutchman; Macbeth, New York City Opera Upcoming Rigoletto, Virginia Opera Carmen, Compañia Lirica Nacional (San José, Costa Rica) Lucia di Lammermoor, Connecticut Opera


letters overflow: 156 words 19 • r i g o l e t t o


For more biographical information about these artists, visit our website at www.mnopera.org

t h e m i n n e s o t a o p e r a • 20

The Artists Evelyn Pollock Gilda Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Recently Madame Mao, Santa Fe Opera La bohème, Western Opera Theater The Merry Wives of Windsor, Merola Opera Program La traviata; Lucia di Lammermoor; The Music Man, Indiana University Opera Theater The Pirates of Penzance, Colorado Symphony Candide; The Face on the Barroom Floor, Central City Opera Upcoming Passion; The Magic Flute, The Minnesota Opera

Chen-Ye Yuan Rigoletto Minnesota Opera Debut Recently The Legend of Yao Ji, Opera Station of Hong Kong Rigoletto, San Antonio Opera; Welsh National Opera La bohème, Pittsburgh Opera La bohème; Lucia di Lammermoor, Houston Grand Opera L’Ormindo, Opera International Little Women, Opera Omaha Upcoming Turandot, Houston Grand Opera; Opera Pacific Nixon in China; Rigoletto, Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Marcus Dilliard Lighting Designer Minnesota Opera Debut Turandot, 1995 Recently Carmen; The Seagull, Theatre de la Jeune Lune The Flying Dutchman; Norma; others, The Minnesota Opera Night of the Iguana; others, Guthrie Theater The Oedipus Plays, Herod Atticus Theater (Athens) Hamlet, New Victory Theater (New York) Upcoming Lucrezia Borgia, The Minnesota Opera Turandot, Portland Opera

John Keenan SpencerStuart featured Conductor Minnesota Opera Debut La traviata, 1997 Recently The Flying Dutchman, Vancouver Opera Der Rosenkavalier, New Zealand Festival Falstaff, Spoleto Festival Norma; Otello; Tosca, The Minnesota Opera Don Giovanni; others, Metropolitan Opera Upcoming The Flying Dutchman, Kirov Opera Così fan tutte, Vancouver Opera

Tom Mays Set Designer Minnesota Opera Debut Street Scene, 2001 Recently Street Scene, Wolf Trap Opera Company La traviata; The Merry Widow; others, The Minnesota Opera A Pueblo Christmas; La Posada; others, Teatro del Pueblo Ni boca ni sangre, Teatro Latino All in the Timing; Four Dogs and a Bone, New Classic Theatre Biloxi Blues; Dancing at Lughnasa; others, Theatre in the Round Upcoming Lucrezia Borgia, The Minnesota Opera

Bruce Stasyna Chorusmaster Minnesota Opera Debut Der Rosenkavalier, 2000 Recently The Barber of Seville, Opera Roanoke (conductor) The Handmaid’s Tale; others, The Minnesota Opera Die ägyptische Helena, American Symphony Orchestra The Barber of Seville; Tito; Don Pasquale, Wolf Trap Opera Ariadne auf Naxos; Il re pastore; Il matrimonio segreto; others, Lake George Opera Festival Upcoming Lucrezia Borgia; The Magic Flute, The Minnesota Opera

Karin Wolverton Countess Ceprano Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Recently The Handmaid’s Tale; Norma; The Merry Widow; Don Carlos; Lucia di Lammermoor, The Minnesota Opera Salome, Des Moines Metro Opera Dvorak Te Deum, Minnesota Orchestra Masterclass, Park Square Theatre Dialogues of the Carmelites; Le nozze di Figaro; L’incoronazione di Poppea, U of M Opera Theatre Upcoming Passion; The Magic Flute, The Minnesota Opera

Gail Bakkom Costume Designer Minnesota Opera Debut The Village Singer, 1982 Recently La traviata; Street Scene; Macbeth; The Marriage of Figaro (tour); Otello; Faust; Madame Butterfly (tour); The Merry Widow (1994); Frankenstein; Snow Leopard; Cinderella (tour); Rigoletto; South Pacific, The Minnesota Opera Seven Sevens, New Music Theatre Ensemble

Alexander Farino Production Stage Manager Minnesota Opera Debut Rigoletto, 1995 Recently Candide, Minnesota Orchestra 1996 – 2003 seasons, The Minnesota Opera Acis and Galatea; Central Park; Tosca, Glimmerglass Opera A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Madame Butterfly, Opera Pacific Upcoming Lucrezia Borgia, The Minnesota Opera

Linda Talcott Lee Choreographer Minnesota Opera Debut Recently The Comedy Hall of Fame “Funny Guy” with Jason Alexander, NBC (Emmy Award) Blue in the Face w/ Harvey Keitel, Blue in the Face Prod. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; Annie Get Your Gun, Fireside Dinner Theatre Saks 5th Avenue July 4th Extravaganza, Karin Bacon Prod. Celebrity Century Cruise, Century Cruises Upcoming A Chorus Line, Midland Center for the Arts

Casey Stangl Stage Director Minnesota Opera Debut The Bohemians (tour), 1996 Recently Top Girls, Guthrie Lab Norma, The Minnesota Opera Fully Committed, Jungle Theater The Play about Baby; Collected Stories; Stop Kiss; The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Eye of the Storm Theatre (Artistic Dir.) The Big Slam, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co. (Wash. dc) Così fan tutte; Hansel and Gretel; Amahl, Opera Omaha The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, Northstar Opera

Elizabeth Teefy Assistant Director Minnesota Opera Debut Recently Fair Game, Eye of the Storm Theatre Measure for Measure, 10,000 Things MeFausto, 15 Head – a theatre lab La pupazza, Teatro dei Fiorentini (Bologna, Italy) Ah, Wilderness!; Our Town, Tudor City Players (New York) Good Night Mother; Dante’s Inferno – Fifth Canto, U of M A Mind in Flames, Interact Theater Hamlet; Maid’s Tragedy; Man of Mode, lamda (London) Getting Out, 78th Street Theatre Lab (New York)


For more information about the importance of arts education, please contact www.AmericansForTheArts.org.


t h e m i n n e s o t a o p e r a • 22

A Tribute to Barbara Bemis and Kenneth Dayton

T

his past year we saw the passing of two special

of the Twin Cities arts community. We will miss their

community leaders and friends of The Minnesota

vision, energy, commitment and generosity. However, they

Opera – Barbara Bemis and Kenneth Dayton. They were

remain as an inspiration to all of us as we work in this

members of what has become popularly known as “the

community to build upon their legacy.

greatest generation.” They were great, indeed. In their personal and unique ways, they were leaders in establishment

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23 • r i g o l e t t o

Celebrate with The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Enjoy an extra hour of fun – we now open at 11 a.m. every Sunday.

Free performances by Minnesota Opera Resident Artists Jan. 18, Feb. 15, Mar. 21, Apr. 4 and 18 from 11 a.m – noon.

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Have breakfast with Beethoven. There’s something about the sound of bells that echoes the spirit of the holidays. The Bells of the Lakes English Handbell Choir joins us to ring in the season with some of your favorite holiday music. Friday & Saturday, December 5 & 6, 2003 – 8pm

Begin your day with “Top of the Day,” weekdays 6 to 9 a.m., on Classical 89.3 — the only Twin Cities station that’s all classical, all morning.

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t h e m i n n e s o t a o p e r a • 24

seasons greetings

The Minnesota Opera Chorus Representing these fine program magazines: Guthrie Theater Ordway Center Hey City Theater The Minnesota Opera Children’s Theatre Company Minnesota Orchestra Showcase The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Prelude

Robb Asklof Matt Boehler* (Ceprano) Kelsey Bruso Jeremy Cady* (Borsa) Cory Carlson Steve Dahlberg Andy Elfenbein Ben Johnson Matt Johnson Tor Johnson Brian Jorgensen Dale Kruse Peter Larson Tom Matchinsky Bryan Maus Jason McLaughlin Eric Mellum Daniel Montenegro* Don Moyer

Bill Murray (Marullo) Matt Neil John Persell Nathan Petersen-Kindem Peter Robinson Steve Sandberg Michael Schaefer Lu-Cheng Shih Martin Swaden Cordell Wesselink Christopher Wilde Supernumeraries Jennifer Bokkom Holly Carpenter Susan Cogger Carrie Finnigan Andy Flamm Laurie Kemp

* Resident Artist

Violin I

Cello

Horn

Kristen Christensen Julia Persitz David Mickens Sheila Hanford Judy Thon-Jones Andrea Een Kari Giles Elizabeth Brausa Brathwaite Emma Noël Philips Helen Foli

James Jacobson Adriana LaRosa Ransom Rebecca Arons Goetz Thomas Austin Dale Newton Joe Englund

Charles Kavalovski Charles Hodgson Michael Petruconis Lawrence Barnhart

Stephan R. Orsak Elizabeth Decker Melinda Marshall Carolin Kiesel Johnson Margaret Humphrey Anne Strasser Gillian Smith Bradley Johnson

Bass John Michael Smith Constance Brown George Stahl Michael Watson

Viola Annette Caruthers Vivi Erickson Laurel Browne Jenny Lind Nilsson Susan Janda James Bartsch

Trumpet John G. Koopmann Christopher Volpe

Trombone Stephen Hammerschmidt Steve Lund David Stevens

Flute Michele Antonello Frisch Tuba Amy Morris Ralph Hepola

Oboe

Timpani

Marilyn Ford Michael Dayton

Kory Andry

Percussion Clarinet

10001 Wayzata Blvd. Minnetonka, MN 55305

Resident Artists covering principal roles Matt Boehler – Sparafucile Liora Grodnikaite – Maddalena Daniel Montenegro – Duke

The Minnesota Opera Orchestra

Violin II

612-375-9222

Kenny Kiser Heather McCornack Anna Resele Angie Shadwick John Sobrack Robert Synder

Sandra Powers Nina Olsen

Bassoon Coreen Nordling Laurie Hatcher Merz

Matthew Barber Paul Hill


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Background Notes continued from page 12

27 • r i g o l e t t o

saves some of his best ensembles for Act III – a magnificent quartet for the Duke, Maddalena, Gilda and Rigoletto, and an extraordinary trio for Sparafucile, Maddalena and Gilda above a storm created by brilliant orchestral e∂ects and an o∂stage humming chorus, virtually unclassifiable in terms of primo ottocento opera. Rigoletto is an opera about characterizations, rather than show-stopping moments, and a persistent fatalism that causes every move to be a step in the wrong direction. Rigoletto goes one too far with the courtiers, which leads to his own emotional destruction and the ruin of his small family. Believing it to be the only safe place, he allows his daughter to go to church, but it is there she meets the worst person possible for her virtue – the Duke. Sparafucile observes the Duke following Gilda home, and also believing her to be Rigoletto’s mistress, o∂ers to eliminate the jester’s rival, e∂ectively bringing the assassin into the mix. Disobeying her oath to protect Gilda, Giovanna allows the Duke access and herself to be bribed. Rigoletto heartily agrees to partake in the abduction of his daughter only because he believes it to be Ceprano’s wife. A frightened Gilda escapes the courtiers by rushing to the Duke for protection, only to be raped. And Rigoletto, believing he can end Gilda’s loyalty to the Duke by showing her his debauchery, ends up sealing her fate as Gilda’s undying love becomes her sacrifice. Ironically in Paris, where Le roi s’amuse had once been banned, the opera proved enormously popular after its French-language premiere in 1863 at the Théâtre Lyrique Impériale. Exiled from France (he returned only after the fall of the Second Empire), Hugo was peeved by the eclipse of his play, which still had not achieved its second performance. Yet, by the time he had heard the opera years later, he was clearly impressed, tartly noting, “If I could make four characters speak at the same time and have the audience understand the words and emotions, I could achieve the same e∂ect.”

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t h e m i n n e s o t a o p e r a • 28

The Minnesota Opera Fund Individual Donors: The Camerata Circle The Camerata Circle is The Minnesota Opera’s highest category of personal support. With this designation, we recognize these very special friends for their commitment to the tradition of opera in our community. Platinum Karen Bachman Mrs. Judson Bemis† Mary and Gus Blanchard Rod and Susan Boren Rusty and Burt Cohen Ellie and Tom Crosby, Jr. Judy and Kenneth† Dayton Brad and Diane England Dolly J. Fiterman John and Ruth Huss Heinz and Sisi Hutter Lucy Rosenberry Jones The Art and Martha Kaemmer Fund of HRK Foundation Peter J. King Patricia Lund Thomas and Barbara McBurney Margaret Meyers Cy and Paula Decosse Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation Mary W. Vaughan Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation Mrs. George T. Pennock

Gold Anonymous David Hanson and William Biermaier Rebecca Rand and E. Thomas Binger Mr. James Binger William Voedisch and Laurie Carlson Darlene J. and Richard P. Carroll

Stephanie Simon and Craig Bentdahl Mr. David Dayton Rudolph W. Driscoll Sally J. Economon Rolf and Nancy Engh Connie Fladeland and Steve Fox Leslie and Alain Frecon N. Bud and Beverly Grossman Foundation Ieva M. Grundmanis Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison Bryce and Paula Johnson Warren and Patricia Kelly Mary Bigelow McMillan Diana and Joe Murphy Mrs. John M. Musser† Bruce and Sandy Nelson Timothy and Gayle Ober Jose Peris and Diana Gulden Connie and Lew Remele Mrs. Michelle Roscitt Mr. and Mrs. Steven Rothschild Kevin and Lynn Smith Virginia L. and Edward C. Stringer The Denny Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation C. Angus and Margaret Wurtele

Silver Anonymous (2) Eric Aanenson Chloe D. Ackman

Martha and Bruce Atwater Patricia and Mark Bauer Dr. Ford and Amy Bell Rachelle Dockman Chase Gary Collyard Dr. James E. and Gisela Corbett Dr. Stephen and Beth Cragle Dr. Susan and Richard Crockett Martha Goldberg Aronson and Daniel Aronson John and Arlene Dayton Mr. and Mrs. Patrick and Lisa Denzer Mr. and Mrs. John Donaldson Tom and Lori Foley Mr. and Mrs. John Forsythe Christine and W. Michael Garner R. Thomas Greene, Jr. Mr. Dan Gustafson Mr. John Harrer Jay and Cynthia Ihlenfeld Dr. Robert and Susan Josselson Stan and Jeanne Kagin Michael F. and Gretchen G. Kelly and the Kelly Family Foundation Mary L. Kenzie Family Foundation Mr. and Mrs. William Kling Mrs. James S. Kochiras Mr. and Mrs. Ted Kolderie Dr. Joseph and Dr. Kristina Sha∂er Constance and Daniel Kunin Rondi Erickson and Sandy Lewis Lynne Looney

David MacMillan and Judy Krow Ms. Becky Malkerson Roy and Dorothy Ann Mayeske Harvey T. McLain Albin and Susan Nelson Nelson Family Foundation Richard and Nancy Nicholson William and Barbara Pearce Marge and Dwight Peterson James J. Phelps and Nancy McGlynn Phelps Mr. and Mrs. William Phillips Elizabeth and Andrew Redleaf Mr. Michael L. Reed Dorothy J. Horns, M.D., and James P. Richardson Ken and Nina Rothchild E. Elaine and Roger Sampson Kay Savik and Joe Tashjian Lucy T. Searls Fred and Gloria Sewell Frank and Lynda Sharbrough Kathi Sharnberg Gregory C. Swinehart Tanrydoon Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation Catie Tobin and Brian Naas Charles Allen Ward Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation Nancy and Ted Weyerhaeuser

Dr. Robert L. Kriel and Dr. Linda E. Krach Helen L. Kuehn Anita Kunin Mark and Elaine Landergan Carl Lee and Linda Talcott Lee Clinton and Judith Lee Lenthe Investment, Inc. Ilo and Margaret Leppik Jerry and Joyce Lillquist Bradley A. Fuller and Elizabeth Lincoln Benjamin Y. H. and Helen C. Liu Bill Long Mr. and Mrs. Robert Manders Bill and Hella Mears Hueg James and Judith Mellinger Mrs. John H. Myers Susan Okie Brian and Julia Palmer Karen B. Paul William and Suzanne Payne Lila and Bruce Priebe James and Constance Pries Frances and George Reid Katharine S. Reynolds

Cli∂ton K. Hill and Jody Rockwell Lois and John Rogers Burton G. Ross and Cynthia Rosenblatt Ross Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation Leland T. Lynch and Terry Saario Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation Dr. and Mrs. Richard J. Schindler Stanislaw and Krystyna Skrowaczewski Helene and Je∂ Slocum Tom Murtha and Stefanie Lenway Julie Jackley Steiner Drew Stewart and Anna Hargreaves Don and Leslie Stiles James V. and Susan W. Sullivan Michael Symeonides Mr. and Mrs. George H. Tesar An Anonymous Gift from a Donor Advised Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation Lois and Lance Thorkelson Bill Venne and Douglas Kline Bernt von Ohlen and Thomas Nichol Ellen and Fred Wells † deceased

Individual Donors: The Artist Circle Artist Circle Anonymous Kim A. Anderson Paula Anderson Cordelia Anderson and John Humleker John Andrus, III Mr. and Mrs. Edmund P. Babcock Dr. Thomas and Ann Bagnoli John and Jennifer Bernstein Donna Block Mr. and Mrs. Paul G. Boening John and Joan Brooks Conley Brooks Family Joe and Judy Carlson Mrs. Thomas B. Carpenter Mrs. Thomas M. Crosby, Sr. Mary Lee and Wallace Dayton Ruth and Bruce Dayton Thomas and Mary Lou Detwiler Sia Dimitriou Mr. and Mrs. Carl B. Drake, Jr. Neil Eckles Susan Engel and Arthur Eisenberg

Ekdahl Hutchinson Family Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation Ester and John Fesler Henry and Anice Flesh Patricia R. Freeburg Betsy Gardella Mr. and Mrs. R. James Gesell Lois and Larry Gibson Rosalie He∂elfinger Hall Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation Don and Arlene Helgeson Jaime Andrews and Jane Kolp James L. Jelinek Dale A. Johnson Jacqueline Nolte Jones Charlotte Karlen Erwin and Miriam Kelen Lyndel and Blaine King E. Robert and Margaret V. Kinney Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation Mr. Ken Kixmoeller Steve and Jolie Klapmeier Lisa C. Kochiras Maria Kochiras

Minnesota Opera Volunteers Harry D. Swepston, III (Volunteer Chair) Ann Albertson Laurel Anderson Gerald Benson Colleen Boyer Linda Brandt Jim Brownback* Sue Brownback Jerry Cassidy Joann Cierniak Susan Cogger Caroline

The following volunteers contribute their time and talent in support of key activities of The Minnesota Opera. Coopersmith Lucinda Hallet Lucinda Lamont Dan Panshin Lindsay Craig John Harris* Shirley Larson Pat Panshin Beverly Dailey Kristen Heimerl Rita Lavin Megan Pelka Lee Drawert Anne Hesselroth Lisa Liveringhouse Sydney Phillips Judith Duncan Alisandra Johnson Abby Marier Bill Phillips Sally Economon Karen Johnson Margery Martin Julia Porter Mary Sue Fiola Nancy Johnson Joan Masuck Jack Richter Hazel Francois Jeanie Johnston Mary McDiarmid* John Rosse Jane Fuller* Susan Kalmer Beth McGuire Florence Ruhland Joan Gacki* Robin Keck Verne Melberg John Sauer* Christine A. Garner Dianne Kelly Warren Mitlyng Christine Sawatsky Juhi Gupta-Gulati* Remigijus Klyvis Irma Monson Michael Silhavy Mark Gustin Sam Kneiszler Linda Morey Wendy Silhavy Mary E. Hagen Eleanore Kolar Doug Myhra Angie Solomon

Wendi Sott Dawn Stafki Nicholas Trimbo Doris Unger Carolyn Wahtera Barbara Willis* Jeremy Wright Melissa Zschunke *Lead volunteer


Corporations and Foundations 3M Allianz Life Insurance of North America American Express Minnesota Philanthropic Program Andersen Foundation The Cargill Foundation City of Saint Paul’s Cultural STAR Program RBC Dain Rauscher Foundation Deloitte & Touche Deluxe Corporation Foundation Ecolab Foundation General Mills Foundation Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation Anna M. Heilmaier Charitable Foundation The MAHADH Fund of HRK Foundation Marshall Field’s Project Imagine The McKnight Foundation The Medtronic Foundation The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Minnesota Monthly Minnesota State Arts Board Northwest Airlines, Inc. U.S. Bancorp Foundation

U.S. Bank, Private Client Group Rider, Bennett, Egan & Arundel Rogers ands Hollands Jewelers SpencerStuart The St. Paul Companies Target Stores, Marshall Fields, and Mervyn’s with support from the Target Foundation Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Transtop Twin Cities Opera Guild The U. S. Trust Company of the Minneapolis Foundation Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota

Gold $5,000 – $9,999 Accenture ADC Telecommunications, Inc. Bemis Company Foundation Dorsey & Whitney Foundation Lindquist & Vennum McGladrey & Pullen, LLP Alice M. O’Brien Foundation R. C. Lilly Foundation Rahr Foundation The Regis Foundation Ryland Group

Star Tribune Foundation Valspar Foundation Xcel Energy Foundation

Silver $2,500 – $4,999 Beim Foundation Boss Foundation Dellwood Foundation Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation Hutter Family Foundation Margaret Rivers Fund River Chocolate Company School Arts Fund of United Arts/ COMPAS Schwegman, Lundberg, Woessner & Kluth, PA Sit Investment Associates Tennant Foundation Wenger Foundation West Group Whole Foods Market

Artist Circle $1,000 – $2,499 Alliance Capital Management Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Foundation

Arts & Custom Publishing Co., Inc. Athwin Foundation Brock-White Co., LLC Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation Digital Excellence Inc. Faegre & Benson Hogan & Hartson Horton, Inc. Jostens, Inc. KPMG LLP Leonard, Street & Deinard Marsh USA, Inc. Maslon, Edelman, Borman & Brand Mayo Clinic McVay Foundation Minnesota Mutual Foundation Lawrence M. and Elizabeth Ann O’Shaughnessy Charitable Income Trust Peregrine Capital Management The Elizabeth C. Quinlan Foundation The Southways Foundation St. Croix Foundation Charles B. Sweatt Foundation Tozer Foundation Virchow Krause & Company LLP

Minnesota Opera Sponsors Season Sponsor

Opening Night Gala Sponsor

Promotional Support

U.S. Bank, Private Client Group

U.S. Bank, Private Client Group

Minnesota Monthly

Production Sponsors

Camerata Dinners

Young Professionals Group Program Sponsor

Rigoletto, U.S. Bank, Private Client Group Passion, American Express Minnesota Philanthropic Program The Magic Flute, Rogers & Hollands Jewelers

Rider, Bennett, Egan & Arundel

Conductor appearances

Rogers & Hollands Jewelers

Opera Nights Out Fhima’s

SpencerStuart

These lists are current as of October 31, 2003, and include donors who gave gifts of $1,000 or more to the Minnesota Opera Fund since July 1, 2002. If your name is not listed appropriately, please accept our apologies, and call Patrick Dewane, Development Director of The Minnesota Opera, at 612-342-9574.

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Profile for Minnesota Opera

Minnesota Opera's Rigoletto Program  

2003-2004 Season

Minnesota Opera's Rigoletto Program  

2003-2004 Season

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