Guiseppe Verdi/Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto, the heartrending escalation of vengeance.

Rigoletto is based on Victor Hugo's play Le roi s'amuse. It is an indictment of the moral decline of the aristocracy and likewise of French classic drama and its rules.

In Rigoletto, as in most of his works, Verdi does not exactly show his sunny side. The content hardly allows for laughter, but  the carnivalesque humourous melodies keep the opera from becoming unnecessarily heavy. There is a perfect balance between light and dark.