New Production of Verdi’s Rigoletto,
Set in Las Vegas & Directed by Tony Winner Michael Mayer
Airs Friday, May 17 at 8:00pm on WTVP-HD 47.1.
Renée Fleming hosts the telecast which features Piotr Beczala, Diana Damrau, and
Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) makes his
Met debut with a new production of Verdi's
The new staging moves the opera's tragic events from a decadent 16th-century Italian court to the
glitzy, depraved setting of the Las Vegas strip circa 1960, and airs on
Great Performances at the Met
Friday, May 17 at 8 p.m. on WTVP-HD 47.1.
Polish tenor Piotr Beczala sings the Duke, an amoral lounge singer whose entourage
includes the world-weary comedian Rigoletto, sung by Serbian baritone Željko Lučić. German
soprano Diana Damrau sings the role of the innocent Gilda, Rigoletto's daughter and the victim
of the predatory Duke. Slovakian bass Štefan Kocán sings the assassin-for-hire Sparafucile and
Belarusian mezzo-soprano Oksana Volkova makes her Met debut as his seductive sister, Maddalena.
Italian conductor Michele Mariotti conducts his first company performances of the Verdi
masterwork, which features one of the most famous arias in all of opera, "La donna č mobile."
Soprano Renee Fleming hosts the transmission and conducts backstage interviews
with the stars.
"Rigoletto hits the jackpot,” declared Associated Press when the production
debuted in January, while Bloomberg News reported, "Mayer captures both the emotional depth and
surface glitter in an audacious staging.... The audience whooped approval at the end.” The
Wall Street Journal noted that “(t)he strong cast of principals carries out the concept with
Rigoletto was originally seen live in movie theaters on February 16 as part
of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more
than 1900 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 64 countries around the world.
Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET, one
of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its 40 year history
on public television, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an
unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most
prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Now in its fifth decade, the series
has been the home to the greatest artists in the areas of drama, dance, musical theater, classical
and popular music, providing many with their very first television exposure.
Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll
Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment
for the Arts. This Great Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund,
Vivian Milstein, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, and public television
For the Met, Matthew Diamond directs the telecast. Jay David Saks is Music Producer,
Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik
are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series
Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.
Visit Great Performances online at
for additional information on this and other Great Performances programs.
In 2013, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York’s flagship public media
provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality
arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces
and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American
Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s
programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational
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About the Met
Under the leadership of General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine, the Met has a
series of bold initiatives underway that are designed to broaden its audience and revitalize the
company’s repertory. The Met’s 2012-13 season features seven new productions, including
Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, directed by Bartlett Sher and conducted by Maurizio Benini;
the Met premiere of Thomas Adčs’s The Tempest, directed by Robert Lepage and conducted by
the composer; Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, directed by David Alden and conducted by Met
Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi; the Met premiere of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, directed
by David McVicar and conducted by Benini; Verdi’s Rigoletto, directed by Michael Mayer in
his Met debut and conducted by Michele Mariotti; Wagner’s Parsifal, directed by François
Girard in his Met debut and conducted by Daniele Gatti; and Handel’s Giulio Cesare, also
directed by David McVicar and conducted by Harry Bicket.
Building on its 81-year-old radio broadcast history—heard over the Toll
Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network—the Met uses advanced media distribution
platforms and state-of-the-art technology to reach audiences around the world. The Met: Live
in HD, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series of live performance transmissions to movie
theaters around the world, returns for its seventh season in 2012-13. Met Player, a subscription
service makes much of its extensive video and audio catalog of full-length performances available
to the public for the first time online, and in exceptional, state-of-the-art quality. Metropolitan
Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM broadcasts live performances from the Met stage three times a week during
the opera season, as well; the Met on Rhapsody on-demand service offers audio recordings; and the
Met presents free live audio streaming of performances on its website once every week during the
The Met has launched several audience development initiatives, including Open House
dress rehearsals, a popular rush ticket program, Gallery Met, and an annual Holiday Series presentation
for families. For more information, please visit: www.metopera.org.
For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of
at (309) 495-0591 or firstname.lastname@example.org