Backstage at San Francisco Opera > September 2012 > One Production, Many Casts
One Production, Many Casts
In 1997, we unveiled a brand new production of Verdi's Rigoletto, designed by Michael Yeargan. Inspired by the surrealist paintings of Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico, the sets shine most because of their simplicity. The colors are bold, the lines are crisp and the lighting is daring. The costumes, designed by Constance Hoffman, are whimsical and classic, bringing these larger-than-life characters their own highly distinct personalities. While many of our 2012-13 Season productions feature brand new sets or bring a production to the Bay Area for the first time, Rigoletto is a revival of this favorite production. These sets and costumes have been presented at the War Memorial Opera House in three previous seasons, and due to double casting, by no less than six distinct casts. Take a walk down memory lane with us as we remember some of our past Rigolettos, Dukes and Gildas.

September 1997: Paolo Gavanelli as Rigoletto.

September 1997: Ruth Ann Swenson as Gilda with Paolo Gavanelli

September 1997: Ruth Ann Swenson with Martin Thompson as The Duke of Mantua

November 1997: Christopher Robertson as Rigoletto

November 1997: Giusy Devinu as Gilda with Mary Philips as Giovanna and Christopher Robertson

September 2001: Stephan Pyatnychko as Rigoletto and Desiree Rancatore as Gilda

September 2001: Stephan Pyatnychko and Desiree Rancatore

October 2006: Paolo Gavanelli as Rigoletto

October 2006: Giuseppe Gipali as The Duke of Mantua and Mary Dunleavy as Gilda

September 2012: Zeljko Lucic as Rigoletto and Francesco Demuro as The Duke of Mantua

September 2012: Francesco Demuro and Aleksandra Kurzak as Gilda

September 2012: Marco Vratogna as Rigoletto

September 2012: Albina Shagimuratova as Gilda and Arturo Chacon-Cruz as The Duke of Mantua
Photos by Ron Scherl, Marty Sohl, Ken Friedman, Terrence McCarthy and Cory Weaver.
Posted: 9/27/2012 11:02:16 AM by San Francisco Opera
Filed under: 2012-13Season, Rigoletto, SFOHistory, singer


Backstage at San Francisco Opera is a fascinating, fast-moving, mysterious and sacred space for the Company’s singers, musicians, dancers, technicians and production crews. Musical and staging rehearsals are on-going, scenery is loaded in and taken out, lighting cues are set, costumes and wigs are moved around and everything is made ready to receive the audience. From the principal singers, chorus and orchestra musicians to the creative teams for each opera, in addition to the many talented folks who don’t take a bow on stage, this blog offers unique insight, both thought-provoking and light-hearted, into the life backstage at San Francisco Opera.


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