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Giuseppe Verdi

A dark drama of passion, love, betrayal and revenge.

The State Opera
English surtitles

Choose date

  • December
  • February 2024
    December 2023

    Friday 15. 12.

    English surtitles
    Programme change
    February 2024

    Sunday 4. 2.

    English surtitles

    Sunday 11. 2.

    English surtitles

    Basic information


    The State Opera

    Approximate running time

    2 hours 40 minutes, 1 intermission (20 minutes) minutes


    In Italian, surtitles in Czech, English


    September 2, 2021

    Our new adaptation of Rigoletto was staged for the State Opera by the young Czech director Barbora Horáková Joly, the holder of the UK’s International Opera Award 2018 in the Newcomer category. “We focused on the title character. Rigoletto is haunted by the mystery of his past, which has led him to serve a jaded, amoral and decadent male clique, whose values are tumbling,” she says.


    • 2023-2024


    State Opera Chorus
    State Opera Orchestra
    National Theatre Opera Ballet

    The title hero, the hunch-backed court jester with derision on his lips and anxiety in his heart, is well aware that it is wrong to serve the licentious Duke of Mantua, and thus he so tortures himself over the curse placed on him and his master.

    When in 1850 Guiseppe Verdi was commissioned to write a new opera for La Fenice, he decided to base it on Victor Hugo’s Le Roi s’amuse, notwithstanding that the French censors had deemed the play utterly unacceptable and banned it immediately after the premiere, in November 1832 at the Théâtre Français in Paris. Verdi’s intention to create an opera according to Hugo’s work met in Italy with an equally hostile response, with the Venetian censors referring to it as “immoral” and an “affront to royal majesty”. The parties ultimately arrived at a compromise: the setting would be changed, the French King would become the Duke of Mantua, yet the most essential aspects – the characters’ natures and the dramatic situations – would remain. The opera’s premiere, on 11 March 1851 in Venice, was a great triumph, particularly the Duke’s cynical aria “La donna è mobile” (Woman is fickle), which was sung in the streets the next morning. Verdi saw that he had composed a smash hit!

    Rigoletto has been performed at the State Opera ever since the venue’s opening. The piece was first staged there by the New German Theatre company on 21 May 1888. Over the next few seasons, its performances were adorned by attractive foreign guests, with the most notable including the legendary tenor Enrico Caruso (4 and 10 May 1904). Our previous production of Rigoletto, directed by Karel Jernek (premiered on 14 January 1988 at the Smetana Theatre, with the final night held on 28 June 2017 at the Karlín Music Theatre), received some 483 performances.

    WARNING: Fire effects, articicial blood and drogs are featured in the performance.
    Suitable for audience from 12 years.

    Photo and video gallery


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    Goods detail

    Rigoletto Programme

    A booklet for the opera production of Rigoletto

    50 Kč

    Only 4 items in stock

    Practical information

    Where to buy tickets

    The National Theatre sells tickets up to 6 months in advance. From December 1, 9 am, we started selling tickets for the performances of Drama, Ballet, Opera and Laterna magika until the end of May 2024.

    When purchasing online, you can get an e-ticket. You can pick up printed tickets in person at the box offices of the National Theatre.

    What to wear?

    By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.

    Parking at the State opera

    While visiting the State Opera, you can take the slip road on Wilsonova street from the left lane close to the State Opera building to the Parking Centrum above-ground garage. The parking fee is 40 CZK/h.

    Buffets at the State Opera

    No waiting. For your benefit, please pre-order your food and beverages at the bar to minimize waiting in the queue!

    Menu (PDF, 60 kB)