Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, and based on the play “Le Roi s’amuse” by Victor Hugo.
Verdi was commissioned to write a new opera by La Fenice opera house in Venice in 1850.
By this time he was already a well-known composer and had a degree of freedom in choosing the works he would prefer to set to music.Read more
At the beginning of the summer of 1850, rumours started to spread that Austrian censorship was going to forbid the production. The censors considered the Hugo work to verge on lèse majesté and would never permit such a scandalous work to be performed in Venice.
In August, Verdi and Piave prudently retired to Busseto, Verdi’s hometown, to continue the composition and prepare a defensive scheme. They wrote to the theatre, assuring that the censors’ doubts about the morality of the work were not justified, but since very little time was left, very little could be done.Read more