Opera Scotland

Rigoletto 1968Sadler's Wells Opera

Read more about the opera Rigoletto

The most famous production of Rigoletto presented by English National Opera is the staging directed with great flair by Jonathan Miller. Miller relocated the whole show to a fairly modern New York gangland environment, a production which the company eventually took on tour to New York. Sadly, by that time the company had long since ceased to tour the UK.

This version directed by Michael Geliot had no such inspiration, though it was a perfectly competent effort by one of the more experimental directors of the time. Perhaps for that reason it seemed slightly dull and disappointing. It had opened during the previous year's autumn tour, in December 1967 at the Opera House, Manchester, and was revived regularly in London for the next decade.

Several of the cast were quite notable - Canadian soprano Maria Pellegrini spent several seasons with Sadler's Wells and then the Royal Opera during the British phase of her career. Stafford Dean sang several Verdi bass roles with the Wells that he did not repeat during his many years working with Scottish Opera. The Australian tenors Donald Smith and Robin Donald were an unusual case of a father and son appearing on stage together.

The repertoire for this Glasgow season was somewhat lightweight in content. There were five operas seen during the three weeks, of which Rigoletto and Don Giovanni were the most serious. The other three were The Italian Girl in Algiers, Die Fledermaus and La Belle Hélène.


Sadler's Wells Opera in Scotland - 1968

Only one Scottish venue for this three week visit - the King's Theatre in Glasgow.

The operas were Mozart (Don Giovanni);  Rossini (Italian Girl in Algiers);  Verdi (Rigoletto);  Offenbach (Belle Hélène); J Strauss (Fledermaus).

The performance schedule was:

Week One, w/c Mon 11 Nov:  Tue 12 Italian Girl;  Wed 13 Belle Hélène;  Thu 14 Don Giovann;  Fri 15 Italian Girl;  Sat 16 Belle Hélène.

Week Two, w/c Mon 18 Nov:  Mon 18 Fledermaus;  Tue 19 Rigoletto; Wed 20 Don Giovanni;  Thu 21 Italian Girl;  Fri 22 Fledermaus.

Week Three, w/c Mon 25 Nov;  Mon 25 Rigoletto;  Tue 26 Fledermaus;  Wed 27 Belle Hélène;  Thu 28 Rigoletto;  Fri 29 Don Giovanni;  Sat 30 Fledermaus.

Performance Cast

Duke of Mantua

Donald Smith (Nov 19)

Donald Pilley (Nov 25, 28)

Matteo Borsa a courtier

Robin Donald

Marullo a courtier

Adam Sargent

Count Ceprano a courtier

Leigh Maurice

Countess Ceprano

Ailene Fischer

Rigoletto a jester

Gwyn Griffiths (Nov 19, 25)

Neil Easton (Nov 28)

Count Monterone

Gerwyn Morgan

Sparafucile a professional assassin

Stafford Dean

Gilda Rigoletto's daughter

Maria Pellegrini

Giovanna Gilda's duenna

Elizabeth Howarth

Page to the Duchess

Dorothy Nash


Anthony Davey

Maddalena sister of Sparafucile

Ann Robson

Performance DatesRigoletto 1968

Map List

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

19 Nov, 19.30 25 Nov, 19.30 28 Nov, 19.30

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