McIntire Department of Music

Abuse of power. Dishonor and revenge. A protective father and his beautiful daughter. No, this is not the daily news from Iraq. Nor is it the latest episode of The Sopranos. Throw in a background of political instability along with religious and civil censorship, personal scandal and you have the renowned Giuseppe Verdi and his opera masterpiece Rigoletto.

On Sunday, May 27 at 3:30 p.m. in the University of Virginia's Old Cabell Hall, The Oratorio Society of Charlottesville-Albemarle (TOSCA) will bring Rigoletto to life in a concert performance under the baton of L. Thomas Vining. English translation of the Italian masterwork will be projected above the stage. This presentation is expected to rival last year's concert performance of Verdi's La Traviata that sprang a cheering audience to its feet in the Oratorio Society's first opera offering.

Before its first performance in 1851, in a nervous climate of political instability, Rigoletto was censored for immorality and for portraying a king as a womanizer. Changing the setting from France to Italy and the king to a duke placated the censors and the opera opened in Venice to an enthusiastic audience. The melodramatic story traces the downfall of a protective father named Rigoletto, the hunchbacked jester for the Duke of Mantua. Rigoletto vows revenge on his master when he learns that the Duke has seduced his beloved daughter. Among the iconic opera arias is the Duke's jab at the fickleness of women, "La donna è mobile." Color and atmosphere brought to life in the music, bold characterization, and a plot unsurpassed for superb drama make Rigoletto one of Verdi's greatest achievements.

Featured soloists for this performance include a roster of national and international professionals to be announced soon.

Conductor L. Thomas Vining, now in his seventh year as Music Director and Conductor for The Oratorio Society, has become an integral part of the arts community of Charlottesville-Albemarle. He commutes weekly from Northern Virginia to share with the chorus his extensive knowledge of vocal music.

As one of the oldest arts groups in the community, The Oratorio Society continues its legacy of presenting major choral works for the greater Charlottesville area. Over the past 40 years it has performed a wide range of choral masterworks including Verdi's Requiem, Brahms' A German Requiem, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Bach's St. John Passion, B Minor Mass and Cantata 191, Mozart's Requiem, Poulenc's Gloria, Haydn's Mass in Time of War, Mendelssohn's Elijah and Symphony No. 2, Hymn of Praise and Orff's Carmina Burana. Recent milestones have included Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 as part of the Paramount Theater's grand re-opening in Charlottesville in 2005, the Society's first opera performance last spring, and the 40th Anniversary performance of Handel's Messiah in March.

Tickets for Rigoletto are $30, $21 and $11(youth) and are available at 800-594-8499 and Tickets may also be purchased from chorus members, at Plan 9 (Albemarle Square) and at the door if available. For more information call 434-295-4385 or visit

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Maintained By McIntire Department of Music
Last Modified: Monday, 28-Jul-2008 23:27:29 EDT
112 Old Cabell Hall, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Departmental Information: (434) 924-3052
Cabell Hall Box Office: (434) 924-3984