As a warm up, ask the students to name their favorite stories,
movies or plays. What do they like about these stories? What makes
a story good? Develop a list on the blackboard or a bulletin board.
Review the plot of Rigoletto. Read the second part of the story. Was the
a tragedy or a comedy?
Create a story map for Rigoletto. Who does what? When do
things happen? Add details.
The music for Rigoletto was composed by Verdi.
Replay the Overture to Rigoletto (CD1, Tr1), and then play the
selection that is associated with Monterone's curse (CD1, Tr7).
Now that you know the whole story of the opera, what do you think
that the overture is telling us?
Play selections from these moments in the story (you may excerpt
these selections if you wish): Gilda's declaration of love (CD1,
Tr16), The Courtiers trick Rigoletto (CD1, Tr18 and 19), Gilda
sacrifices herself for the Duke (CD2, Tr16). Before playing the
selections, read the translation of the libretto to the students.
How does the music help to tell the story?
Have the students evaluate the story using the list they created
in the warm-up. Is Rigoletto a good story by their standards?
Have the students draw a picture of Rigoletto and list his characteristics,
both physical and emotional. Do they think of him as a good character
or a bad one? Does he have elements of both?