Baritone Nikoloz Lagvilava in Polish National Opera's 'Rigoletto' cast

The Polish opera house will host a version of the Verdi classic that will be limited in locations due to staff shortages caused by the Covid-19 situation. Photo: Krzysztof Bieliński/Polish National Opera., 18 Feb 2022 - 16:42, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Polish National Opera is gearing up to raise the curtains on its four-show bill of Rigoletto starting this evening, with Georgian baritone Nikoloz Lagvilava in the roster of performers taking to the stage of the opening performance.

Selected for the role of Rigoletto in Verdi's classic, Lagvilava will step out on the stage of the venue in what the theatre calls a "semi-staged" production directed by Gilberto Deflo and running under the batons of Andriy Yurkevych and Piotr Staniszewski.

The Georgian singer will be joined by the Korean tenor Ho-Yoon Chung as Duke of Mantua and Polish soprano Aleksandra Olczyk, the latter cast as Gilda. Wojtek Gierlach will portray the character of Sparafucile, with Anna Bernacka selected to play Maddalena and Iurie Maimescu bringing to life the role of Hrabia Monterone.

The Polish opera venue said the Rigoletto bill was decided on despite staff shortages caused by the pandemic situation, lending the "semi-staged" version of the bill.


The limited option means the action of the opera running taking place in the palace of Duke of Mantua and on the proscenium, skipping the other locations.

Lagvilava will alternate in the Rigoletto role with Jorge Lagunes, with the Georgian performer also scheduled for the show on Sunday.

Sets for the production come from designer Ezio Frigerio, with Franca Squarciapino working on costumes and Zofia Rudnicka on choreography. The shows will also feature the Chorus and Orchestra of the Polish National Opera, and Polish National Ballet. The two troupes share the venue in Warsaw.

Rigoletto, based by Verdi on a play by Victor Hugo, had its Polish premiere at the Polish National Opera in 1853. The opera house was built between 1825-33, before the siege of Warsaw during World War II almost completely destroyed it. The current, larger and more modern, building was constructed in 1965.

The Rigoletto bill will run between today and February 22 at the Warsaw theatre.