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Thesis 1

Thesis Title: An analysis of the development of the character of Verdi’s Rigoletto, from his origins as Victor Hugo’s Triboulet, into one of the most emotionally complex characters in opera
Degree Type: Other
Degree Specialism: Performance
Supervisor(s): Ann Heneghan
Thesis Status: Accepted
Date Submitted / Accepted: September 2011
Institution Submitting / Submitted To: Dublin Institute of Technology
No. of Volumes (no. of pages): 1 (42pp.)
Thesis Location / Link: DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama Library
Abstract: This dissertation deals with the development of the court jester Triboulet from Victor Hugo’s Le Roi s’amuse into the role of Rigoletto in Verdi’s opera. The principal aim of this dissertation is to chart the journey of the character from Hugo’s play into one of the most emotionally complex characters in operas.
This thesis comprises of three chapters. The first chapter examines the origins of Hugo’s Triboulet and the character’s surroundings. Included in this chapter are the difficulties Hugo faced due to the setting and content of his play. The second chapter charts the development of Verdi’s interest in Hugo’s Triboulet, and the alterations made by Verdi to appease the censors. This chapter also includes critics’ own opinions on Verdi’s tonal structure in Rigoletto. This third chapter begins by dealing with the curse theme that pervades Tigoletto and its significance for Rigoletto. The chapter then examines Verdi’s treatment of the complexity of the contrast between Rigoletto’s cruelty and his tragic nature throughout the opera.

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