Vittorio Grigòlo sings the famous aria 'La donna è mobile' from Verdi's opera Rigoletto. Find out more at Giuseppe Verdi wrote in 1855 that Rigoletto, based on Victor Hugo’s play Le Roi s’amuse, was his ‘best opera’. He had had to overcome state censorship to stage it – the censors objected to its depiction of an immoral ruler – but he was vindicated by the premiere’s huge success in 1851. Rigoletto was performed 250 times in the next 10 years and has remained one of the most popular of all operas.
David McVicar’s production highlights the cruelty at the heart of the court of Mantua. Richly dressed courtiers engage in orgies and revelries to Verdi’s heady, spirited dances. The opera’s many musical highlights include the ebullient ‘La donna è mobile’, in which the Duke boasts of his disregard for women; Gilda’s exquisite, plangent duets with Rigoletto and the Duke; and the gorgeous Act III quartet that beautifully weaves the voices together as the story quickens to its shattering conclusion.
Watch videos with other singers performing La donna e mobile:
DUCA La donna è mobile Qual piuma al vento, Muta d'accento E di pensiero. Sempre un amabile Leggiadro viso, In pianto o in riso È menzognero.
È sempre misero Chi a lei s'affida, Chi le confida Mal cauto il core! Pur mai non sentesi Felice appieno Chi su quel seno Non liba amore!
La donna è mobile, ecc.
Sparafucile rientra con una bottiglia di vino e due bicchieri che depone sulla tavola: quindi batte col pomo della sua lunga spada due colpi al soffitto. A quel segnale una ridente giovane, in costume di zingara, scende a salti la scala. Il Duca corre per abbracciarla, ma ella gli sfugge. Frattanto Sparafucile, uscito sulla via, dice a parte a Rigoletto:
SPARAFUCILE È là il vostr'uomo …viver dee o morire?
RIGOLETTO Più tardi tornerò l'opra a compire.
Sparafucile s'allontana dietro la casa verso il fiume.
English Libretto or Translation:
DUKE Women are as fickle as feathers in the wind, simple in speech, and simple in mind. Always the loveable, sweet, laughing face, but laughing or crying, the face is false for sure.
If you rely on her you will regret it, and if you trust her you are undone! Yet none can call himself fully contented who has not tasted love in her arms!
Women are as fickle, etc.
Sparafucile returns with a bottle of wine and two glasses, which he puts on the table; then he strikes the ceiling twice with the pommel of his sword. At this signal, a buxom young woman in gypsy costume comes jumping down the stairs. The Duke runs to kiss her, but she eludes him. Meanwhile, Sparafucile, having slipped out into the road, speaks softly to Rigoletto:
SPARAFUCILE Your man's in there. Is he to live or die?
RIGOLETTO I'll come back later to conclude our business.
Sparafucile moves off behind the house in the direction of the river.