Stellar Cast for Teatru Astra's Rigoletto Print E-mail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

20210630083343 Simone piazzola photo by Fracesca Marta x web

Teatru Astra is proud to announce its stellar cast for the upcoming production of Verdi's Rigoletto, promising to bring to life on stage an unforgettable experience brimming with passion, drama, and most of all exquisite music.

The talented ensemble of performers will include Simone Piazzola in the title role of the hunchback jester, Rigoletto. Piazzola's commanding voice possesses the noble and singular recognisable timbre of a baritone of the highest standards, with a burnishing presence on stage that has earned him the definition of one of the leading baritones of his generation on an international level. Piazzola has sung leading roles at Milano's Teatro alla Scala, as well as some of the best-known opera houses such as those in Palermo, Verona, Opera Royal de Wallonie-Liege, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Dresden, Hong Kong, and countless more.

Rigoletto's daughter, Gilda, will be performed by the dashing Enkeleda Kamani, a budding Albanian soprano whose recent awards and achievements put her among the top young artists of our era, having also secured roles at La Scala, Palermo, Verona, the Royal Opera House, and Florence among others, having been described as possessing the priceless attribute of a natural voice, as well as being the vocal highlight of the performance by well-known critiques.

The Duke of Mantua, the playboy who Rigoletto works for, will be performed by Gianluca Terranova, the Roman tenor who certainly needs no introduction. Terranova is currently one of the most sought-after lyric tenors due to his natural ease on the high register, as well as his great stage presence. Terranova is famous for playing the title role in RAI's bibliographic film Caruso: la voce dell'amore. He has graced the stages of renowned opera venues around the world, including Teatro alla Scala, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne, the Grand Theatre of Shanghai and Hong Kong, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Frankfurt Opera, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Arena di Verona, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, and Teatro San Carlo di Napoli. Throughout his illustrious career, he has had the privilege of collaborating with esteemed conductors such as James Conlon, Myung Wung Chung, Nicola Luisotti, and Zubin Mehta.

Dario Russo will enter the shoes of an assassin in the role of Sparafucile. Astra's audiences are quite acquainted with Russo, known as a sumptuous basso of a noble tone and a homogenous singing line of a consistent tone, smooth phrasing, even vibrato, and balanced dynamics and articulation. He has endowed the stages of numerous prestigious theatres and concert halls, including Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Gran Teatru al Liceu in Barcelona, the Israeli Ópera in Tel Aviv, Teatro dell'Opera in Rome, Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, ROH in Muscat, Malmö Live Konserthus, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Bela Bartok National Concert Hall in Budapest.

Maddalena will be played by mezzo soprano Martina Belli. Belli is no newcomer in this role, having sung it at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw to high acclaim. She is also a regular in Rome's Opera House, Paris, Naples's San Carlo, Florence, and Covent Garden. Her recent engagements include Verdi's Requiem under the baton of Riccardo Muti.

Each of these exceptional artists brings a rich tapestry of talent and experience to their assigned roles, ensuring a production brimming with passion, emotion, and indelible music. We extend a warm invitation for you to accompany us on this extraordinary voyage into the realm of "Rigoletto," where the universal themes of love, betrayal, and tragedy intertwine in an ageless narrative.

The brand new production of Rigoletto will be staged at Teatru Astra under the artistic direction of Italian-fame director Enrico Stinchelli, with the participation of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra under the dynamic baton of John Galea, the Astra Opera Chorus directed by Mariella Spiteri Cefai and will feature new sets built by Malta's leading scenographer Joseph Cauchi.

Online booking for the double performance on the 26th and 28th October 2023 is available at

This production is supported by the Gozo Cultural Programme managed by the Malta Arts Council, and the Ministry for Gozo.