Famed Italian opera, Rigoletto first premiered in 1851. Giuseppe Verdi's timeless tale explores themes of love and revenge. Rigoletto, the hunched-backed jester at the Court of the Duke of Mantua, is a merciless cynic. His lethal tongue and ruthless actions make powerful enemies that plot his downfall. This version of Verdi's popular opera is directed by Maria Cristina Mazzavillani Muti of Italy's Ravenna Festival. Founded in 1990 by Mrs. Mazzavillani Muti, the Ravenna Festival is a celebration of the performing arts. With its ample array of opera, music, film, dance, and exhibitions, the Ravenna Festival has become a staple in the international musical arts world.