Opernblog Rigoletto

Foto: © Claudia Scheer van Erp


Russian director Timofey Kuliabin is well known in his own country as one of the most interesting young theater artists. In Europe and the U.S. his name was previously mentioned predominantly in the political context of his staging of Tannhäuser in Novosibirsk which was highly appreciated by critics and audience - but had been dismissed after a campaign of local “orthodox activists”. Things have changed after the last Wiener Festwochen where Kuliabin presented Three Sisters by Chekhov which led Austrian critics to name Kuliabin as a rising star of European theater. Kuliabin is equally active in drama and opera. Recently he did a very successful production of Don Pasquale at the Bolshoi opera house in Moscow. Afterwards he was invited to the Bolshoi again: in 2018/19, he will do Lohengrin. His first opera production abroad will take place in Wuppertal with a new version of Verdi’s Rigoletto. It will be realized by Kuliabin's usual team: Stage Director: Timofey Kuliabin, Set Design: Oleg Golovko, Costume Design: Galya Solodovnikova, Lighting Desing: Denis Solntsev, Dramaturgy: Ilya Kukharenko. Music Director will be Johannes Pell.

Timofej Kuljabin (privat)

#Die Produktion

The five locations mentioned in the libretto will be reduced to two. The story takes place nowadays somewhere in Eastern Europe, where you still can find an archaic combination between real political power and total corruption and impunity. Duca is a leader of the local ruling party, who just won the election. He has extremely high sexual appetite, but he is not interested in simple sex. His cabinet, typical for eastern-european men of power, has an extra smoking-room where people can have a cigarette and exchange some gossips. 

Duca’s wife – is a silent, elegant, extremely suffering but uncomplaining lady, who is perfectly aware of his numerous love affairs. 

Rigoletto is a political TV-presenter cynically producing propaganda shows in favor of the ruling party and it's ideology. He is a good looking man, a bit overdressed for the studio, with heavy make-up. 

Rigoletto is ashamed of his daughter, Gilda, because she is visibly mentally disturbed. Therefore, he keeps her in an expensive clinic where also some of the female victims of Duca are treated. 

Maddalena is an office buffet girl, who is forwarding all the gossip she gets to her brother Sparafucile who serves as a security officer in the same building. 

With these characterizations of the leading figures in Rigoletto, we expect Timofey Kuliabin and his team to endeavor once more to a fresh, powerful and emotionally thrilling reading of one of the greatest classics of the opera repertoire.


#Interview MINA (Ausgabe 1_2017)

#Der Fall »Tannhäuser«

Internationale Beachtung erhielt Timofej Kuljabins Inszenierung von Wagners »Tannhäuser«, die im Dezember 2014 Premiere in Nowosibirsk hatte und von Publikum und Kritik gleichermaßen gefeiert wurde. Weil Kuljabin Tannhäuser in der Venusberg-Szene als Jesus Christus auftreten ließ, wurde ihm seitens der orthodoxen Kirche Blasphemie und Respektlosigkeit vorgeworfen. Die umstrittene Inszenierung wurde abgesetzt und der Theaterdirektor Boris Mesdritsch entlassen, als er sich weigerte, das Stück vom Spielplan zu nehmen.

Mehr erfahren:

Artikel DIE WELT Opernchef wegen Regietheater gefeuert, 30.03.2015

Artikel DIE ZEIT Wo der Vorhang fallen muss, 17.04.2015


Timofej Kuljabin gastierte 2016 mit seiner Produktion "Drei Schwestern" von Anton Tschechow bei den Wiener Festwochen. Die Süddeutsche Zeitung berichtete:

SZ, Groll und Gesten, 30.05.2016