Athens’ biggest annual cultural festival, the Athens Epidaurus Festival, is getting race-ready as we speak. But this early drop suggests we're in for another theatrical tour de force this summer: Verdi’s most celebrated opera, Rigoletto, will go up at the mighty Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
Based on Hugo’s Le Roi s’amuse, a play that shocked the crowds for its immorality back in the 19th century, Verdi’s take is now considered a classic (o tempora, o mores!). The hunchbacked jester Rigoletto, an overprotective father, shelters his beloved daughter against the womaniser Duke and his privileged company who tend to abuse innocent young girls (toxic masculinity much?). Rigoletto, mocked for his appearance by the court, falls victim to a curse and unwittingly takes part in his daughter’s death, who sacrifices herself for the love of the Duke.
Verdi’s masterpiece usually sells out worldwide, so you can guess how it will play on the world’s most notable ancient open-air stage.
Update: The Athens Epidaurus Festival 2022 programme has been announced. You can see our picks of this year's edition here. You can read the festival's whole programme here.