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Bella figlia dell amore - Quartet from Rigoletto

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Published on Jan 13, 2008

Historic recording from 1914 featuring John McCormack and Lucrezia Bori

Giuseppe Verdi penned one of the greatest vocal quartets ever in the third act of Rigoletto. The heroine Gilda, daughter of the court jester Rigoletto, has fallen in love with the duke of Mantua, much to her father's chagrin. To disabuse her of any illusions about the duke's good intentions, Rigoletto takes Gilda along to watch the duke's actions with Maddalena, a woman of easy virtue. The duke and Maddalena appear inside a dilapidated shack, Gilda and Rigoletto outside. How can a quartet where the characters react to one another possibly occur in this set? As it happens, the duke is not overly fussy about the venues for his trysts: the walls of the house are so full of holes that Gilda and Rigoletto can see in. In the quartet Maddalena playfully rebuffs the duke's advances. Gilda asks herself how she could have fallen for such a man, and Rigoletto promises revenge.

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