Eugene Brancoveanu Headlines Opera San José’s ‘Rigoletto’

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Bob Shomler)

Opera San José is set to present Verdi’s “Rigoletto.”

The opera will be directed by Dan Wallace Miller with Jorge Parodi conducting the South Bay Opera Company. The production will feature baritone Eugene Brancoveanu in the title role of Rigoletto, Soprano Melissa Sondhi as Gilda, and tenor Edward Graves as the Duke of Mantua.

The cast will also include bass-baritone Ashraf Sewailam as Sparafucile, mezzo-soprano Melisa Bonetti Luna as Maddalena, bass-baritone Philip Skinner as Count Monterone, Abigail Bush (as Countess Ceprano), Andrew Fellows (as Usher), Glenn Healy (as Count Ceprano), Michael Jesse Kuo (as Marullo), Eric Levintow (as Matteo Borsa), Courtney Miller (as Giovanna), and Leandra Ramm (as Page).

The Feb. 18 performance will feature baritone Robert Balonek as Rigoletto and tenor WooYoung Yoon as the Duke of Mantua.

In an official statement issued by the company, Opera San José General Director / CEO Shawna Lucey said, “Rigoletto is one of opera’s timeless tragedies and Verdi’s most popular works as it embraces the many emotions we have as humans from cruel mockery and white-hot rage to heart-melting despair and undeniable love for family. This beloved opera is an indestructible, eternal testament to the sacrifices we make for our job, our loved ones, and our honor. Audiences will follow jester Rigoletto and his vendetta that’s far from funny and discover who will get the last laugh. This dark work is bursting with unique arias and compositions filled with character insight that take a deeper look into the pursuit and abuse of power.”

Performances of “Rigoletto” will take place between Feb. 17 and March 3, 2024.