Front Page Titles (by Subject) ACT I, SCENE I.—: A Ball-room in the Ducal Palace. Ladies and Gentlemen, Pages and Servants, cross the scene. Music is heard at a distance, and now and then bursts of laughter. Enter the Duke and Borsa. - Rigoletto: An Opera in Four Acts
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ACT I, SCENE I.—: A Ball-room in the Ducal Palace. Ladies and Gentlemen, Pages and Servants, cross the scene. Music is heard at a distance, and now and then bursts of laughter. Enter the Duke and Borsa. - Giuseppe Verdi, Rigoletto: An Opera in Four Acts 
Rigoletto: An Opera in Four Acts, words by Victor Hugo (New York: Fred Rullman, n.d.). Metropolitan Opera House, Grand Opera, Libretto.
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A Ball-room in the Ducal Palace. Ladies and Gentlemen, Pages and Servants, cross the scene. Music is heard at a distance, and now and then bursts of laughter. Enter theDukeandBorsa.
I am quite resolved to follow to the end
My new adventure with this youthful lady.
You mean the one you meet in going to church?
Yes, in a lonely street, and every day Receives a visit from a dubious man.
But does she know him not?
Yes, every Sunday for the last three months.
Know you where she resides?
No, I think not.
[A group of Ladies and Gentlemen cross the scene.
Behold those charming ladies.
Yes, but Ceprano’s wife excels them all.
Ah! but mind her husband, Duke.
It might be spread about.
What then—no great misfortune.
EnterCount Ceprano,watching at a distance theCountess,who is followed by a Gentleman. Ladies and Lords cross the scene.
(To the Countess, with great politeness.)
You go already, cruel one?
I must obey my husband,
I am obliged to leave.
But you must shine at Court,
As Venus amongst the stars—
Here all must sigh for you.
Already here behold
A victim of your charms.
[The Duke kisses her hand.
EnterRigoletto,who meetsCount Cepranoand Courtiers.
What troubles you, dear Count?
You seem in deepest thought.
[The Count makes a sign of impatience, and follows the Duke.
(To the Courtiers.) The Count is furious! See.
A fine ball!
And even the Duke enjoys well the feast.
Is it not always so? What news is this?
Wine and feasting—dancing and games—
Battles and banquets—for him all’s the same.
Now ’gainst the Countess he tries to lay the siege,
And cares not for the jealousy of her liege.
EnterMarullo,with great anxiety.
Great news! fine news!
Quick, what has happened, say?
You will all be surprised.
Speak on, speak on.
Ah, ah! Rigoletto—
What, has he lost his hump? Is he now straight?
More strange still, the foolish man possesses—
A lover! who can e’er have thought of this?
The hump-back is transformed into a Cupid.
Oh, what a monstrous Cupid! charming Cupid!
Enter theDuke,followed byRigoletto,afterwardsCeprano.
No man can be more vexing than Ceprano.
His wife is a sweet angel.
Steal her away.
’Tis easier said than done.
You think not of the Count.
Have you no prisons?
Well, banish him.
No, no, buffoon.
His head, then.
[Making signs of having it cut off.
What do you mean? this head?—
[Tapping the Count on the shoulder.
Yes, what is it good for?
What can he do with it?
[Unsheathing his sword.
[To the Count.
He makes me laugh.
He is frantic!
Now, buffoon, come here.
You carry your jokes too far,
His sword might reach your heart.
I fear him not. No one will dare to touch.
The favorite of the Duke.
He must be punished.
[Aside to the Courtiers.
And who has not some injuries
To avenge on him.
If you fear not, to-morrow
Come with your swords to me.
[A crowd of dancers invade the scene,
To dance, to feast, to pleasure, Here everything invite,
Look around, does this not seem The palace of delight.
(from without) I must see him.
(looking at the Duke, with pride.)
Yes, Monterone.—My voice
For ever I will raise against your crimes.
(to the Duke, counterfeiting Mon.’s voice.)
I must see him.
You have conspired against our name, my lord,
And we have granted pardon—
What madness now is yours? In this glad hour
To come and claim the honor of your daughter!
(looking at Rig. with contempt.)
A new insult! but your nefarious orgies
I will disturb. Here I will raise my voice
Until the honor of an injured family
Shall be restored.
And even if you were
To sign my death and send me to the block,
My shade will claim revenge!
No more—arrest him.
He is mad!
He is mad!
Be both for ever accursed.
[To Rig. and the Duke.
To strike the dying lion,
’Tis base—but thou, reptile,
Who dar’st to laugh at an old father’s grief
Malediction fall on thee!
What do I hear!
[Aside. All, except Rig.
Rash man, your evil spirit
Has brought you to disturb this feast,
Your words are vain. Away!
The Duke’s revenge you raise!
No hope for you remains,
This is your fatal day.
[Mon. is lead away by the soldiers, the others follow the Duke.