January 1, 2020
Poet Peter Meinke Collaborates with Rigoletto
. . .
To celebrate a creative and collaborative new year, we asked Florida Poet Laureate Peter Meinke to write a poem inspired by the opera Rigoletto, a classic that the St. Petersburg Opera Company is performing this month.
Peter got a taste for opera in Italian and in Polish years ago in Warsaw, when he was a Fulbright Professor. Here’s his creative take on Verdi’s tale of lovely tragic love.
Aria to ‘La Donna’ in Rigoletto
La Donna è mobilé was born
on March 11 1851
streaming from the vaulted Fenicé
over Venetian waterways:
a lyrical phenomenon!
The knotted bloodshot plot torn
from Victor Hugo’s heart-worn
tale opens to let the Duke display
La Donna è mobilé . . .
and everything launches from there: scorn
lust betrayal murder warm
and cold hearts—an auto-da-fé
where Gilda dies and evil gets away—
but from this riptide rose the deathless song:
La Donna è mobilé
– Peter Meinke
The St. Petersburg Opera performs Verdi’s Rigoletto
at The Palladium Theater in downtown St. Petersburg
January 24-28. Details here.