Poet Peter Meinke Collaborates with Rigoletto

January 1, 2020

. . . 

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


(clockwise from upper left): Christopher Holmes as Rigoletto, Holly Flack as Gilda, Benjamin Werley as the Duke of Mantua and Sarah Nordin as Maddalena – photo by Jim Swallow/Packinghouse Gallery

The St. Petersburg Opera performs Verdi’s Rigoletto
January 24-28
at The Palladium Theater
Details here

You can hear Peter Meinke in conversation 
on Arts In, the Creative Pinellas podcast.

Leave a Reply

Become a Creative Pinellas Supporter