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The tragic tale of the hunchback jester Rigoletto is one of the opera world’s most iconic works. Verdi’s story of innocence, ruin, curses and forgiveness still touches our hearts due to its raw emotion. Encompassing one of operas most familiar anthems, the gut wrenching tale of old Mantua is as popular as ever.
Each bead and charm of the Rigoletto Opera Bracelet represents a character or moment from the work. Some of the most important beads and charms are described below and you can see all of the symbolic descriptions on the spiral chart photo above or to the left. Also, a story chart explaining the symbolism of the beads and charms accompanies every bracelet. Click here to see the chart.
- Mantua’s passionate duke is symbolized by a faceted red bead. Red heart beads symbolize his love (or what he thinks of as love anyway).
- Gilda is a delicate gold flower, chosen for the meaning of her name: gold/gilded. A white and yellow sunburst bead represents that she is Rigoletto’s only hope and joy – the only bright spot in his life.
- I chose a gold bead for Rigoletto to indicate his relationship with Gilda and he is also represented by the jester charm.
- The masks charm symbolizes his words of frustration from Act 1 "To be permitted nothing but to laugh! I’m denied that common right, to weep."
- An intricate round bead with raised designs is the intrigue among the courtiers to punish Rigoletto.
- A black bead is the dishonored Monterone. I chose a black oval twist bead to represent his curse which drives the opera’s plot.
- Assassin Sparafucile is symbolized by a silver bead representing his blade and a dagger charm.
- The beloved aria “Caro nome” is indicated by a clear bead with floating pink rose buds. I chose it to evoke the first blossoming of love in her innocent heart.
- A rippling cream color bead with a satin effect symbolizes the scarf Gilda leaves behind when she is abducted.
- A large red millefiore heart is the Duke’s mighty “love”, and a crackled gold colored glass disc is Gilda’s resulting dishonor.
- The famous “La donna e mobile/ Woman is fickle as a feather in the breeze” is signified by a delicate pewter feather charm.
- A blue heart bead represents Gilda’s heartbreak upon hearing the Duke use the same words to seduce Maddalena as he did to seduce her.
- Nevertheless, a pair of red flowers indicates Maddalena and Gilda's dual pleading that the Duke’s life be saved.
- A twisted red oval bead and a blood droplet represent Gilda’s sacrifice to save the man she loves.
- An angel wing heart and teardrop are Gilda’s final promise to pray for her father in heaven.