"Questa o quella"

This one or that one

This one or that one,
to me they’re the same
as any other I see around me;
I won't surrender my heart
to one beauty over any other.

Their beauty is like a gift
with which fate adorns life;
if one pleases me today,
tomorrow another could do the same.

Fidelity, that tyrant of the heart,
I loathe it like the plague;
only those who want to should be faithful:
there is no love, if there’s no freedom.

I laugh at husbands' jealous rages,
And at lovers' yearnings;
I defy any challenge
if I’m smitten by a beautiful woman.

Rigoletto, another of Giuseppe Verdi’s famous operas, with a convoluted plot, disguises, mistaken identity, love, passion and betrayal, and a cruel turn of fate leading to a tragic ending.

Rigoletto, the deformed jester at the court of the libertine Duke of Mantua, is cursed by Count Monterone, whom he has mocked for his grief and outrage at the Duke’s seduction of his daughter. The Duke’s attentions have since turned to a beautiful girl he has seen – Rigoletto’s daughter, Gilda, who is being kept hidden. The Duke, disguised as a poor student, slips into the house and convinces her of his love. Out in the dark street, armed and masked courtiers are spying on Gilda, thinking she is Rigoletto’s mistress. They abduct her, with the unwitting aid of a blind-folded Rigoletto. Too late, he realises the dreadful truth. At the palace, the Duke discovers the abducted mistress is Gilda, and takes full advantage of the situation. The mocking courtiers ignore Rigoletto's pleas for Gilda, who then appears, weeping for shame.

Gilda still loves the Duke. Wanting to show her the Duke’s true nature, Rigoletto takes her to a house where the Duke is seducing another woman, Maddalena, the sister of an assassin, Sparafucile! He sends Gilda home to dress as a boy, in preparation for leaving the city and then arranges for Sparafucile to murder the Duke. Maddalena, in the meantime, has fallen in love with the Duke – who sings at this point of the fickleness of women – and persuades her brother to kill someone else in the Duke's place. Gilda has retuned and overhears the plan. To save the Duke, she knocks at the door, is stabbed by Sparafucile and put in a sack. Rigoletto returns, only to discover his daughter in the sack. She proclaims her love for the Duke and dies. Monterone’s curse is fulfilled as the curtain falls on Rigoletto, now a grieving father himself.

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