Giuseppe Verdi – Rigoletto
To celebrate Italy’s most elegant and noble native art form, born at the end of the 16th Century, Montegrappa pays tribute to much-loved operas through the “Emozioni in Musica” collection of writing instruments. Previously-released pens in the series have honoured La Traviata and Il Barbiere di Siviglia. The third to be celebrated by Montegrappa is Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, an opera in three acts.
First performed at the famous La Fenice opera house in Venice on 11 March 1851, Rigoletto reached its debut despite initial problems with the Austrian censors who had control over northern Italian theatres at the time. The premiere was a triumph, regardless of any controversy, and is considered by many to be the first of the masterpieces of Verdi’s middle-to-late career.
An immediate success, Rigoletto enjoyed the equivalent of a “smash hit”, as the Duke’s cynical aria, “La donna è mobile” was sung in the streets the next morning. A great box-office success for La Fenice, it was Verdi’s first major Italian triumph since the 1847 premiere of Macbeth in Florence. Rigoletto’s initial run of 13 performances was revived in Venice the following year, and again in 1854.
Rigoletto now features in all lists of great operas, a staple of the operatic repertoire. Between 2006 and 2010, it was the sixth most frequently performed opera in Italy.
The Rigoletto Pens
With an eye to the spirit of the eponymous player that it commemorates, the design of the Rigoletto pen immediately recalls the attire of the traditional court jester, a harlequin pattern of red, white and black diamond shapes that can be attributed to no other character.
The body and the all-red cap are made of resin, the body itself requiring the use of the diffusion bonding technique to create its mosaic effect. All trims are made of solid silver or solid gold, according to the model.
A handmade black and red glass “murrina” on top of the red cap was inspired by the puffy sleeves and pantaloons that comprise a harlequin’s garb, while the pocket clip is styled in the manner of the jester’s footwear. Engraved into the ring that secures the pocket clip is a pattern that recalls the “skirt” favoured by jesters, with triangular extensions ending in little bells.
For the ring encircling the body, where the threads appear, Montegrappa’s artisans have etched a pattern to denote the type of belt worn by a jester. Montegrappa’s logo is engraved around the wide ring at the bottom of the cap.
Montegrappa’s Rigoletto limited edition consists of sterling silver and solid 18k yellow gold versions. In both models, the fountain pen nibs are fashioned from solid 18k gold available in F, M, or B widths. The Limited Edition is comprised of only 900 fountain pens and 900 rollerballs with sterling silver trim, and 30 fountain pens and 21 roller balls with solid 18K gold trim, for a total of 1851 pens.
The Montegrappa Rigoletto Collection will be available from end of September in Europe at a MSRP of EUR 2,800 (US $3990) for the silver trimmed fountain pen and EUR 18,500 (US $27,500) for the solid gold fountain pen.
Thanks to Frank at Fontoplumo for the tip!