Rosario La Spina is set to star in OperaQ’s twisted tale, Rigoletto, writes Laura Brodnik.

It’s opera as you’ve never seen it before.

The Australian premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto is coming to Brisbane, combining classic opera with a salacious story and cinematic sets.

Based on Victor Hugo’s controversial play La roi s’amuse about a philandering French king, the timeless tragedy will transport audiences to a debaucherous Berlusconi-inspired Italy, where an all-powerful Duke of Mantua holds court surrounded by sycophants and party girls.

Internationally renowned Brisbane tenor Rosario La Spina is making his Opera Queensland debut as the Duke.

“He’s quite an evil character, sleazy and twisted,” La Spina says.

“The story itself is very entertaining; there are plot twists, mistaken identities and people dying for love. A story so entertaining it can be told in any form.

“For anyone who has not seen an opera this is a good one to start with because the story is so compelling. There needs to be balance in what we see. I love sport too but we need to appreciate the beauty of opera.”

La Spina’s passion for opera stems from the fact that without a twist of fate he would never have taken to the stage.

“I was working as a bricklayer when I was 21 and I suffered a severe injury. I didn’t see anything positive about it, but now I think everything happens for a reason,” he said.

“That’s when I had my first singing lesson and was told I should give this a try; now here I am.”

For more information on Rigoletto, visit our event guide.