Curiously enough, baritone Markus Marquardt brought an element of naivety (usually allotted only to Gilda) to the opera's title character, Rigoletto. Driven by the sincerity of his emotions (his over-protection of Gilda and thirst for vengeance on the Duke), the naive jester unwittingly facilitates his own demise time and time again. Despite his dusky tone, Marquardt's Rigoletto seemed very spur-of-the-moment and impetuous, rather than brooding; he carried the pitiable air of a man being hounded by Fate, rather than someone seeking to defy it. By the end of the first scene, Marquardt had already succeeded in presenting a nuanced character through this intuitive stage presence and vocal cadence. In both his sarcasm and earnestness, Marquardt made the audience forget the score and script and enveloped us in genuine drama.