'Rigoletto' In Vegas And The Pleasures Of The Metropolitan Opera

A recent Pop Culture Happy Hour trip to New York took the team to see Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera. A jester in a rat pack? We saw it.
Vegas, Bambino! The Metropolitan Opera's 2019 production of Rigoletto. Source: Marty Sohl

Maybe you have opera jokes. We did.

When the Pop Culture Happy Hour team planned a trip to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, we grudgingly served up to each other our dusty old gags about Bugs Bunny and helmets with horns and Pretty Woman and ... have we left anything out?

We chose to see Rigoletto, precisely because it's a classic. It's real, hardcore actual opera. We didn't want to be reluctant, or to insist that opera come meet us where we were. We wanted to dive in. All jokes aside, we really did want the opera experience.

The whole thing had begun with my colleague Stephen Thompson making a New Year's resolution to expand his cultural choices, and specifically to see an opera. Here was our chance — why waste it?

The production of we saw was directed by Michael Mayer. If you're not familiar with the story, Rigoletto is a jester who becomes. "La donna e mobile" is the kind of piece that might be part of a "Opera Man" sketch with Adam Sandler, by which I mean that when Adam Sandler returned this spring to play Opera Man for the first time in years, his bit about the Democratic candidates running for president was set to the tune of "La donna e mobile."

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