Most people, when they think about opera, think about singing. Usually giant fat people singing loudly in a language that nobody understands. Not me. When I think about opera, I think about (maybe because I am a guy) sex. Well, sex and violence. And as it so happens, these are the two main themes of the opera Rigoletto.
Rigoletto (Italian for: a form of tube-shaped pasta of varying lengths and diameters) is the story of a horny guy sleeping his way through the kingdom, and also killing people. This man’s name is “The Duke,” which is apparently not short for Marmaduke, and he runs the town of Mantua.
The opera opens in the middle of a giant orgy, so you know that it is going to be a good opera. The main point of the first scene is for the Duke to have as much sex as possible, and to sing whilst doing so. I knew a guy like that in college, so it’s a pretty realistic show. The sex is interrupted with some violence, because one of the girls’ father gets a little angry at all the sex his daughter is having, so the Duke decides to serve up some death sentence and the guards take the guy down. End Scene.
I think at this point there is some sort of scene with a guy named Rigoletto, but he’s really not that important to the plot. The important thing is, in the next scene, the Duke is trying to have more sex. Sadly he gets interrupted at the last moment, so he runs back to his castle. But never fear, romance lovers! The Duke’s henchmen immediately show up and violently capture the girl so the Duke can finish up back at the palace.
I think that Rigoletto guy is kind of upset about this, but as he is not the tenor, this is of little importance. The important thing is that the Duke has sex, and then goes off to look for even more sex at some tavern. He seems to be pretty successful at this, because when Rigoletto shows up again (sheesh, haven’t we had enough of this guy?) to have the Duke killed, the Duke’s new girlfriend at the tavern totally saves him.
Luckily the show has a really happy ending, because the Duke does not get killed, and in fact goes off into the distance singing a song about how he wants to have more meaningful conversations with women. No, just kidding. He wants more sex. I think a bunch of non-tenor characters end up dead at some point, but you can all relax and know that everything works out for ol’ Marmaduke.
Now that you know the full story, I hope you will come see the show in two weeks. Unless, for some reason, you don’t like sex and/or violence, but be honest, everyone likes at least one of those things. See you there!