<b>The Metropolitan Opera bets on Rigoletto.by Paul J. Pelkonen
|Tapped out: George Gagnidze is a hapless protagonist in the Met's "Vegas" Rigoletto.|
Photo by Richard Termine © 2015 The Metropolitan Opera.
"You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em." --Kenny Rogers, The Gambler.
The Metropolitan Opera's current production of Verdi's Rigoletto transposes opera's action to Las Vegas in the 1960s. In director Michael Mayer's mind, the Duke is a cabaret crooner, surrounded by a "rat pack" of buddies in snazzy lamé jackets. Rigoletto is his opening act, warming up the crowd with insult comedy. The Duke's palace is a casino-hotel, where the outside world exists only behind heavy green curtains. When it bowed in 2013, Mr. Mayer's vision of the opera seemed fresh. However, as Wednesday night's performance showed, this show's luck is running out.