For someone whose job is making other people laugh, the court jester Rigoletto doesn’t seem to have much fun. Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, the lead character of the great composer’s 1851 opera, spends his days making fun of the courtiers trying to get in the Duke’s good graces. The poor men have to put up with the fact that the Duke regularly seduces their wives and daughters. Rigoletto watches it all, making fun every time the Duke cuckolds someone else. When the jester mocks Count Monterone, he goes too far and Monterone curses him. It’s downhill from there for poor Rigoletto and his beautiful daughter Gilda, whom the Duke also secretly fancies. The story, based on a play by Victor Hugo, ends with death and destruction — this is opera, after all. 7:30 p.m. April 17 and 24 and May 2; 2 p.m. April 19 and 26. Wortham Center, 500 Texas. For information, call 713-228-6737 or visit www.houstongrandopera.org. $25 to $275.
Fri., April 17, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., April 19, 2 p.m.; Fri., April 24, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., April 26, 2 p.m.; Sat., May 2, 7:30 p.m., 2009


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