I missed Rigoletto too - I went to see Opera North's Carmen yesterday evening. Instead of being set in Seville, Spain, it was set in Seville, Ohio. It was nevertheless sung in French (but then, so is Carmen when set in Spain) but a number of other things had been changed, too: Escamillo was the owner of a pit-bull-terrier (we didn't see any fighting, thank goodness), Lillas Pastia's tavern was an open-air establishment, Josť was a policeman, not a soldier, Micaela was rather tarty with big hair. And some of the music was cut - sacrilege! No chorus of small boys in Act 1, no quintet in Act 2, no smugglers' chorus in Act 3 (hardly any smugglers, either), no local-colour chorus or parade of (pit-) bull-fighters at the start of Act 4. The principals were all good, though, particularly Peter Auty as Don Josť, and the final scene packed as big a punch as ever. And we did get (some) spoken dialogue rather than the non-Bizet recitatives.
During some of the goings-on, I wondered why they didn't make Escamillo a boxer and use the libretto for Carmen Jones.
[This message has been edited by Andrew (edited 01-23-2011).]