Fiddling With Bigamy, Jupiter Brings Smiles After 255 Years

Bernard Holland for The New York Times
Comedy is perishable goods. In opera, its history can be long but its shelf life short. Things that are hilarious to the mid-18th-century citizen do not necessarily survive a change in context, so it is worth noting when a stage piece meant to make listeners smile in 1745 can do very much the same two and a half centuries later.