Never, EVER trust an opera administrator who nervously asks, "By the way, how well do you know 'Cavalleria Rusticana' and 'Pagliacci?'"
The next morning at the "Aida" meet-and-greet, San Diego Opera General Director Ian Campbell drew Rucker aside and asked, "Did you look at the score? Can you sing it?"
"I think I could," said Rucker, expecting he had a couple of days to prepare.
"Good," said Campbell. "You're on. Tonight."
More on the crazy adventures of Mark Rucker here.