For anyone who missed the live HD broadcast, the controversial Metropolitan Opera Tosca airs tonight on PBS (WETA in the Washington, DC area), at 9 p.m. The broadcast should demonstrate that Luc Bondy's staging is not really as shocking as people thought it was -- just not very inspired.
I find the uproar about this supposedly "radical" Tosca a bit amusing, since only a few years ago, in the Glimmerglass production that went on to New York City Opera -- a production that updated the action to the 1920s -- the director Mark Lamos had Scarpia actually pleasuring himself during the Te Deum. People evidently have very, very short memories, or labor under the misapprehension that the Met is the only opera house that counts, but if you want to get upset about indifferent updated "director's theater," I'd have thought the Lamos production offered a lot more fodder.
And since I've been on a Gidon Saks kick ever since this fall's Götterdämmerung, here's another Scarpia to fan the flames. (Yes, I Tweeted this a few weeks ago, but I think it bears watching again -- unless you hate Regietheater, of course.)
Edited to add: The San Francisco Chronicle's Joshua Kosman comments on the protest about the Tosca, after watching the video: "New Yorkers are a big bunch of weenies."
The thing that always gets me in these debates about Eurotrash: isn't the singing the most important thing? I can put up with a lot of directorial excess if the singing is as fine as Saks's is.
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