Don't forget to sign up for MET AT THE MOVIES starting this Saturday (tomorrow) with Luc Bondy's production of TOSCA which was so controversial in the press recently. (Replacing the lavish Zeffirelli one)
Click on MET MOVIES for the complete 2009-10 schedule.
Interesting articles on this:
More bumps for MET TOSCA
Tommasini’s TOSCA LA RING halfway comparisons on production concepts
German vs American taste in opera production
’TOSCA’ (Monday) Say what you will about Franco Zeffirelli’s extravagantly realistic 1985 production of Puccini’s “Tosca,” it was a hit with audiences. A similar future does not look likely for the Met’s new production. On opening night the cast was cheered, but the director Luc Bondy and the production team were vehemently booed. The sets give the staging a spare, stark, forbidding and, in Scarpia’s study, a strangely garish look. But it is Mr. Bondy’s attempt to flesh out the dark side of the opera that goes seriously wrong, especially in his handling of Scarpia, who becomes a cartoonish villain and sadistic weirdo: this chief of police, an aristocrat, is sexually aroused by a statue of the Madonna and consorts with prostitutes in his study. The charismatic soprano Karita Mattila may not be the vocal ideal as Tosca, but she sings with gleaming sound, intelligence and fearless abandon. The tenor Marcelo Álvarez excels as Cavaradossi, singing with Italianate style and impassioned expressivity. The baritone George Gagnidze brings his leathery, bellowing voice to the role of Scarpia, but cannot survive the tasteless excess of Mr. Bondy’s conception. James Levine conducts a vibrant performance. (Through May 13.) At 8 p.m., Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center , (212) 362-6000, metopera.org; $20 to $375. (Anthony Tommasini)
In Chicago Another Tosca opens