According to the NYT no one dares to criticize the new management at the Met.
Evidently the moniker of “no one” fits me like a glove. Again. Well as I have pointed out on NMB and other places as a composer I'm the least likely to put up a fuss and also the easiest to ignore.
Well it’s like this. I love the MET simulcasts, yet I wonder why the staging seems created to enhance the experience for the cameras and not the live MET audience.
It seems that there is a problem with the MET audience. Evidently their loyalty might be a problem for moving the MET into the future. They are accused of wanting only the traditional in opera. That is a focus on music, voice and charicter. In my own experience at the MET there were several different audiences depending on the music played. Even the Tannhauser audience was different from Parsifal’s. I just wonder what audience would find a Van Gogh in a Peter Max frame interesting? Perhaps a trendy one, but to tie one’s self to trends means you’re a follower and not a leader, and trends do change. One other new trend at the MET must be mentioned. Musical elements, excellent as they are, are of secondary importance to the visual elements and merely ubiquitous. Yet why is this trend other than its newness progressive? Why is a focus on music, voice and charicter regressive? [ to find that out read here] http://philipfried.blogspot.com/2009/08/rethink.html
This does show one thing:
The prestige of a new production has eclipsed the prestige of a new opera.
One trend that the MET follows is the star system. A new trend is the tendency to put a singers looks ahead of there sound. All things being equal the most attractive wins the role.
Unlike Europe where opera is ubiquitous, in America there isn’t a lot. That means that European directors can go hog wild reinterpreting the classics because audiences can find a more tradition production pretty much all the time. This may not be true in all places but Europe also has a tradition of accepting bizarre theater.
About this particular production of Tosca which adds a lot of sex not mentioned in the libretto:
I am reminded of that scene in Mad Men where Don says “People who think that sex sells are the same people who think that this job can be done by monkeys.”
My comment is always this; why not commission a new Tosca opera with this point of view? Certainly a new Mannon which actually told the original story seems a no-brainer since that would do the job nicely.