Met Audience Boos Drab Tosca

Critics pan new production of Puccini opera
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2009 8:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – New York's Metropolitan Opera opened its season last night with a gala production of Puccini's Tosca, a crowd-pleasing war horse given an aggressive new staging by the Swiss director Luc Bondy. The black-tie crowd was not pleased with the stark, modern production, erupting in boos during the curtain call. Critics were disappointed, too; Manuela Hoelterhoff of Bloomberg laments, "God, this production is depressing."

story continues below

Bondy has replaced the over-the-top baroque sets of the Met's previous Tosca with drab grays and browns, Hoelterhoff notes, and the villainous Scarpia lives not in a palazzo but "a dive decorated in early Tony Soprano-style with a few errant pieces from Ikea." New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini notes that "if Mr. Bondy wanted to rid his Tosca of stock cliché, his heavy-handed ideas are just as hackneyed." Anne Midgette of the Washington Post agrees, calling the production "contrived and a little odd without being particularly effective." (Read more opera stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.