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An Opera Staple Takes a Stark Turn at the Met
The New York Times ^ | September 22, 2009 | Anthony Tommasini

Posted on 09/22/2009 7:49:40 AM PDT by Captain Jack Aubrey

The Met opened its season on Monday night with a new production of Puccini’s “Tosca” by the adventurous Swiss-born director Luc Bondy. When Mr. Bondy and the production team appeared on stage during curtain calls, the audience erupted in boos. If there were cheers among the jeers, they were drowned out.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: 0bamasfault; music; opera
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Such incivility. And in New York! Sounds like a health care town hall, or a meeting of Astroturf racists.
1 posted on 09/22/2009 7:49:40 AM PDT by Captain Jack Aubrey
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

people take their opera seriously


2 posted on 09/22/2009 7:52:06 AM PDT by dalebert
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

Botching Tosca is a very serious offense. It is a wonderful opera.


3 posted on 09/22/2009 7:53:51 AM PDT by BenLurkin (Brave amateurs....they do their part.)
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey; .30Carbine; 1rudeboy; 2nd Bn, 11th Mar; 31R1O; ADemocratNoMore; ...

Classical Music Ping List ping!

If you want on or off this list, let me know via FR e-mail.

Thanks,

sitetest


4 posted on 09/22/2009 7:56:51 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

Opera audiences have been known to tear the seats up and set them on fire, when they didn’t like the staging. Wagner was attacked because he put the ballet in the first act of “Tannheuser,” while the audiences preferred it in the second act, so they could arrive late and still see the ballet.


5 posted on 09/22/2009 7:59:28 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("USAF fighters are the sound of freedom; children are the sound of the future of the Church.")
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To: sitetest

The review makes it sound absolutely dreadful. Perhaps the designer should have tried making a movie, like “Romeo + Juliet” with Leonardo di Caprio and Clare Danes. Then he could have used the author’s material as a showcase for his own ego without making a live audience furious.


6 posted on 09/22/2009 8:03:14 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("USAF fighters are the sound of freedom; children are the sound of the future of the Church.")
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To: dalebert

I have boo’d at bastardized operas here in Los Angeles. They put folks in underpants, or minimize the staging, or add their own interpretations, even in Mozart. They set it up just right — you clap separately for the singers and then the stage director (or whatever he’s called). That’s when I booed.

My friend sings in the chorus. She said that people are HATING the ‘trendy’ stuff. But the PR folks told me ‘everybody LOVES it.’


7 posted on 09/22/2009 8:03:24 AM PDT by bboop (Tar and feathers -- good back then, good now)
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

The Swiss loser deserved it for trying to make a classic staple into some avant garde statement.


8 posted on 09/22/2009 8:03:47 AM PDT by C19fan
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To: Tax-chick
Another fascinating factoid ... ONLY on FR!

;^)

9 posted on 09/22/2009 8:04:35 AM PDT by SAJ (way too late to 'work within the system'. just about time for rebellion)
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To: SAJ

I took a semester course on Wagner opera in college. Fascinating subject.


10 posted on 09/22/2009 8:05:49 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("USAF fighters are the sound of freedom; children are the sound of the future of the Church.")
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

Don’t mess with what works!!

I hate it when someone tries to put their spin on a classic!


11 posted on 09/22/2009 8:05:59 AM PDT by Exit148 (Loose Change Founder. A little goes a long way!)
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To: Borges; Publius

DisGRAZIA!


12 posted on 09/22/2009 8:06:29 AM PDT by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

There are lots of monied people who go to operas just to feel elite and sophisticated. They have no understanding or appreciation of the music. They are the same people who clap between movements during a symphony.


13 posted on 09/22/2009 8:07:01 AM PDT by libh8er
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

Was it the same production featured in the recent James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace”? If so, I can understand...


14 posted on 09/22/2009 8:07:21 AM PDT by Ozone34 ("There are only two philosophies: Thomism and bullshitism!" -Leon Bloy)
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To: Tax-chick
As Richard Armour once wrote, ''People have to discover things like this, in order to become assistant professors.''

Heh heh heh...

15 posted on 09/22/2009 8:07:43 AM PDT by SAJ (way too late to 'work within the system'. just about time for rebellion)
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To: Tax-chick

Wagner was a genius. He knew how to capture the whole sound and passion of opera. But due to some little corporal Wagners name will be forever tarnished as a Nazi! Even though he lived 60+ years before Hitlers time.


16 posted on 09/22/2009 8:12:10 AM PDT by crazydad
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To: Tax-chick

Two of the most awesome experiences of my life was seeing my first Wagner Opera, Lohengrin and going to Bayrueth and seeing Wagners home.. Just loved it.


17 posted on 09/22/2009 8:13:52 AM PDT by crazydad
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey
Modern opera directors think they are being "edgy" by dressing everyone in black, making the sets dark and unrealistic and including a lot of sex. These are the hallmarks of the no-talent. You could go right across the plaza at Lincoln Center and see the New York City Opera perform a Tosca that sounds exactly the same and has been in the repertoire for years. This Bondy's work is entirely hackneyed.

In Europe, opera directors have been doing the same thing for decades: everyone in black, stark expressionistic sets, lots of sex. Yawn. They get booed at every curtain call even by the Europeans!

18 posted on 09/22/2009 8:14:58 AM PDT by Dr. Thorne (Buy Gold and Guns Now!)
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To: crazydad

I’ve seen Bayreuth only on TV. We saw “Tannheuser” in Tulsa, and it was very enjoyable. It wasn’t the full opera (I knew from my class ;-), but we’d left a baby with a sitter, so I really didn’t mind its not being almost 4 hours!


19 posted on 09/22/2009 8:16:32 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("USAF fighters are the sound of freedom; children are the sound of the future of the Church.")
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey
The Met seems intent on self destruction sometimes. It would be one thing if these ridiculous new productions only lasted for a short time and then the more traditional production returned. But that's not how it works. Once a production is replaced, the old sets and costumes never return, or at least not in my 37 years of attending the Met. I keep waiting for the dreadful "modernized" Fidelio to be replaced but nothing seems to be on the horizon. (I have my ideas about what they SHOULD do, but it will probably only get worse when they do replace it.) I fear what will happen with Tales of Hoffmann later this season.

ML/NJ

20 posted on 09/22/2009 8:18:07 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

Hardcore opera fans tend to be very picky and demanding. It doesn’t take much to turn them into hooligans.


21 posted on 09/22/2009 8:18:14 AM PDT by Malone LaVeigh
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To: Tax-chick
the audiences preferred it in the second act, so they could arrive late and still see the ballet

Almost no one arrives late at the Met. If you're not there at Post Time, they don't let you in until intermission or a scenery change break.

ML/NJ

22 posted on 09/22/2009 8:21:32 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey
LOL.....as soon as I read this review containing descriptive words such as "kinky", "eroticism", "lecherous", "orgy", "voluptuous women" and "pawing his groin" I'm certain the production will be a big hit and will sell out every performance.

Leni

23 posted on 09/22/2009 8:23:16 AM PDT by MinuteGal ( Americans ! FLIP THIS HOUSE ! (( Congress in 2010 ! ))
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To: bboop

well i hate the jived up junk...and dont consider it opera.


24 posted on 09/22/2009 8:24:34 AM PDT by dalebert
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To: ml/nj

Houston was like that, too. I was with a friend who has Chronic Lateness, and we had to watch the first act of “Turandot” on a monitor in the lobby.

However, during Wagner’s lifetime, the Parisian upper crust would arrive at the opera late - or so my dear old professor said, and he was nearly old enough to have been there!


25 posted on 09/22/2009 8:25:41 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("USAF fighters are the sound of freedom; children are the sound of the future of the Church.")
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

Hard to screw up Tosca, but they managed. The description of the sets sounds more like Kafka than Puccini. I don’t blame the audience. I know how they feel. I have seen Viaggio a Reims in a 1950s setting, and PBS broadcast a Rigoletto several years ago that featured topless women dancing around the Duke of Mantua. Nasty.


26 posted on 09/22/2009 8:27:40 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: Tax-chick
My experience with Wagner has been that people leave early! Parsifal was the only opera I ever left before it was over, but I think half the house left before I did. It really took me a long time to appreciate Wagner. I still haven't done the Ring but I would like to sometime.

ML/NJ

27 posted on 09/22/2009 8:30:15 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: crazydad

My mother was a close friend of the family. I saw the entire Ring at Bayreuth when I was 14. The staging was extraordinary, and even years ago was avant-garde by U.S. standard, but really worked.

re Tosca, Peter Gelb is the former headof Sony Classical, has no experience with opera performance, and no business being there.


28 posted on 09/22/2009 8:34:37 AM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: ml/nj

The Wagner operas are so long, I don’t know if I’d make it through a complete one live, especially “Parsifal.” Fortunately, with recorded performances, we don’t have to take it in one sitting!


29 posted on 09/22/2009 8:48:23 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("USAF fighters are the sound of freedom; children are the sound of the future of the Church.")
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To: ml/nj
I think the Met is performing Doctor Atomic this season. I saw it at the Lyric and it was dreadful. There was a giant atomic bomb hanging over the stage and I was considering whether to start cheering for it to drop.

In any case, why shouldn't people boo if they didn't like a production? It's tradition. And it's not like the back-benchers rushing the stage and assaulting the tenor for botching his job like they do in Italy.

30 posted on 09/22/2009 9:00:46 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

There is a centuries long tradition of booing at operas, tenors in particular. And laughing at fat sopranos during certain scenes in “La Boheme”.

In Parma a good put down of a singer yelled from the audience would make it into the papers and would make you a household name until the next opera fan fired off the next good one.

It is one of my dreams to spend a month in Italy spending the days eating pasta and the nights attending operas. A week in Parma would be good.


31 posted on 09/22/2009 9:14:52 AM PDT by texmexis best
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To: texmexis best

Sounds like a dream vacation.


32 posted on 09/22/2009 9:16:39 AM PDT by kalee (01/20/13 The end of an error.... Obama even worse than Carter.)
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To: bboop

I have boo’d at bastardized operas here in Los Angeles.

I BOO’D THE “PARSIFAL” THEY DID HERE IN 2005, AND WHEN THE LA TIMES GAVE IT A GOOD REVIEW, I WENT BALLISTIC IN A LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE CALENDAR SECTION. (TO MY GREAT SURPRISE, THEY PRINTED IT.)

Some of the productions here at the LA Opera have been simply horrible; ultimately, we let our subscription lapse.

Yet “non ho amato mai tanto la vida.”


33 posted on 09/22/2009 9:19:25 AM PDT by eddiespaghetti ( (with the meatball eyes))
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To: 1rudeboy
Doctor Atomic ... I saw it at the Lyric and it was dreadful.

Are you guys in Chicago responsible for that too! I don't remember if the Met is doing DA this year but they did it last year. I listened to it for about four minutes.

I have a general rule not to attend any performance unless the composer has been dead for a hundred years or so. It's not that I deny the possibility of something good being composed today, but the filter of time has a way of getting rid of the DAs.

ML/NJ

34 posted on 09/22/2009 9:21:11 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: dalebert
It's not just opera.

My mother, sister, and I went to see a production of Cats on Broadway. Horrible. I knew it was a mistake to go to an afternoon production, but we couldn't make the evening show. Second rate signing, second rate acting. Ugh.

Saturday evening performances are the best, always.

Opera, musical theater, symphonies, are meant to captivate and move the spirit, encapsulating you for a brief period of time in a unique and adsorbing experience.

When you start thinking about your "to do" list or checking your watch, the production has failed. It's like paying for a rental car that stalls every time you come to a red light.

By the end of the ride, most folks would be furious, too.

35 posted on 09/22/2009 9:22:45 AM PDT by TheWriterTX (I am a Declarationist!)
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To: ml/nj

If I remember correctly, it’s San Fransisco that inflicted that opera on the rest of us.


36 posted on 09/22/2009 9:23:09 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: ml/nj

Have you ever seen “Nixon in China”? Houston Opera was running that the same season with the “Turandot” I saw, but I couldn’t get off work (to drive to Houston from San Antonio).


37 posted on 09/22/2009 9:23:31 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("USAF fighters are the sound of freedom; children are the sound of the future of the Church.")
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

From the description of the production, this production seems to have been a thorough hack job.

I would have booed too. It sounds awful.


38 posted on 09/22/2009 9:23:38 AM PDT by texmexis best
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

Was Leonard Pinth-Garnell the Master of Ceremonies?

39 posted on 09/22/2009 9:24:50 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Tax-chick
Have you ever seen “Nixon in China”?

No. It's not for me. (I've hears snippets. And it would violate my dead composer rule.)

ML/NJ

40 posted on 09/22/2009 9:27:59 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: kalee
That is my dream. I have the opera house ticket phone numbers for the tour.

I also would like to take side trip to the Bayerishe Statsoper in Munich. I have a lot of their recordings under the label “Black Dog Opera” and they are artistically solid and technically great. Wanna throw some money in the till, so to speak.

41 posted on 09/22/2009 9:36:54 AM PDT by texmexis best
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To: Malone LaVeigh
Hardcore opera fans tend to be very picky and demanding. It doesn’t take much to turn them into hooligans.

You don't have to be a hardcore fan to be disgusted when the sacreligious trash a beautiful work of art.

42 posted on 09/22/2009 9:38:20 AM PDT by HIDEK6
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To: texmexis best

A tenor at La Scala sang a particularly challenging aria. To his surprise, the audience rose to its feet, stamping, cheering, and shouting ‘bravo!’ Naturally, he repeated the piece. Then, the same response from the audience. So he did it again. Once more, prolonged, thunderous applause.
Finally, he addressed his throng of admirers:

“My beloved fellow music lovers. I am deeply humbled by your warm reception of my efforts here tonight. But please, I must reserve what remains of my energies for the remainder of the performance, which will now proceed. Once again, I stand in awe, and admitted puzzlement, at this tumultuous response!”

A voice was heard to rise from the audience: “You’ll do it again until you get it right!”


43 posted on 09/22/2009 9:48:35 AM PDT by Erasmus (Barack Hussein Obama: America's toast!)
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To: Clemenza

Infamia!


44 posted on 09/22/2009 9:50:39 AM PDT by Publius (Conservatives aren't always right. We're just right most of the time.)
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To: Erasmus

I love opera audiences.

My wife broke both her legs and after a month or so of healing we decided that our first night out was to be at the University of Houston Opera. We made our way down the steps of the theatre, she on crutches and me on the step below ready to catch her if she fell. A woman who was sitting in an aisle seat leaned over as we passed by and said: “You go girl! Nothing can keep us from the opera!”

Couple of rows broke up in laughter.


45 posted on 09/22/2009 10:09:07 AM PDT by texmexis best
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To: All; sitetest

I listened to the entire Tosca broadcast on XM sat radio last night. The singing was excellent. The orchestra sound great, one of the best Toscas I have heard.

However, I was shocked at the booing at the curtain call for the production staff. The audience went nuts for the singers and James Levine but then the designer and producer came out and it sounded like George Bush just walked in.

Here is a recording of the curtain calls. The booing starts about after about 2 minutes. Keep in mind, these are men in tuxedos and women in long gowns.

http://www.zshare.net/audio/65934856fc13b669/


46 posted on 09/22/2009 10:13:23 AM PDT by Captain Jack Aubrey (There's not a moment to lose.)
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To: TheWriterTX

look what has happened to the national anthem. this will continue as long as people dont have to care about criticism and get grants and funding for having no talent.


47 posted on 09/22/2009 10:21:14 AM PDT by dalebert
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To: dalebert

By the way, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra played the National Anthem prior to the opera, as they alway do on opening night.

The opera house was full of opera singers; former, current and would-be. Thousands sang along loudly and it was truly thrilling to hear.


48 posted on 09/22/2009 10:30:27 AM PDT by Captain Jack Aubrey (There's not a moment to lose.)
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

that sounds inspiring


49 posted on 09/22/2009 10:40:44 AM PDT by dalebert
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Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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