Monday, January 01, 2018

You Tell 'Em!

For once, reviewing the new Met Tosca, Anthony Tommasini doesn't mince any words:
Mr. Gelb eventually gave in, calling the [Luc Bondy] production “one of the blunders of my tenure.” In a recent interview he was even more abject.
“I’ve learned my lesson,” he said. “When it comes to a classic piece of repertoire, beauty counts — and that’s what the audience wants.”
But Mr. Gelb has learned the wrong lesson. The discouraging implication of the new “Tosca,” directed by David McVicar, is that when it comes to staging standard repertory works, modern is bad.
That’s simply not true. Look at the critical and popular success that has greeted the Met’s highly stylized version of “La Traviata”; or its surreal, ominous “Hansel and Gretel,” onstage through Jan. 6; or its post-apocalyptic “Parsifal,” set to return next month. Mr. Bondy’s “Tosca” was unsuccessful because it was messily conceptualized and gratuitously sordid, not because a gritty, dark take on this work is an impossibility.


Mike A. said...

I've been following the whole saga, and I have to say that the whole saga is rather unfortunate. From the get-go, it has the wrong intention. I actually loved a lot of David McVicar's productions; I count the Giulio Cesare, the Meistersinger and the Troyens as the best productions ever. I don't even mind his three Tudor queens at the Met, as well as his Pagliacci (his Cav is a different story). In the interview, he mentioned that he was thinking of quitting the production as well. For his sake, I think it's probably best for him to quit so Peter Gelb can just revive Zeffirelli's production. After all, his hands are tied to emulate Zeffirelli's glory. Who can succeed under such enormous pressure to copy other's work?

Lisa Hirsch said...

I have really liked a lot of McVicar's work as well. In retrospect, I have some complaints about Troyens, though I loved the look of the sets & costumes; I found the Meistersinger set way too cluttered and I thought that he was seriously misguided in replacing the parade of professions with acrobats.

Hahahaha, just revive the Zef. I expect those sets have gone to the knackers by now.