I travel to New York to attend operas at the MET every year, and have for a good long time. Tonight's performance of Tosca is the first one that I have ever left before it was finished.
The only saving grace was Alagna's Cavaradossi. He was is in healthy, ringing voice. Gagnidze was a dull Scarpia - not menacing at all, and barely audible. Why is he cast in every revival of this production? Give me Mark Delavan any day.
I have to confess that I am not a big fan of Patricia Racette. To my ears, the true center of the pitch is just not there, or at least not there long enough for me to perceive it. At this performance, any pressure on the voice brought on a wobble as well. The applause after "Vissi d'arte" was barely polite.
All this would have been tolerable if this wasn't one of the most butt-ugly productions on the face of the earth. Act one is plain, but passable. Act two is really atrocious! It is aggressively hideous. If anyone can explain to me why the costumes and sets seem to inhabit eras that are a century apart, please feel free to do so.
It would have been nice to hear Alagna in act three, but my ears and eyes were just too sore by then.
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