(photo above from the Theatre Du Chatelet production in Dec. 2007, NOT from la Scala's current production)
Since there are still tickets available a few hours before the show -- no sold out crowd for that -- and there's nothing good on television, Opera Chic has decided to go check out the scandal-heavy Robert Carsen staging of Candide -- l'"affaire Candide" that earned Opera Chic a few high-placed enemies and cost la Scala's management a big fat cut in government-funding (because, really, ridiculing ex Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in a city heavily dominated, politically and otherwise, by Berlusconi and his allies, is not the smartest move for those who need government funds -- the decision by the center-right mayor of Milan to pull 2 million euros out of the yearly funds given to la Scala has been considered a pretty evident payback for the decision to go on and stage the "offensive", politically charged Candide anyway. That and, of course, the Scala decision to be mean towards Scala-loving Opera Chic has not helped either lol).
Opera Chic didn't particularly like that Candide on TV, the opera was broadcast by Arté last January, because really, how tired it is to argue that TV is bad for you and that America has lost her optimism since JFK was murdered? that's just bOring! and makes Opera Chic (who usually loves Carsen's work) goes zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz with sleep. A gifted director, he may not be a politcal artist.
The latest news are:
* the scene with Berlusconi, Bush, Blair, Chirac and Putin (three of whom are now either out of office or on their way out, one has a below-zero approval rating and the other has been accused of murder on CNN by a dying, poisoned Russian ex spy) in their underwear has remained more or less untouched, only their neckties are missing
* all the satire against the Catholic Church ("I'm the daughter of the Polish pope!", lots of jokes about pAEdophile priests) has been carefully and completely deleted
* the show, 15 mins shorter than the Paris production, is still kinda lame
But then, Candide had never been staged at la Scala before. And Opera Chic will always love Lenny.
So off we go, in a few hours. We'll report on possible stirrings in the audience. So stay tuned later.