The funniest thing about last night's event at the NYPL, where Luc Bondy had to justify his life in front of a death panel of Metgoers in the audience and Peter Gelb sort of repeated that yes, the rest of the Zeffirelli productions is really on its way out after Tosca, seems to have interfered with many people's digestion. The New York Times itself seems to be unable to survive without a couple of candles in their Tosca:
In brief, here are a few of the main objections to Mr. Bondy’s “Tosca”: After she kills her would-be rapist, Scarpia, the title character fails to put candles around his body, as Puccini stipulated. Prostitutes not in the text fawn over Scarpia. Scarpia lustily embraces a statue of the Madonna in church.
In brief, even la Scala's ultraconservative audience managed to survive a swanless Lohengrin, less than three years ago, we can do that too, I suppose.
Not to mention, stepping carefully outside one's comfort zone -- with or without poor, conservative Luc Bondy's training wheels to support one's timidity -- has its rewards.
Just hire young Nigel Lowery to tinker with the tired story of those hipster kids and the consumptive girlfriend.
And if you really miss Cafe Momus, here it is, back to life in Vick's Rondine: