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Subject: Re: tosca
From: gordon young <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:gordon young <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 22 Apr 2017 14:59:11 -0500
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As an artist the depiction of art and art practices in opera always fail –
maybe I should say generally fail. In Boheme if the is no visual reference
to Marcelo’s being an artist, no canvases or any of the clutter that makes
up an artist’s studio I question every other aspect of the designers
concept.

I don’t think I have ever seen a Tosca production where I accepted the
painting of the Magdalene. Most often the style of the painting ignores the
period in which the production is presented.  If the production pretends to
be set in the Napoleonic era the painting should reflect the preferred
style for religious art of the period. Ingres or David would be acceptable
Gainsborough or Klimt not. If the image is intended to represent the
repentant Magdalene some compositional concepts must be considered. If the
painting is in a secular location the compositional elements are more open
than if, as in Tosca, the setting is religious.



 In the Tosca being discussed the updating into the digital era brought
many question to mind that interfered with my concentration on either story
or music. What was the function, for Cavaradossi, of using the computer and
what the hell was he doing with it. Was it merely a tracing tool and I can’
think of any artist using digital technology doing that. Why was the dumb
image shown on the wall? Why was it on the floor? Did the designer not
realize that people and crowds marching all over a “painting” would make
the surface unworkable. Only a conceptualist would want or tolerate the
conscious destruction of their work but in this production Cavaradossi is
not a conceptualist. It might have been fun to style him more on Koons than
Schnabel.



The rest of the production got sillier and sillier. The bad guys all
dressed alike and wore glasses.  Were the glasses a metaphor for a lack of
insight? And it would have helped of the Scarpia had ever had singing
lessons. And some contemporary clichés … black fingernail polish?

Opolais has never been a singer I enjoyed and she doesn’t thrill as Tosca.
She never creates a character and give the diva some makeup to help.











On Sat, Apr 22, 2017 at 11:59 AM, Kay Bosworth <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Unfathomable, yes, but this digital-age update doesn't go far enough.
>
> In this production, Tosca would go home to collect her jewelry but she
> stops for a moment to
> turn on her laptop. She does a search for "Palmieri" and realizes she has
> been cruelly tricked.
> Knowing that Mario is doomed, she grabs her safe-conduct and escapes
> alone, sending a final
> text to the chief: "See you in hell, pig. LMAO."
>
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