Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The question

The question of the week (or month, or decade): does New York really want a neo-modernist, reductive, deliberately graceless and anti-humane Eurotrash production of La Traviata, one that replaces all of Verdi's moods and relationships with cartoonish brutality and compulsion?

The Met has done Willy Decker et al. a favor by improving on the original Salzburg cast, and -- as it did for Richard Eyre's Carmen last season (a differently-flavored and quite good show) -- protected the premiere by giving it the audience most inclined to react favorably or at least politely: Friday's New Year's Eve gala.

But the question remains. One would hope that the impulse that (wrongly, I think) rained boos upon a more appropriate and psychologically acute revision of Tosca would here put itself to good use in laughing or booing Decker's one-dimensional travesty off the stage, but perhaps some will be cowed by the show's famous European success.

We'll see soon enough.

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Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.