Puccini’s Tosca on simulcast in Philadelphia

    On Saturday the matinee performance of Puccini’s “Tosca” will be simulcast live onto Philadelphia movie screens.

    This weekend Philadelphia opera lovers will get a taste of what upset audiences in New York. Almost three weeks ago the Metropolitan Opera debuted its new production of Puccini’s “Tosca.” It was received with boos and walk-outs. On Saturday the matinee performance will be simulcast live onto Philadelphia movie screens.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091009pcopera.mp3]

    “Tosca” has been a reliable audience favorite for more than a century, particularly the lush, baroque sets that have become standard fare in New York. But the new production puts its virtuoso singers into a grim, industrial set with brick warehouse walls and patchwork-leather costumes. Opera audiences are known for their passion, and many passionately disliked the new “Tosca.”

    The Philadelphia Opera Company’s executive director David Devan has noticed audience tastes shifting, and boos are part of opera’s growing pains.

    Devan: In our world, with largely the internet, our understanding and graphic vocabulary has expanded so much. Graphic design has entered our lives in significant way.

    This weekend is also the opening of the Philadelphia Opera Company’s boldy modernist production of another Puccini opera, “Madama Butterfly.” He says it’s his job to expand the aesthetic range of opera.

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