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News

22 Sep 2009

The Met's Twist on 'Tosca'? It's the Audience That Gets the Knife.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/22/AR2009092200045.html?hpid=moreheadlines

By Anne Midgette [Washington Post, 22 September 2009]

NEW YORK, Sept. 21 — If art is a secular religion, opera can be a particularly orthodox sect of it. Certain rituals have become codified with time. In “La Bohème,” Rodolfo always clutches Mimi the same way when she dies. In “The Barber of Seville,” the maid, Berta, always sneezes loudly after taking snuff. And in Act 2 of “Tosca,” Tosca always spots the knife with which she is going to kill Baron Scarpia at a particular chord in the music; and she always sets lighted candles around his dead body before she leaves the room. It’s in the score; it’s in the music; it must be so.

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