This Carmen gives hope. Opera, like most of its heroines, is constantly on the verge of expiring. On the Web, an orchestra of mournful aficionados clangs on and on about sickened stars, wan productions, dinky tenors, and ignorant impresarios. The Met attracts especially overwrought laments and even Gelb sometimes worries aloud that all his efforts at rejuvenating the form are needed to keep opera from becoming decrepit. But then 8:07 p.m. strikes, 4,000 audience members adjust their haunches in the Met’s red velvet seats, the chandeliers ascend to their showtime stations near the ceiling, and the music bucks like a bull out of the gate. If this is death, it sure comes dressed in rude and lusty glamour.
La Cieca may be mournful; she may even be overwrought, but she ain’t dumb. At the very least she can figure out what Davidson means here by “the Web,” — i.e., “all those non-print nonentities.”
And if there is one last gay nerve in La Cieca’s body, the best way to get on it is to haul out the canard about how it’s the fans who are ruining opera for all the normal people.