Square cut or pear shaped

At tonight’s Faust performance, two events of note: René Pape, upon his re-entrance after the Jewel Song, ad-libbed the spoken line “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” The performance, a broadcast, was the basso’s final one of this production.) After this moment of comedy, drama followed at the curtain calls.

When Roberto Alagna took his solo bowl, he was greeted by a single very loud boo, or La Cieca should say a single loud boo-er, who uttered the disapproving syllable several times. At first the tenor ignored his detractor, but then, on the second round of bows, the booing returned. Alagna made a “bring it on” gesture, then turned to the audience as if to ask “whose side are you on?” The ovation increased, again punctuated with booing, at which point Alagna turned upstage to the company, who joined in the applause. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who presumably was struggling to find the English equivalent of the phrase “Rideau, rideau,” bear-hugged the pugnacious tenor, bringing the evening to a close.

La Cieca’s witness to this activity assures her that these two incidents were the only moments of drama in the show.