Preseason puffery has commenced for the Met’s 2009 opening night production of Tosca, to star that noted brunette Karita Mattila. A release from the company’s press office today details the various ancillary events associated with the September 21 performance, including the first “Open House” of the season (i.e., the final dress rehearsal on September 17 at 11 a.m.), HD video relays in Lincoln Center Plaza and Times Square, broadcasts on Sirius and XM satellite radio and web radio streaming via

Devotees of New York City street art will be delighted to hear that the Met intends to “blanket buses and phone kiosks with images of Karita Mattila… photographed by Brigitte Lacombe” beginning August 31. 

While we’re on the subject, La Cieca is looking for one or more volunteers to serve as guest hostess or hostesses (of either gender) to preside over a live chat here at beginning, oh, sixish on the night of the 21st, for those listening at home.

Those of you planning to tweet from the live event are asked to inform your doyenne so that she may link to and possibly aggregate your twitterings. If any among you understand what that last sentence means, do let La Cieca in on it.  Anyway, be you potential hostess or twitteress, please email La Cieca with your plans.

Now, where were we? Ah, yes, one more factoid leaps to the eye in the Met’s press release. The Squeamish (“Who are they, a sect?”) will be reassured to note that the director of the new Tosca, Luc Bondy, has no intention of updating the mise–en–scène beyond the Napoleonic era the good Lord and dear Victorien Sardou intended.

To be sure, in his sound bite James Levine alludes to “the melodramatic vitality of one of the great Hitchcock films,” which to La Cieca’s sensitive ear sounds like we’re going to be seeing contrasty, tightly-focused film noir style shafts of light. Illuminated by those shafts, though, will be Empire gowns, frock coats, puffy shirts and other sartorial comfort food.