Okay, La Cieca has sifted all the evidence thus far, and she has done Pravda-style scrutiny of what was said and what was left unsaid (particularly by Peter Gelb) in the most recent New York Times analysis of the issue, and ignoring the most recent Jeremiads from Rome on account of the fact that pretty much everybody has come to the conclusion that Franco Zeffirelli is gaga.  She’s added into the mix a couple of emails she’s received recently from Met insiders who will remain anonymous. And she’s come to a conclusion, so, Lady Margaret, if you would be so kind as to ask your guests please to gather in the billiards room? Thank you.

Now, before the lights suddenly go dark and a shot rings out, fatally wounding your girl detective and thus silencing her forever, La Cieca will share with you the fruits of her deductive reasoning. To wit:

When the Met makes its belated announcement of the 2010-2011 season, the repertoire will include a revival of the Zeffirelli production of Tosca, but no Bondy. The reason given will be the size and complexity of the new productions of Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, with perhaps some indication that the original notion was to revive Bondy alone or in alternation with Zeffirelli. But, financial conditions being what they are, the Met cannot afford that particular extravangance, which is of course a pity, because we remain fully committed to the Bondy production which we continue to regard as a success. And so forth.

Once the numbers are finally crunched, cool heads will prevail, deciding that the face-saving provided by a revival of the Bondy is simply too expensive a proposition.

It’s a limb, but La Cieca’s going out on it.