Just when you thought it was impossible to lose any further respect for Francesca Zambello, the director (and, so rumor has it, instigator of beefing up the rapey content) of the fiasco opera Two Women has now announced, “I would not stage a rape scene in an opera ever again…. It makes too much of the audience too uncomfortable. As directors we can convey the atrocities of the world, past and present, by using images and dramatic situations, but we must use nuance.”  

This bit of sniveling careerism (hey, somebody has to keep San Francisco Opera on the spiral to utter mediocrity after David Gockley retires!) is the only false note in an otherwise most thoughtful essay on the use of rape as a dramatic device in opera by the always eloquent Micaela Baranello.

(To look on the bright side, it does seem that Zambello has now disqualified herself from directing Don Giovanni or Tosca ever again.)