Walter Mayer wrote:
>Traditionally, after gloating over her triumph, Tosca, safe-conduct for
>herself and Cavaradossi in hand, leaves the room and then a scruple detains
>her as she returns, places candles on either side of his head, removes a
>crucifix from the wall and places it on his chest, all consistent w/ her
>exclamation "E morto! Or gli perdono!" In this production, there is no
>show of remorse on Tosca's part and Scarpia, not quite as dead as we might
>have thought, drags himself to across the stage to the religious statue to
>which he stretches out his arm in what may be a last plea for redemption.
In cases such as this, it's good to remeber an old tradition --still in
use a few years ago at our Teatro Colon-- universally known as "The Attack
of the Killer Tomatoes", which consist of throwing big and juicy vegetables
on the stage. Also, It would be nice to snatch the regisseur after the
performance, and give him the "baccio da morte". But, before being reputed
as a thoughtless conservative, let me say something. The modification
witnessed by Walter destroys completely the dramatic sense of the whole
scene: Tosca is a victim, but she feels a deep remorse because she
has killed a human being (if Scarpia deserves that name). She doesn't
"forgives" him because she's a nice soul ("No hard feelings, Scarpy?ok?"),
but because she went too far in her vindicative passion.The parody of the
dead ritual is, then, pathetic: she's tryng to give back some dignity,
some humanity, to her victim. She's asking forgiveness to the man who, a
few moments ago, was her victimary!. Tragedy is conflict, contradiction:
If Tosca kills the bad guy and leaves the scene with satisfaction, just
as Supercow does with the Red Guy...what do we have?. Besides, Scarpia's
final dragging across the stage and plea for redemption is ridiculous.
He's pure evil, and so must he die: without redemption; otherwise, the
whole character of Scarpia falls into a fiasco. That kind of innovations
are based on two easy, demagogic and "politically correct" underlines:
1) Innovation in itself, because "innovation is always good, it's fashion",
no matter how, where or by who is it performed.
2) A feminst ideological standpoint, which denies all kind of remorse in
women: "Women have been historically victims of the male power and
order?why, then, should they feel any remorse for anything?".
Warning: the guy who signs down is not a latin macho or a south-american
indian who changed his girl for an used horse, or something like that.
The second point, in that simplistic formulation, and its systematic
application to any intellectual or aesthetic activity, is often supported
by women and man who has both a common lack of common sense. That's what
I reject. Q.E.D.
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