Met Opera opens to boos with muddled new 'Tosca'

NEW YORK – Opening night at New York City's Metropolitan Opera featured a new production of Puccini's beloved "Tosca," a starry cast, music director James Levine in the pit - and from the audience, the loudest and most sustained booing in memory.

The anger of so many of the 3,800 fans Monday was directed squarely at Swiss director Luc Bondy and his production team for their muddled show. Their appearance on stage at the end turned what had been a standing ovation for the cast into a raucous protest, prompting management to bring down the curtain.

That was a shame, because there was more cheering to be done for the featured soprano, tenor and baritone in this staging of "Tosca," a Roman tale about a singer, her lover and the chief of the secret police, who all die before the final curtain.