In an age of braggadocious Trumpery, it is incumbent upon the arts to offer refuge, enlightenment and distraction.
The Met’s new season – five new productions, three of them weary warhorses – offers scant relief.
Tosca and Norma are being freshened up by the workmanlike David McVicar, almost half the new shows in one pair of hands.
Cosi imports a Broadway star, Kelli O’Hara, to play Despina.
Massenet’s Cendrillon, never staged before at the Met, is a star vehicle for Joyce DiDonato.
And Thomas Ades conducts his own Exterminating Angel.
Plus 21 revivals.
‘It’s a season of repertory favourites and stimulating rarities, with something for neophytes and aficionados alike, said general manager Peter Gelb.
No wonder the Met plays one-third empty.
Like Donald J. Trump, Gelb still believes most of the people can be fooled most of the time.