I read this today in Norman Lebrecht's blog and it is pretty interesting.


So, a feminist production of Carmen in Florence gets her to shoot Don José dead before he can stab her.
Norman asks, what's next, Brünnhilde with a fire extinguisher? Aida jumping out of the tomb and saying "I've had enough of this!"?

Pretty funny...

Yes, there aren't many operas with plots that allow women to get the upper hand. La Fanciulla del West is one, L'Italiana in Algeri is another one... To some degree, Le Nozze di Figaro is one (although the continuation in the third installment of Beaumarchais' trilogy doesn't end so well for the Countess...). And some of the comedies do allow the ladies to prevail, like La Cenerentola, Don Pasquale and La Serva Padrona - although the "prevailing" is often a matter of getting to marry a man of a higher social class.

But the poor female opera characters - especially the sopranos - are more likely to be raped, poisoned, stabbed, diseased, forced into unhappy marriages, portrayed as crazy (the always popular mad scene), and so forth, not to forget that our nice mezzos end up being "witches or bitches" or else they have to play a man in pants roles.

So, just for fun, what other alternative feminist endings would you propose?

We have talked about Tosca surviving the fall from the Castel Sant'Angelo and living to fight another day, like in our friend Amfortas' novel.

What else?