Bellini’s La Sonnambula received its first performance tonight in Mary Zimmerman’s new staging. Much has been made of her decision to move the opera’s locale from a Swiss village to a New York rehearsal hall. Considering her assault on Donizetti’s Lucia Di Lammermoor it seemed foolish to bring her back for another shot at a bel canto masterpiece. Maybe Peter Gelb has a tin eye.

I’ll review the production after I’ve seen the HD broadcast on March 21. All I’ll say is that there was a lot of inappropriate laughter during the prima. Here’s how Zimmerman was greeted at her curtain call. If she can move the opera from Switzerland to New York  the audience can switch from New York to Milan or Parma.

I can’t recall this much booing at the Met. New York is pretty soft on drek. I did miss Giancarlo Del Monaco’s 2000 production of Madama Butterfly that was booed by Licia Albanese. I’m really looking forward to seeing this production. I wonder if it’s permissible to boo from a remote location.