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ranters and ravers

French Critics, Even Snootier Than Expected, Pan Cronenberg Opera

A scene from the Paris production.Photo: Getty Images

When we heard that David Cronenberg would be directing an opera based on his own 1986 creepshow classic The Fly, written by Howard Shore and David Henry Hwang, and with Plácido Domingo conducting, we assumed critics would take to the show like flies to … you know. But the opera premiered last week at Paris's Théâtre du Châtelet, and apparently even this potent a mix of high and low culture — "Be afraid. Be very afraid," sings mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose, playing the Geena Davis role — is not enough for the French critics, who are savaging the show. "Sounds like a piece of homework, clumsily orchestrated, from a moderately talented disciple of Arnold Schoenberg," sniffs Le Monde. "At the intermission, an hour into the two-hour show, one is already so bored as to strongly suspect the presence of the parasitical tsetse fly," writes Le Figaro. And Liberation dismisses the whole endeavor: "Shore may have over-estimated his abilities as a composer of lyrical opera," the paper writes, before hammering the show with the ultimate Gallic put-down: "a pleasant American entertainment."

Zut alors. But seriously, look at that photo. Wouldn't you totally see that?