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Arts & Living




It’s a man’s world



In ‘Tosca,’ Floria Tosca (soprano Jill Gardner) makes a drastic decision to protect herself and her love from Baron Scarpia (bassbaritone Bradley Garvin).

‘Tosca’ dishes up drama, classic music

BLO’s production is a mixed bag but does Puccini’s music justice BY


Daily Editorial Board

I will admit, “Tosca” has never been one of my favorite operas. Puccini’s music is lovely — and at many points in the opera even achingly beautiful

Tosca Music by Giacomo Puccini Directed by David Lefkowich At the Boston Lyric Opera through Nov 16th Tickets starting at $34

— but the melodramatic, even pulpy plot, along with some questionable compositional choices, has led many critics to dismiss Tosca, as contemporary musicologist Joseph Kerman put it, as a “shabby little shocker.” The Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) has presented a production of “Tosca” that is delightful to watch. The small cast is made up of exceptionally strong singers whose clear and characteristic voices not only do justice to the music, but also add layers of nuance to the plot. Soprano Jill Gardner returns to BLO as the titular diva, Floria Tosca, and her commanding and full voice fits the bill of the jealous, fiery heroine. Her second act aria “Vissi d’arte,”



Contributing Writer

Though this summer’s “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” might not have struck it rich in the box office, the film garnered its fair share of critical praise. Happily, high quality and low revenue pair with engrossing, geeky appeal to propel “Scott Pilgrim” down the path of cult classics. The DVD and Blu-Ray of the film arrived in stores yesterday, and director Edgar Wright sat down with the Daily in a roundtable interview on Nov. 1 to discuss his experience with the film. Question: Were you always a fan of the “Scott Pilgrim” (2004-2010) comic books? If so, what were your major concerns translating the comic book into the movie? Edgar Wright: I just started reading it as soon as it was published in 2004. I read the first volume when it came out, and, you know, I was already in conversation with

see TOSCA, page 6


Wright talks about ‘Scott Pilgrim’ experience BY

arguably the most famous to come out of the opera, was brilliantly sung, and Gardner ably conveyed all the emotions wrapped in the aria without overstepping the bounds of believability. As wonderful as Gardner’s performance was, the standout performance of the evening was Bradley Garvin as the malicious Baron Scarpia. The opera originally took place during the Napoleonic invasion of Italy, but BLO has cleverly updated it to Mussolini’s Rome. Garvin appears as a higher ranking member of Mussolini’s army, and he looks truly imposing with his tall frame clothed in a dark, sleek uniform.

[creator] Bryan Lee O’Malley. He wrote the [first] book before the second [volume] was published, and so we were already working on the film as he was writing. And, you know, I just tried to kind of involve Bryan with each step. … There are great things that are in the book that are not in the film. I think the two things were kind of like companion pieces, really. … My concern was really about getting the tone of the books across, of capturing the Katayanagi twins and how to translate that visual imagination to the screen. Q: [Regarding the special effects,] is that [novelty] something you consciously aimed for when you were making Scott Pilgrim? EW: One of the things that was irresistible to me making this film was that I felt like nothing quite like it really existed, you know? That was what was kind of fun to me — the idea of see WRIGHT, page 6

iPhone 4’s good looks backed by great personality BY


Daily Editorial Board

With the release of the iPhone 4, Apple has ushered in “The Future.” The iPhone 4 is the all-singing, all-dancing

iPhone 4

Apple smart phone that multi-taskers, technophiles and gadget nerds have been waiting for. For the rest of us, though, it might be a little overwhelming. Holding the iPhone 4, the first thing you notice is the beauty of the thing. It manages to be both imposing and miniscule at the same time. And it sort of looks like the monolith from Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968), which is pretty cool. Unlike previous generations of iPhones, the iPhone 4 is flat on every side. And it’s skinny. Really, really skinny. According to Apple, the thing is just 9.3 millimeters (.37 inches) thick, making it the thinnest smart phone in the world. But the screen, the new “Retina Display” that Apple has been gabbing about, is 3.5 inches diagonally, comprised of 326 pixels-perinch. For those who don’t know how to interpret that last figure: It’s really, really sharp-looking. Apple claims that it has developed pixels so small that the human eye can’t differentiate them, so images look crisper and more fantastic than ever. And it’s actually true. The iPhone 4’s screen makes any other cell phone look


Wright admits to have chased a few Ramonas in his adolescent days.

see IPHONE, page 6

have been writing this column for nearly two months now, and I can’t help but feel as though there’s an explanation in order. Although I began writing with the intention of creating gender-neutral material, it’s ended up being largely biased toward women’s fashion. The fact of the matter is that men’s fashion has the opposite sexual effect as women’s fashion, which inevitably makes it less entertaining to write about. What do I care if a guy wears a Dolce & Gabbana suit or a Tom Ford one? He’ll look sexy in either. The decision between a jumpsuit and harem pants, however, is far more debatable. I have a theory behind this blatant inequality in male and female dress. It boils down to simple, physical chemistry: The majority of fashion designers must like penises. From straight women such as Ann Demeulemeester and Frida Giannini to gay men like Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and the late Alexander McQueen, why would these fashion gods have chosen to dress their flawless male models in outfits that they didn’t deem sexually attractive? If a straight man had the opportunity to dress about 15 long-legged, gazelle-like women, do you really think his first thought would be maxi skirts and harem pants? Hardly. In fact, he probably wouldn’t dress them at all. In order to prove my point, here is a short list of sexy, Vogue-approved fashion items for men: Skinny/straight-leg pants: While women wander around in oversized jeans and pants that make it impossible to tell where their crotch begins, men get to enjoy the advantages of showing off their bums in thigh-hugging jeans and dress pants. After all, straight men aren’t the only ones who enjoy seeing the opposite sex in tight, form-fitting clothing. Why else would I watch the baseball team practice in high school? Skinny ties: Skinny ties are useful for making the male chest appear broader. It’s a matter of proportions: Wear a thick tie, and your chest will seem less robust. Fashionable women, on the other hand, should have no chest. This is unfortunate and rather socially impractical, since men normally like boobs. I’m sure that even lesbian women like boobs. However, gay male and straight female designers apparently have very little use for them. Boobs are a fashion faux pas. Short shorts: Both Dolce & Gabanna’s and Gucci’s Spring 2011 menswear lines include very fitted shorts that cut off well above the knee. So while women are being thrown back into a ’50s ankle fetish revival, men reap the benefits of the ’70s and get to show some leg. And let’s face it — it’s practically a law of nature that all men have nice calves. Despite how easy it is for men to be both fashionable and sexy, it’s much harder to convince them to dress accordingly. Men who care about clothing have been defined by the condescending term “metrosexual,” which somehow has been colloquially transformed to imply lessened masculinity. It’s practically the 21st century version of being a leper. Tufts men frequently scorn fitted jeans and shirts and replace them with more “manly” athletic gear, like oversized sweats accompanied by running shoes. I would complain more about this fact, but to be honest, I secretly condone it. Their irrational fear of appearing feminine levels the fashion playing field for women like myself. If the male student body insists upon wearing woman-repelling baseball caps and clothing that looks like it was tailored to fit a hippo, then surely I can continue to prance around in my non-sexy, jockstrapinspired Alexander Wang underwear. Ashley Wood is a junior majoring in English. She can be reached at Ashley.


The Tufts Daily for Wednesday, November 10, 2010