Tosca, Opera by G. Puccini
Ever since he encountered the character of Floria Tosca, courtesy of playwright Victorien Sardou, Giacomo Puccini became obsessed. With a knack for tragic heroines, the Italian Maestro turned this obsession into one of his best-known and most cherished operas. Tosca finds a new minimalist arrangement that brings you even deeper into the action and closer to the characters at the historic St Mark’s Anglican Church in Florence. This is a splendid opportunity to experience Puccini’s talents for melody, characterisation and dramatism up close!
A stone’s throw away from Florence’s Palazzo Pitti, St Mark’s Church provides an excellent setting for this intimate performance of Tosca. A talented cast of five singers, accompanied by a grand piano, take the passion and intensity of the original classic opera and display them on a smaller stage that almost makes you feel like a part of the action. The nearly cinematic quality that Puccini masterfully injected into this work is perfectly preserved and unfolds almost at an arm’s length. This is a whole new level of verismo – the Maestro’s trademark operatic realism that made him so famous.
The opera, set in revolutionary Rome in 1800, follows the rash decisions and ever-deepening troubles of its titular character, the beautiful and vain Floria Tosca. When her lover Cavaradossi starts acting odd, she assumes he is being unfaithful. In reality, he is trying to protect his revolutionary friend Angelotti from the ruthless police chief Scarpia. Tosca’s jealousy and impulsiveness leads to the two men’s arrest and impending execution. Now the young woman has to try to save her lover, but the price she will have to pay is more than she ever expected.
Tosca had its fantastic premiere on 14 January 1900 at Rome’s Teatro Costanzi. Puccini’s intense and inspired score and the opera’s gripping pace and realism made it an instant success. It contains some of the Maestro’s finest arias such as ‘Vissi d’arte’, ‘E lucevan le stelle’ and ‘O dolci mani’. The action and the music of Tosca take new life at St Mark’s!