Live Cinema Season

Tosca

Live | Opera

Running time: The performance lasts about 3 hours, including two intervals

Tosca

Drama, passion and fabulous music – Puccini’s operatic thriller is one of the great opera experiences. Dan Ettinger conducts a star cast led by Adrianne Pieczonka, Joseph Calleja and Gerald Finley.

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The story

The painter Mario Cavaradossi helps a fugitive escape – and so attracts the attention of Scarpia, the sadistic Chief of Police. Scarpia captures Cavaradossi and has him tortured within earshot of his lover, the singer Tosca.

Scarpia sentences Cavaradossi to death – but promises Tosca that her lover can be saved if she gives herself to Scarpia. Tosca consents but as soon as the order has been given kills Scarpia. Scarpia’s menace continues even in death: betrayed by a double-cross, Cavaradossi dies and Tosca leaps to her death.

Background

From its strident opening chords, Tosca conjures up a world of political instability and menace. The Chief of Police, Scarpia – one of the most malevolent villains in opera – ruthlessly pursues and tortures enemies of the state. His dark, demonic music contrasts with the expansive melodies of the idealistic lovers, Tosca and Cavaradossi, who express their passion in sublime arias, including ‘Vissi d’arte’ and ‘E lucevan le stelle’. Giacomo Puccini’s dramatic work was a hit with audiences on its 1900 premiere and it remains one of the most performed of all operas – and with its gripping plot and glorious music, it’s easy to see why.

A candle-lit church, Scarpia’s gloomy study with its hidden torture chamber and the false optimism of a Roman dawn: Jonathan Kent’s handsome production throws into relief the ruthlessly taut drama, as the tension is wound up towards its fateful conclusion. Puccini’s meticulously researched score is infused with the same authentic detail, from distant cannon fire during the Act I Te Deum to tolling church bells and the sounds of a firing squad.

Credits

Music
Giacomo Puccini
Libretto
Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
Director
Jonathan Kent
Designer
Paul Brown
Lighting designer
Mark Henderson

Performers

Conductor
Dan Ettinger
Floria Tosca
Adrianne Pieczonka
Mario Cavaradossi
Joseph Calleja
Baron Scarpia
Gerald Finley
Spoletta
Aled Hall
Cesare Angelotti
Simon Shibambu
Sacristan
Jeremy White
Sciarrone
Jihoon Kim
Chorus
Royal Opera Chorus
Concert Master
Sergey Levitin
Orchestra
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Cast sheets

Cast sheets will be available here soon.

News and features

To find out more visit the Tosca production page.