Joseph Calleja
Tosca

Tosca

Tosca

When Giacomo Puccini saw a performance of Victorien Sardo's play La Tosca, whilst Sarah Bernhardt was touring with it in Milan, he was immediately captivated by the power of the drama. Love, politics, sadism and religion: all these ingredients are brought together in the story of the jealous and impulsive singer Floria Tosca, who is in love with the idealistic Mario Cavaradossi in an Italy fighting for its independence. Eleven years later, in 1900, Puccini’s opera Tosca had its triumphant first performance in Rome. At the summit of his art, the composer struck a powerful note even as the curtain rose with five arresting chords evoking Scarpia, the infamous chief of police, whose desire to possess the diva knows no limits. In Pierre Audi’s production, first performed in 2014 at the Paris Opera, the oppressive shadow of a cross hovers above the stage, symbol of the collision of political and religious tyranny. An interpretation that skilfully deploys the strands of the drama and lays bare its tragic mechanisms.