Friday, 6 April, 6:00pm – ONE ONLY
Puccini’s melodrama about a volatile diva, a sadistic police chief, and an idealistic artist has offended and thrilled audiences for more than a century. Tosca’s popularity is further secured by a superb and exhilarating dramatic sweep, a driving score of abundant melody and theatrical shrewdness, and a career-defining title role.
A grand triumph.
No opera is more tied to its setting than Tosca, which takes place in Rome on the morning of 17 June 1800, through dawn the following day. The specified settings for each of the three acts—the Church of Sant’Andrea della Valle, Palazzo Farnese, and Castel Sant’Angelo—are familiar monuments in the city and can still be visited today. While the libretto takes some liberties with the facts, historical issues form a basis for the opera: the people of Rome are awaiting news of the Battle of Marengo in northern Italy, which will decide the fate of their symbolically powerful city.
The score of Tosca (if not the drama) itself is considered a prime example of the style of verismo, an elusive term usually translated as “realism.” The typical musical features of the verismo tradition are prominent in Tosca: short arias with an uninhibited flood of raw melody, ambient sounds that blur the distinctions between life and art, and the use of parlato—words spoken instead of sung—at moments of tension.
USA 2017, 198 min (includes two 30 min intermissions)
Live performance opera
Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume
Vocal cast: Sonya Yoncheva, Vittorio Grigolo, Željko Lučić, Patrick Carfizzi & Michael Volle
The Metropolitan Opera changed the face of theatergoing nearly a decade ago with high-definition simulcasts in movie theaters using a technology associated more with rock concerts and boxing matches than opera. We are very lucky at Arthur’s to be able to offer this sensational bit of culture, art and entertainment to you.