£15 (£12.50 Concessions, £10 Under 16s)
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, capturing Cavaradossi and torturing him within earshot of his lover, the singer Tosca.
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’. 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, she kills Scarpia. Scarpia’s menace continues even in death: betrayed by a double-cross, Cavaradossi dies and Tosca leaps to her death.
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.
Music: Giacomo Puccini
Conducted by Dan Ettinger and starring Adrianne Pieczonka, Joseph Calleja and Gerald Finley
Directed by Jonathan Kent
3 hrs Including Two Intervals