Tosca’s intoxicating cocktail of love, loss, politics and religion has enthralled audiences since its first performance in 1900. This epic thriller depicts the final hours of three of the most highly charged characters in all opera – the ruthless and corrupt chief of the Roman police Baron Scarpia, the painter and revolutionary sympathiser Mario Cavaradossi and his lover, the celebrated diva Floria Tosca.
In Tosca we have it all, from tender love story to powerful brutality and ultimate tragedy. For this new production, directed with a fresh perspective by Richard Studer, MWO’s cast includes the brilliant Welsh soprano star Elin Pritchard in the title role, tenor Charne Rochford as her artist lover and internationally renowned baritone Nicholas Folwell as Scarpia.
Puccini’s lavish score, sung in the English translation by Amanda Holden, includes two of his most famous arias – Tosca’s ‘Vissi d’arte’ and the tenor aria ‘E lucevan le stelle’ – and one of opera’s greatest set pieces, the mighty Te Deum. Ensemble Cymru, conducted by Jonathan Lyness, provides the orchestral backdrop.
Theatrically gripping from start to finish, Tosca might not have been composed at all were it not for the skullduggery of both Puccini and his publisher to extract the rights to set Sardou’s infamous 1887 play from a rival composer. And it might not have survived if the first night critics had had anything to do with it. But the beauty, the power and the passion of Puccini’s ‘shabby little shocker’ have ensured its position as the greatest of all blockbusting operatic thrillers.
Tosca: Elin Pritchard
Cavaradossi: Charne Rochford
Scarpia: Nicholas Folwell
Spoletta: Jonathan Cooke
Sacristan: Emyr Wyn Jones
Angelotti: Joseph Padfield
Sciarrone/Gaoler: Matthew Tilley
Shepherd Boy: Alys Roberts
Duration: Two & a half hours with two intervals
Music By: Giacomo Puccini
Libretto: Luigi Illica & Giuseppe Giacosa
Translation: Amanda Holden
Sung In: English
Conductor: Jonathan Lyness
Director/Designer: Richard Studer
Lighting Designer: Dan Saggars