Tosca at the Opera Bastille

My First Glimpse Of Paris At Night From The Top Of The Eiffel Tower


As lots of you know my first visit to watch an opera was for my 18th birthday at The Lowry Theatre in Salford near Greater Manchester.  Well my parents have topped that this year; they bought me tickets to watch ‘Tosca’ at ‘The Opera Bastille’ in Paris on a two night break for my 21st birthday.

The main auditorium has 2,745 seats and my Dad said it was nearly sold out when he booked a couple of weeks ago.

Opera Bastille


I reviewed the story by Giacomo Puccini, because I guess the Italian opera will have French surtitles. Tosca is a story of political instability and menace, there are three principal roles.



The sadistic Chief of Police of Rome – Scarpia (sung by a baritone) – is one of the wickedest villains in opera.  The story is set in June 1800 in Rome, with the Kingdom of Naples control of Rome threatened by Naploean’s invasion of Italy.  Scarpia ruthlessly searches for and tortures enemies of the state.  I’m hoping for some vocal firepower here.

Sebastian Catana Performs The Role Of Scarpia This Evening


Mario Cavaradossi (a tenor role) agrees to help a convict escape and sets in motion a series of unfortunate events that will lead to disaster for him and his lover Floria Tosca (Tosca is a soprano role) I’m looking to see how she conveys the melodrama, passion and impulsiveness that is usually associated with this role.

Béatrice Uria Monzon Performs The Role Of Floria Tosca This Evening


Tosca and Cavardossi have very passionate lyrical arias, the most famous aria is ‘Vissi d’arte’  Tosca is also one of the most frequently performed operas.

Massimo Giordano Performs The Role Of Mario Cavaradossi In This Evenings Performance


The play has three acts – melodrama en trios actes.  This is the write up from the Opera Bastille:

“A singer in love, passionate, jealous and impulsive; a romantic painter, an idealist and a defender of liberty; a police chief with a lust for flesh, power and blood, ready to do anything to achieve his ends. Puccini artfully combines the ingredients of a melodrama written for Sarah Bernhardt and comes up with what might be called the opera of operas, a spectacle at once primitive and decadent. In a mythical yet real Rome, from the shadows of the church of Sant’ Andrea della Valle to the terrace of Castello Sant’ Angelo, passions collide and tear all apart, mingling the erotic with the sacred, love with possession, theatre with life. Nothing is what it seems in Tosca: beautiful women who come to pray are conspirators, defeats are victories and mock executions are real. A spectacular work which captures the essence of opera as few others do.  Pierre Audi signs a new production of this violent and passionate work for the Paris Opera.”





I can’t wait to hear this production and see the sets and costume.

Evelino Pidò ( Conductor ), Pierre Audi ( Stage Director ), Christof Hetzer ( Sets ), Robby Duiveman ( Costumes ), Jean Kalman ( Lighting ), Klaus Bertisch ( Dramaturgy ) and José Luis Basso ( Chorus Master ).


I have had a whirlwind of a week which has been a wonderful experience and tonight I know will be a great finale for me. Thank you all for your fabulous comments and well wishes. I hope that you understand why I have not had time to answer everyone, but once I get home I will catch up with you all 🙂

55 thoughts on “Tosca at the Opera Bastille

  1. As you know Charlotte I’ve never been to the opera and I enjoyed your explanation and can’t wait to see my first opera with you in it. your Looking lovely as ever see you soon xxxx

  2. What a wonderful birthday present! I am very fond of Tosca, even though I have never seen it, only heard recordings. But the story! As a rule, I don’t like tragic endings–which is why I focus more on studying operetta and oratorio rather than grand opera. But a tragedy that is so human and makes such valid points about the human condition–so Shakespearian, in a way–excites me. Tosca is a noble but very real heroine–in her situation, I can imagine myself acting exactly the same way (perhaps just a little toned down, without the added drama of the music to stir me up!)

    Enjoy the show! Happy birthday (again)!


  3. I often visit the Opera national de Paris and am fascinated every time: I personally prefer the new Opera House at Place de la Bastille, not the Palais Garnier. At first, you see the wonderful modern building by Renzo Piano. Then, you come in and see the modern, beautiful designed and impressive large auditorium. It is built like an amphitheater. The forms and neutral colors are forcing you look at the stage, being concentrated to see the performance. When the curtain rises and the young ingenious maestro Philippe Jordan (the chief conductor and former chief of Zurich Opera house) starts to conduct, all around is forgotten: The perfect acoustical condition of the house, the exquisite selection of soloists – more or less the whole ensemble – and the solid chorus, the orchestra that made fabulous efforts in the last years and the stable selection unforgettable stage productions showing the very own handwriting of the Opera de Paris. First of all the legendary stage productions of Robert Wilson (e.g. Pelleas et Melisande and Madama Butterfly), Graham Vick or Robert Carsen as well as young and talented producer teams are nearly a guarantee of a singular evening.
    I hope you will enjoy some more performances at Paris. Have also a look at the Theatre du Chatelet or the orchestras (first of all the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Radio France). I really guess, Paris is also more and more becoming again a capital city of classical music. Greetings, Best Wishes and a lot of unforgettable memories to you!

    1. Thank you for your message and the advice. It was a fabulous venue, I had a wonderful time. The staging was fabulous, I like to see all aspects from the costume to makeup and I expect exquisite singing and music from such a fabulous ensemble/orchestra and I wasn’t disappointed.
      Best wishes

    1. The whole thing was my 21st gift off my parents, they bought my big brother a watch for his 21st but they chose the perfect gift for me as I wear my Mums old watch anyway 😊.
      Best wishes

    1. You’re welcome, I’ve spent many a happy day in Lytham St Anne’s, competing in festivals and visiting my Aunt and Uncle who retired there. I’ve sang there too.
      Best wishes

  4. Wow! What a treat for you. It looks like a great production. Catana looks suitable nasty as Scarpia. I second Pascal’s thought : one day you’ll sing there.
    BTW great coat you’re wearing.

  5. Pido is a good conductor and I have heard Giordano live and he’s good too, don’t know the others, so I’ll wait for your report. I hope it is stunning, it can be a the most moving opera, especially the last act.

    1. It was incredible, no one stole the show because they were all equally brilliant. Everybody performed their part so realistically it felt like real life rather than a drama.
      Best wishes

  6. Charlotte, What a great experience… And a special present for your birthday considering, firstly: that you are an Opera singer and, secondly, that it was in Paris.
    I truly enjoyed your overview on “Tosca”… Thank you!
    I am sending you all my best wishes :star:
    Aquileana 😀

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