Lust, Politics And Fabulous Music.

November 19, 2014 — 70 Comments

Well I hope that title got your interest in my review about the Opera ‘Tosca’ that I saw last week at the Opera Bastille in Paris a magnificent opera house, the first time I had seen the building and been inside. There were English surtitles so my prior research wasn’t necessary.


Inside The Foyer Of The Opera Bastille


Tosca had a marvellous, dramatic storyline that kept my full attention throughout. My only negative comment is that I felt the ending was a little rushed with Mario’s departure.

Sebastian Catana gave a fabulous portrayal of the baddy Scarpia. I really disliked his character he made me squirm in my seat. Sublime singing lots of vocal firepower on display – magnifique.

Tosca was a true diva complete with a crown (I was a little jealous I love tiaras) Beatrice Monzon played the audience and Mario for that matter very well. She was the only female soloist in the show, I enjoyed her selfish moments in the text especially in the Church scene which was wonderfully played by Tosca and Mario and really got the audience laughing. Her jealous scenes were fantastic and I identified with quite a few moments :).

The sets were awesome, a huge cross creating an ominous grey platform for the scenes to play out upon. The stage was moveable to create new spaces and perspectives, I wished my best friend Rob could have seen it, he’s a scenic carpenter, I drew him some pictures afterwards.

Vissi d’arte was a great aria, I can find it a little dull out of context but within the opera it was heart-warmingly beautiful showing the innocent side of Tosca whilst praying, asking “why?” as some days all of us do. Completely effortless singing accompanied by piano I took lots from this performance she was wonderful.

There was such detailing in the props, down to books, globe, food, lights it felt like I was looking into someone’s study. The red dungeon room was brilliant and from Toscas perspective must have seemed terrifying as she couldn’t see it from her position on the stage. The blood was very realistic, reminded me a little of my brother Tom’s horrible histories magazines.

The shooting scene from the third Act was very emotional brought to life with the most beautiful tenor singing delivered by the hunky Massimo Giordano; it was a startling set with scattered crosses made out of trees filling the stage. It was an incredible performance, no one stole the show because they were all equally well cast and performed their parts so realistically, and the chorus equally so, it felt very real.

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 ) all stupendous, really breathtaking, can you tell I really loved it.  I did!


Au Revoir Paris



70 responses to Lust, Politics And Fabulous Music.


    Lovely photos. You also write really well. Have you considered working as a journalist as a career? I think you have the skills.


      You’re very kind but I know my limits 🙂 blogging helps with practice but I know my punctuation and grammar slips must frustrate the real writers that blog.

      Best wishes


        Fair enough. But your blogs do come across as highly literate. Just avoid aberrant apostrophes, and you’ll be fine. 🙂


        I’m going to have to look the word aberrant up lol 😀 I’m guessing it means unnecessary. I remember once going on a gifted and talented group English workshop (I got into Nagty on Maths and the performing arts) and the Head of English said ‘what the heck are you doing in here?”. I worked my socks off and got two As in English Lit and Language because I don’t like being told I can’t do something well.
        Best wishes


        Aberrant apostrophe. Think its/it’s, and you’ve got it…


        Oh yes, that little rule 😀
        Best wishes


    Lust and politics is definitely a hook to get their attention. Great music is sure to keep them in the seats.


      Yes it’s frequently referred to in Tosca promotional briefings but you’re so right it’s only the music and quality of singing that keeps people coming back for more and the house full for the full run.

      Best wishes


    Great review, makes me want to go see it, especially in Paris!


      You should Joan, my Mum said there are some great bargains by air or train mid-week and last-minute discount hotel room bookings are always easier mid-week too. Paris decorated ready for Christmas is a must see and the opera is just the icing on the cake and the cherry too.

      Best wishes


    Wouaw, wondrfull, beautifull share, nice writting Charlotte, great !

    All the best for you !!


    Beautiful Charlotte, and you are doing a great service. May the Lord bless you richly.


    I’m so glad it worked for you. If you had three equal soloists that is fabulous, it is an opera that cannot work if it has a weak link. I love the beginning of the last act… and the middle… and the end.


    I love your photos.


    Ha – I saw that title and I thought “oh wow, Charlotte is really taking a new direction today!” LOL.


    I’m glad you had a good time. This was the birthday present, correct?


    Loved the black and white outfit (white is all the colors always fools everyone). Glad you had a grand time. Let’s turn lust into making love (Song of Solomon) Chapter 1,2, and 3 are most excellent resources for learning. 🙂 Politics let us make conversations and debates. 🙂


      I love the idea of white being every colour thank you it was grand. The Lust I referred to here was more a lust for power, possession, wanting what someone else has rather than love but I guess I could have put ‘Love’ in the title as well as there was certainly that in Tosca.

      Best wishes


    It looks you were dancing around under the tower.. Looks good!


    Not a bad place to see a play!

    It was interesting that you wrote about the set and the way it could be moved and repositioned. That is one thing that blew me away when I saw Les Mis a while back. I guess touring will do that!

    Thanks for the review!


      Thanks Steve, my flat mate is a set builder, he comes home exhausted at this time of year from building different sets, and I’ve learnt to really appreciate his skill and the difference a good production team makes to a show.

      Best wishes


    Slightly off topic, but I love that skirt. It looks great on you!

  14. your photo under eiffle reminds me of that link to mary tyler moore.


      I’ve never seen that photo, Paris must do that to us arty types 🙂

      Best wishes


        😉 perhaps you’ll alloow me to pick on youfor being a young one 😀 I was like 0 when it was taken. 😉


        oh, I forgot, it’s the iconic ending of “the mary tyler moore show” circa 1975 and a tad before – the phot is a still from video. you can find later episode on youtube like the “cuckles” episode where gallows humor gets the best of mary. as I said 😉 I believe you were very much not here yet… wink…most likely neither was I! or barely.


    Very good morning charlo your picture very quite good luck


    Lust, Politics & Fabulous Music would make a great name for a music group.


    Nice review. Glad to hear your visit to Paris was a positive one. And great photos.


    Tosca is a beautiful work. I’ve seen that and LaBoheme by Puccini. Yeah lots of places do surtitles now. 🙂


    What an exhilarating experience! Where were the subtitles shown on stage? And did you enjoy this or find it distracting from the main performance?


      Up above the stage, I think there were some in the aisles too. You don’t notice them unless you’re looking for them which is good for people that understand completely.
      Best wishes


    I am so pleased you had a wonderful time in Paris. It sounds as if your parents found a fabulous opera for you to watch/ listen to. Thank-you for the good review.


      They tried initially to find me one in London but there was nothing on mid-week that week and I had to be back in Glasgow on the Saturday night. It they managed to get really good value flights out of Birmingham.
      Best wishes


    love your article. i have been in Tosca, la boheme, and palliachii. i am glad that you got a chance to go see the opera, as well as tour Paris.


    Absolutely love the photos!
    Great blog!!!


    Hi Charlotte,is that your voice singing on the soundcloud clip, it’s beautiful!. Great photos and article.


    I’ve enjoyed your Paris posts. Beautiful photos and informative write-up. I’d love to re-visit Paris again after reading.


    Ha, ha, you had me at the word lust… a perfect write up for Tosca and the city. The last shot is just precious. Thank for the sound clip ~ beautiful.


    Thanks for keeping us updated… I love the way you described this experience, very touching… Also I <3 your last photograph… Merci beaucoup! And all the best to you. Aquileana 😀


    Okay, I have to confess: I giggle a little every time you mention Tosca because one of the ponies at my barn is named Tosca. At least now I know where her name comes from.
    Glad you enjoyed the show. I swear one of these days I will go to the opera myself…

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