Lust, Politics And Fabulous Music.

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.

Tosca-Foyer-Blog
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!

Paris
Au Revoir Paris

 

 

70 thoughts on “Lust, Politics And Fabulous Music.

      1. 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
        Charlotte

    1. 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
      Charlotte

    1. 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
      Charlotte

    1. Merci Pascal, it was nice to have some fun and a short break from my studies and to practice my French, I’m not as good as I thought I was looking at the puzzled look on the waiters faces lol. Although I did get complimentary champagne when one waiter heard it was my 21st birthday.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  1. 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.

  2. 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. 🙂

    1. 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
      Charlotte

  3. 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!

    1. 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
      Charlotte

      1. 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.

    1. 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
      Charlotte

    1. 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
      Charlotte

  4. 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.

  5. 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 😀

  6. 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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