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 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!