Tosca Synopsis

 

Tosca is an opera written by one of the most prolific composers of Italian Opera, Giacomo Puccini.

 

 

Set in Rome in June 1800, Tosca tells the story of the love between the famous opera singer Floria Tosca and the painter and political activist Mario Cavaradossi. Cavaradossi sends the political escapee and former Roman Consul-General, Cesare Angelotti, to hide down the well in his garden. The Baron Scarpia is determined to have Tosca for himself, and invites her to supper in order to discover the whereabouts of Angelotti. He orders the torture of Cavaradossi in her earshot. Unable to bear his screams of pain, Tosca willingly gives up the information – but not before she has persuaded Scarpia to allow her and her lover to escape from Rome.  Scarpia insists that to satisfy the authorities, Cavaradossi must undergo a mock execution, and arranges this with one of his henchmen, Spoletta. He then provides Tosca with a note of safe-conduct for her and her lover. In exchange for this letter of safe passage, Scarpia demands that Tosca give herself to him. As Scarpia attempts to ravish Tosca, she stabs him. Before his body is discovered, she rushes to the prison in the Castel Sant'Angelo to tell Cavaradossi that he has to face the firing squad, that the muskets will contain blanks, and he will have to act his death. But Scarpia has tricked Tosca - the bullets are real! As Cavaradossi lies dead and Scarpia's henchmen approach, Tosca is left with no alternative and takes her own life. 

 

The opera features a large ensemble cast and chorus, and some of Puccini’s most beautifully soaring melodies and breathtaking arias, including three of the most famous arias in the Operatic repertoire: “Vissi d’arte”, “Recondita armonia” and “E lucevan le stelle.”  

 

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