.

Giacomo Puccini

Tosca

opera in three acts

Age 12+

Dates

Libretto: Luigi Illica, Giuseppe Giacosa based on Victorien Sardou's drama La Tosca
Musical director: Gianluca Marcianò 
Director, author of lighting design concept: recipient of the Francysk Skaryna Medal Mikhail Pandzhavidze
Revival designer: recipient of the Francysk Skaryna Medal, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Kostiuchenko
Costume designer: Eleonora Grigoruk
Chorus master: People's Artist of Belarus, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Nina Lomanovich
Conductors: recipient of the Francysk Skaryna Medal Andrei Galanov, Aleh Lessoun, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Anissimov
Assistant director: Natalia Baranovskaya
Running time: 2 hours 35 minutes with one interval
Sung in Italian with Russian surtitles
Premiere: 24 February 2018

12

Act 1

Rome, 1800.

The Church of Sant'Andrea della Valle. 

 

Early morning. Cesare Angelotti, the former consul of the Roman Republic and now a political prisoner, sneaks into the church. With the help of his sister, Marchesa Attavanti, he has managed to escape from the Sant'Angelo prison and to hide in the Attavanti private chapel.

‘Ah! Finalmente!’. 

The sacristan enters. Grumbling and grouching, he is in search for Mario Cavaradossi, the painter who is working in the church on a picture of Mary Magdalene.

‘E sempre lava!’

Cavaradossi enters and discloses the picture. The sacristan is struck by the resemblance of Mary Magdalene and the Marchesa Attavanti, who is often seen in the chapel.

‘Sante ampolle! Il suo ritratto!’ 

The painter gets down to work. Speculating on the variety of beauty, comparing the Marchesa with his beloved one, the famous singer Floria Tosca, Cavaradossi speaks about his passionate love to her…

‘Ah! il mio sol pensier sei tu! Tosca, sei tu!’ 

Suddenly Angelotti emerges from his hiding place. Tosca’s voice is heard. Cavaradossi promises to help the escapee and hides him in the chapel. Tosca enters. The lovers arrange a rendezvous in the evening at Cavaradossi’s villa not far from Rome.

‘Non la sospiri la nostra casetta che tutta ascosa nel verde ci aspetta?’ 

About to leave, Tosca sees the painting. She recognizes the Marchesa in the picture and jealously reproaches the painter. But Mario manages to calm her down – his passionate love for Tosca is endless!

“Mia vita, amante inquieta, dirò sempre, ‘Floria, t`amo!” 

When Tosca has left, Cavaradossi suggests that Angelotti change his clothes, leave the church and hide at Mario’s villa. The thought of Angelotti having escaped from Scarpia makes Mario utterly determined to help the ex-prisoner: the painter hates the deceitful and dissolute baron. A cannon shot is heard signalling that the escape has been discovered. Excited, Cavaradossi decides to accompany Angelotti to a safe place.

‘Se ci assalgon, battaglia!’ 

The sacristan re-enters with choristers and clerics; they all rejoice at the news of Napoleon’s defeat. In the evening there will be celebrations in the Palazzo Farnese where Tosca herself will sing a cantata.

‘Si festeggi la vittoria!’ 

Suddenly Baron Scarpia, chief of the police, enters the church. With the help of the sacristan he finds Angelotti’s traces. This makes him suspect of his detestable rival Cavaradossi’s complicity.

‘Lui! L`amante di Tosca! Un uom sospetto! Un volterrian!’ 

Tosca comes back. She has to tell Mario that she cannot come to the rendezvous. She meets Scarpia who shows her the Marchesa Attavanti’s fan, found in the chapel. Tosca is overcome with jealousy. She decides to go to Mario’s villa and catch him and the Marchesa unawares.

‘Dove son? Potessi coglierli, i traditori!’

Scarpia orders his agents to follow her. The cruel baron anticipates double triumph: Tosca will surely turn to him when Cavaradossi is arrested and put to death. To the sound of the magnificent Te Deum he dives into the most daring and passionate dreams.

‘Tosca, mi fai dimenticare iddio!’ 

 

Act 2

Scarpia's study in the Palazzo Farnese.

 

The baron is waiting for Tosca, who is to sing in the evening in the Palace. He is confident that she will do anything for Cavaradossi. ‘Per amor del suo Mario... al piacer mio s`arrenderà. Tal dei profondi amori, è la profonda miseria.’ Scarpia’s henchman Spoletta enters the study and announces that Tosca has not stayed long at the villa, Angelotti has not been found, and only Cavaradossi has been arrested. Interrogated by Scarpia, the painter denies everything. Tosca enters. Condemned to torture, Mario tells her to say nothing about Angelotti. At first Scarpia tries to talk the singer into giving away the secret. ‘Ed or fra noi da buoni amici.’ But Tosca is very careful and self-controlled. Then the torture of Cavaradossi begins. Floria, having no power to bear the screams of her beloved, reveals the escapee’s hiding place. ‘Nel pozzo... nel giardino...’ Scarpia triumphantly sends his agents to the villa; Cavaradossi angrily reproaches Floria for the betrayal. Then the news of the French victory at Marengo arrives. Cavaradossi gloats, telling Scarpia that the revenge is close. ‘Il tuo cor trema, o Scarpia, carnefice!’ Infuriated, the chief of the police orders to execute the painter. When Mario is led out of the room, Tosca begs Scarpia to pardon her lover: she can give up everything she has to save Mario. But the only thing the baron needs is Tosca’s love. ‘Già mi struggea l`amor della diva!’ Disgusted, she pushes the besotted Scarpia away. He threatens her that Mario will soon be shot, and reproaches the singer for being indifferent. Exhausted, heartbroken, Tosca raises her hands to the sky… ‘Vissi d`arte, vissi d`amore…’ Spoletta comes back and says that Angelotti has killed himself when faced with capture. Cavaradossi will soon be executed. Tosca begs Scarpia to have mercy on her beloved, this time pretending to agree to Scarpia’s proposition. Having signed a false order of granting a pardon to the painter and a safe conduct, the baron triumphantly approaches Tosca. She stabs him with a knife. ‘È morto! Or gli perdono!..’ 

 

Act 3

The tower of the Castel Sant'Angelo.

 

Dawn. The secret police agents bring in Cavarodossi and leave him to the jailer. Waiting for the execution and having refused to see the priest, Cavaradossi thinks of what to write in his last letter to Tosca. ‘E lucevan le stelle... e olezzava la terra...’ Tosca enters and brings happy news: Cavaradossi has been granted a pardon, and it will be a mock execution. Mario is puzzled: it is Scarpia’s first granting a pardon ever! Tosca says that it is also the last one, because she has killed the butcher. ‘N`ebbi le man tutte lorde di sangue!..’ Now Cavaradossi must play his part in the mock execution and fake his death convincingly. And then freedom awaits them! ‘Al colpo egli è mestiere che tu subito cada...’ After the shot Tosca hurries towards Mario. Cavaradossi is dead. Spoletta rushes in: they have found Scarpia’s body and are now searching for the singer. As the agents approach Tosca, she leaps from the battlement with the words, ‘O Scarpia, avanti a Dio!’                   

 

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