Passion and tragedy in equal measure

Ellen Kent's new production of Tosca, plays at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool
Ellen Kent's new production of Tosca, plays at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool
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An epic tale of treachery, torture, love and murder is set to captivate audiences at the Grand Theatre.

The new production of the opera, Tosca, blasts into the resort next month.

And the Ellen Kent production of Puccini’s classic comes to the Church Street theatre with a magnificent new set, inspired by Roman architecture.

Producer Ellen, who visited Puccini’s home in preparation for the tour, said: “It was quite magical.

“I didn’t think it would be quite so inspiring.

“It was almost eerie – exactly as you would imagine Puccini to have created, with beautiful memorabilia everywhere.

“There were his shoes and clothes and pipes and all the models of his operas and his actual scores with all his notes on them.

“My productions are always rather beautiful and I suddenly realised that in my view, I have been doing what Puccini would have liked and wanted. It felt like meeting somebody I knew.”

‘Towering pillars, luxurious costumes and heavenly singing’ are all promised, as the company tells the ‘epic tale of true love and treachery featuring torture, murder and suicide alongside some of opera’s best-known music’.

Working alongside the professional cast will be a boys’ choir and shepherd boy soloist.

The story tells of opera diva Floria Tosca who fears for the fidelity of her lover Mario, only to discover it is the Baron Scarpia’s lust for her that is endangering the partnership.

A complex agreement of bargains and bluffs follow, to the detriment of all, with a truly tragic ending.

A spokesman added: “This most popular of operas, with its tender and moving arias Recondita Armonia, Vissi d’Arte and E Lucevan le Stelle, is a heady mixture of true love, torture and treachery, with two of the best roles for tenor and soprano, plus a pure evil villain as the baritone.”

The Grand is offering 60 ‘Student Stampede’ tickets on the day, costing £8, as part of its work promoting opera to new audiences.

Regular tickets cost from £18.

* Tosca, Grand Theatre, Blackpool, Sunday, February 7. Call (01253) 290190 for tickets.