REVIEW: TOSCA - Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Tosca, on at The Grand Theatre
Tosca, on at The Grand Theatre
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CRIMES of passion extend far beyond taking someone’s speeding points, as a timely production of opera Tosca reminds us.

Ellen Kent’s production of the Puccini show tells the tale of Floria Tosca, unsure of her lover’s fidelity and battling a Baron’s advances.

But in this love tryst, the dark beauty Tosca takes a life, not a hit, to the driving record for her beloved.

As the painter Mario, Tosca’s intended, is taken prisoner for hiding a political prisoner, Baron Scarpia offers a get out clause in the form of unwanted advances. Has her bargaining worked? Well, this is an opera, so probably not.

And an unfortunate conversation with my grandmother earlier that day put paid to any curiosity I may have had.

“We’re going to Tosca tonight.”

“Oh, I saw it when I was 21. She throws herself from the balcony at the end doesn’t she?”

“Does she?!”

There is an unusual sight in this opera - an eagle with a six foot wing span, that somewhat steals the show, making a meal of its part to make the dastardly Baron Scarpia look tough.

It’s difficult to fall in love with the voices and the characters in this opera but it’s a marked step up from the last Ellen Kent opera I endured, Carmen - also staged by the company at The Grand Theatre last night - billed to be Kent’s final curtain call.

KATIE UPTON