After years of listening to my father singing along to Puccini’s E Luceven le Stelle as a child, I was intrigued to hear Tosca in all its glory on stage - rather than blasting through the living room stereo.
While the tale of passion, tragedy, murder and betrayal was captivating, it was the orchestra, led by Vasyl Vasylenko, that stole the show - especially during Vissi d’Arte.
Ellen Kent’s production tells the story of Floria Tosca and her loverMario Cavaradossi, who is incarcerated for hiding a political prisoner.
When the chief of police, Baron Scarpia, offers Mario’s freedom in return for Tosca’s submission, the beauty takes matters into her own hands.
The set, which changed from the Sant’Andrea della Valle Church to Scarpia’s apartment and a prison over the three acts, was impressive while the costumes - especially for Tosca - were a delight.
Ruslan Zinevych was superb as Mario while Maria Tonina sang beautifully as a dramatic Tosca, which was just as well as the subtitles were a bit slow in the first act.
Baritone Vladmir Dragos was genuinely sinister as Scarpia, and was well received by the audience.
It’s even more enjoyable on stage than in the living room!