Giacomo Puccini - Tosca
Around the turn of the 20th century the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini reached his artistic
climax, composing his three most famous and impressive operas: La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama
Butterfly. Turandot, Puccini’s last masterpiece was unfinished at the time of his death in 1924.
Tosca had its world premiere in Rome, January 14, 1900, at the Teatro Costanzi, now known as the
Rome Opera House.
Hariclea Darclée, Maria Jeritza and Maria Callas are just some of the famous divas who have
played the role of Tosca.
The opera is set in Rome during the Napoleonic wars and tells the unfortunate story of the opera
singer Floria Tosca (soprano).
The other main characters are Mario Cavaradossi (tenor), painter and Tosca’s lover and Baron
Scarpia (baritone), the corrupt Chief of Police. Scarpia, obsessed with Tosca, wants to hinder her
relationship with Cavaradossi and finds the perfect opportunity when he suspects Cavaradossi of
assisting an escaped political prisoner, Cesare Angelotti. The opera turns into a real thriller with
dramatic implications, intense emotions, and hard consequences until reaching the pinnacle of
drama in a tragic ending.
‘Vissi d’arte’, ‘E lucevan le stelle’ (also performed by The Three Tenors, Carreras, Domingo and
Pavarotti) and the impressive ‘Te deum’ are just some of the most famous arias in this opera in
which different characters are represented with peculiar musical motifs.