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First performed Janeury1 14, 1900.
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica (in Itarian),
On 17th June, 1800, Rome is ruled by fear, that is, republicanism collapses, and shifts to royalism. Scarpia, general of the secret police, on the side of royalism continuously commits many republicans to prison. One of the republicans, Angelotti, succeeds in breaking out of prison, and rushes into the church of Sant' Andrea della Valle. In the church, he meets up with another republican, Cavaradossi. Cavaradossi harbors Angelotti in his secret hideout.
After the two left the church, Scarpia who gives chase to Angelotti enters the church. Scarpia canft find Angelotti, but meets Tosca there. She is the singer, and Cavaradossifs lover. Scarpia tricks Tosca into going to Cavaradossifs house, and has his subordinates follow her.
In the Farnese Palace, Scarpia receives word that his subordinates canft find Angelotti, but have arrested Cavaradossi. Scarpia tortures Cavaradossi, but Cavaradossi doesnft confess Angelottifs whereabouts. Scarpia calls Tosca, and shows her her loverfs tortured state. Tosca gives up the route to the secret hideout to Scarpia.
Then, word comes that Napoleon has won the Battle of Marengo, that is, a defeat for royalism. Cavaradossi exclaims with delight. Scarpia is furious with him, and condemns Cavaradossi to death.
Tosca begs Scarpia to save her lover's life. Scarpia demands that Tosca yield herself to him in exchange for her lover's life. As Scarpia goes to touch Tosca, she stabs him to death with a knife from the table.
Tosca runs to Cavaradossi who is confined to the prison at the castle of Sant'Angelo. But, the firing squad carry out their orders to shoot Cavaradossi. When Scarpiafs subordinates rush to arrest Tosca for Scarpia's murder, she kills herself by leaping from the castle.
|In this opera, there are three arias, gRecondita
armonia (hidden harmony)h in act 1, gVissi d'arte, vissi d'amore (I lived
for art, I lived for love)h in act 2 and gE lucevan le stele (And the
stars shone)h in act 3. The three arias are respectively
outstanding, and are famous. General operas are long, but you would never
become bored watching this opera.
The tenor, Cavaradossi, sings two arias, one in act 1 and one
in act 3. The soprano, Tosca, sings only one aria in act 2. Then, doesnft
another leading role, Scarpia, have his own aria? No, he doesnft. But, he plays an active role
in act 2. He is the villain. Scarpia escalates his bad behavior toward Tosca,
until he is murdered by her in the last scene in act 2. This
duet of Tosca and Scarpia is one of the most powerful and impressive
This operafs story is fiction, but this opera has its
setting in real places in Rome. You can enter the
church of Sant' Andrea della Valle which can be seen in act1, now. The Farnese
Palace, in act 2, is used by Frence as their embassy. The castle of Sant'Angelo,
in act 3, is one of the most famous sightseeing spots in Rome. There is a film on
DVD in which the opra is actually performed at each of the abovementioned
locations (conducted by Bartoletti, directed by De Bosio, 1976, DECCA).
|Gluck, C. W. (1714-1787)
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