Puccini's sweeping operatic thriller combines romance, Revolution, and a devastating twist

Royal Opera House
Mon 5 February 2024 - Sun 21 July 2024


From Sardou’s play to Puccini’s opera

From the early 1890s Giacomo Puccini had toyed with adapting French playwright Victorien Sardou’s gripping melodrama  La Tosca into an opera, but only began serious work following the premiere of the critically acclaimed La bohème in 1896. Employing La bohème’s gifted librettists Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica to streamline Sardou’s complicated plot, Puccini’s Tosca premiered in 1900.

With the city gripped by political unrest, fears of violence plagued the premiere at Rome’s Teatro Costanzi. However, Tosca  opened without incident, and although unpopular with critics who disliked its violence, it became an immediate success with the public and has remained a favourite ever since.

Beauty and Bloodshed 

Jonathan Kent’s classic staging conjures all the beauty and bloodshed of 19th-century Rome, while the emotive music of Tosca’s score (featuring Cavaradossi’s aria, ‘Recondita armonia’ and Tosca’s poignant lament, ‘Vissi d’arte’), transports us inside the conflicted souls of its characters.

Karen Kamensek and Alexander Soddy conduct this classic production, starring Ausrine Stundyte (also debuting), Marcelo Puente and Gabriele Viviani and Angel Blue, Sonya Yoncheva, Russell Thomas, Yusif Eyvazov, Ludovic Tézier and Ildar Abdrazakov.


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