“Tosca” has intensity and such dramatic power that Puccini drags you helplessly into the opera. Love or loathe the egotistical trio, there is no doubt that this opera is always compelling and contains all the drama of the finest of tragedies: death, violent jealousy, corruption, hatred, and of course love, whether twisted or pure.
It is one of the most popular and accessible operas. No need to understand Italian or read the subtitles; this drama speaks for itself with volumes of passion. Floria Tosca herself is a diva in an era obsessed with divas, an opera singer with a jealous heart, but there is so much more depth to her than first revealed. She is at once deeply in love and deeply religious and these themes run through the opera with processions and prayers. It is Italian right to the heart of its tragic, wonderful core.
The pace of this three-act opera is fast; the drama unfolds relentlessly, gathering power like a whirlwind as the music grows heavier, darker like a foreboding storm.
By the time we reach Tosca’s heartfelt famous aria, ‘Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore, she has shown the fragility beneath all her glitz and glamour, becoming a true three-dimensional figure.
Puccini’s use of the orchestral score to accompany the characters’ personalities and even the mention of the names is perfection. He uses leitmotifs in a similar way to Wagner as the mention of three central figures, Scarpia, Tosca, and Cavaradossi. If “Tosca” is the only opera seen in a lifetime, it is at once the true beginners’ opera and opera lovers’ opera — from the tender beginnings to the intense drama and the dramatic final call of Tosca in “Scarpia, Avanti i Dio!”
And at once the audience too have met with God.
ESTONIAN NATIONAL OPERA
Estonia Avenue 4, 10148 Tallinn
Performances: May 27 and June 1
(Also returning in September season)
Tickets and information: www.opera.ee/en/piletiinfo