John Bell’s critically acclaimed 20th century retelling of Puccini’s Tosca returns to the Sydney Opera House stage with a stellar cast featuring some of the best performers in the world.
Popular Spanish soprano Ainhoa Arteta will make her debut with Opera Australia, sharing the title role with Italian Daria Masiero. Romanian tenor Teodor Ilincai, also making his Opera Australia debut and Diego Torre will take on the role of Cavaradossi; and one of the best baritones in the world, Italian Lucio Gallo will play Scarpia along with local favourite Shane Lowrencev.
“I’m very excited for Arteta and Ilincai to be performing with Opera Australia. Arteta is one of the greatest sopranos around and Ilincai is a fantastic tenor who will bring tremendous power to the role,” said Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini.
In this production, Bell keeps the opera’s original setting in Rome, but moves the date from 1800 to 1943. Instead of Napoleon’s army occupying the city, it is the Nazis. Bell sought to recapture the shock that audiences must have felt at the opera’s original premiere, so he has relocated it to a setting we all recognise: Fascist Italy in 1943, under German rule. He wanted the audience to recognise the everyday banality of evil, he said.
“Tosca is not a melodrama,” says Bell. “It is a heart-wrenching story of oppression, resistance and a woman blackmailed to save the life of a loved one. The era I have chosen is a time close enough for its history and images to stir our memory and our emotions. Tosca is a dark story, but one alleviated by Puccini’s glorious music, which celebrates the heroism of those who choose death over loss of liberty.”
Tosca is showing from 17 Feb – 31 Mar at the Joan Sutherland Theatre, at Sydney Opera House. For tickets and more information, see their website