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eyes black and white

NYC Opera Renaissance: Tosca

As usual, he gets it "come il Conte Palmieri"; he knows knows it's fake fake, but he wants to see her happy, to hear her happy. One last time. And as usual, I cry all along, at each and every one of the carefully paced arias, in this emotional rollercoaster of an Opera. It has everything: love and hate, lust and jealousy, honor and betrayal, lofty fraternity and mortal enmity, victory and defeat, misplaced idealism and too well placed opportunism, lofty art and crass superstition, integrity and corruption, etc. But it also has all the sins and crimes, from gluttony to rape, from perjury and bribery to suicide and murder, from torture to blasphemy. It is the individual against the State. It is all that and much more. It is Tosca.

Congratulations to the NYC Opera Renaissance. A tremendous success. I rate it 95%. Act I was perfectly played, though maybe Tosca's voice wasn't at her top yet, possibly hampered by this really excellently rendered jealousy. Caravadossi knew to be above the jealousy and superstition without being patronizing; he loved Tosca warts and all. Scarpia was a delicious villain, and his minions also played well. Act II and III were great, and the singing wonderful. The direction didn't sport the many tricks of other productions I've seen, but had some clever ones of its own, such as the well done fighting attempts by Caravadossi, or Spoletta concluding right at Tosca's face "Come Palmieri". As usual my biggest gripe is with direction that in some songs just doesn't make sense. Scarpia should be either impatient with lust or reveling with power when Tosca pleads to God then to him; he shouldn't be merely bored on the sofa. And Caravadossi should be holding Tosca's hands and trying to keep her close to him when they meet for the last time and sing about these hands against, he shouldn't be staying at a safe distance — indeed she might be blind to the situation and feel like playing on stage and dancing around, but oh not him, though he won't want to show and worry her — perfect opportunity for a lot of acting with body language.

I heartily recommend. Will go again if I can. E Rido Ancor!


eyes black and white

April 2019



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