John Bell’s celebrated production of Tosca, the opera that is said to have it all; passionate love, an extraordinary heroine and one of the greatest operatic villains, returns to the Sydney Opera House this February with an exceptional cast.
Debuting with Opera Australia in the titular role, Italian soprano Carmen Giannattasio will have audiences spell-bound after being praised by Bachtrack for her portrayal of Tosca at Naples’ Teatro Di San Carlo in January 2020, saying she “exploited all the music’s pathos, jealousy, terror and desperation with an amazing richness of colour, a warm timbre and fine sensitivity for the drama.”
Dubbed the Lady Gaga of Opera, Giannattasio cuts an edgy figure in the opera world as an ambassador for Bulgari and couture label Antonio Riva and has built a reputation for her commanding stage presence and lustrous vocals.
Cast alongside her is Australia’s favourite tenor Diego Torre, who will perform his second leading role for the Sydney summer season as Tosca’s lover Cavaradossi; a role for which he received widespread praise in 2017.
Baritone Marco Vratogna, renowned for his villainous portrayal of despised Scarpia makes a welcome return along with sensational young conductor Andrea Battistoni who has achieved great acclaim around the world since his debut with OA in 2017.
Director John Bell is the visionary behind this critically acclaimed 20th century production. Set in Nazi-occupied Rome in 1943, Bell explains “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.”
The curtain will rise on a breathtaking recreation of the Sant’Andrea della Valle by award-winning set designer Michael Scott-Mitchell, whose designs propel the story, from the sheer magnificence of the church, to the austerity of Scarpia’s quarters, and finally to the stark oppression of the prison. Bell’s vision and Scott-Mitchell’s designs are complemented by the work of costume designer Teresa Negroponte.
Born in Tuscany in 1858, Giacomo Puccini is an Italian composer who took Verdi’s crown as the most prominent composer of Italian opera in his day. Renowned for his love affairs, Puccini left a trail of broken hearts across Italy, but also left us music-lovers 10 beautiful operas, three of which are regularly in the top 10 operas performed around the world.
Puccini’s music is sweeping, uplifting, enchanting and always intensely moving. His real genius, however, was to combine that music with stories about ordinary people.
Director: John Bell Conductor: Andrea Battistoni Cast: Carmen Giannattasio, Diego Torre, Marco Vratogna, David Parkin, Luke Gabbedy, Graeme Macfarlane, Alexander Hargreaves, Anthony Mackey, Opera Australia Chorus, Opera Australia Orchestra Revival Director: Matthew Barclay Set Designer: Michael Scott-Mitchell Costume Designer: Teresa Negroponte
Joan Sutherland Theatre – Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
Season: 22 February – 13 March 2021
Informatin and Bookings: www.opera.org.au
Image: Opera Australia presents Tosca at the Sydney Opera House this February (supplied)