Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège
In 1800, Baron Scarpia and his secret police are leading a reign of terror in Rome. Amid such repression, an opera singer, Floria Tosca, loves the painter Mario Cavaradossi, who himself is a friend of a political prisoner. Scarpia, who desires Tosca, carries out, in order to have her for himself, the most odious of blackmail by torturing her lover. An ineluctable plunge into the abyss…
Inspired by Victorien Sardou’s play that Puccini had seen in 1889, played by the great Sarah Bernhardt, Tosca is a major work of the dramatic repertoire. This drama of passion is incredibly harnessed by a composer riding on the wave of the recent success of the tragic Manon Lescaut and La Bohème. At the dawn of the 20th century, the composer wanted to make the stage a mirror of the soul by incorporating violent scenes in his masterpiece in which the voices and orchestra roar with human passion and unbridled force. The audience in Rome required a certain amount of time to digest the ineluctable tragic swiftness of the opera.
Its success was all the more lasting, for Puccini managed to mix moments of the most sublime emotions, enchantingly poetic orchestral effects and his most famous melodies. Tosca represents the very essence of Puccini’s art and one only need mention the prayer of Floria, Vissi d’arte or the farewell of Cavaradossi, E lucevan le stele, to be convinced of the music’s immense beauty. This moving production by the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège does justice to an emblematic opera that can be considered to be a veritable musical thriller.
Introduction to performances: curtain-raisers
All the opera performances are preceded by an educational introduction open to all. They take place 30 minutes before the start of the performance, in the company of an opera specialist to provide a pertinent presentation of the work.