Director Jonathan Kent's Rome is the one we can still see today – and the one where the establishment and the rebels quarrelled at the dawn of the 19th century, lavishly re-created here.
But within the dignified and Baroque splendour of Sant' Andrea della Valle, the Palazzo Farnese and the Castel Sant'Angelo, is played out a story of ugly coercion with timeless relevance: a powerful man uses his position to seduce the singer Floria Tosca, who relents only because her lover's life is in his hands.
Italian tenor Vittorio Grigòlo will be in his element as the painter Mario Cavaradossi, who harbours a wanted man and defies the suspicious and lustful chief of police, Scarpia.
As Scarpia, the Royal Opera House welcomes back superstar Bryn Terfel from whom we can expect bone-crushing depth in both his loathsome pursuit of defiant Tosca and his torturing of her lover Cavaradossi. Italian baritone Marco Vratogna, who was thrillingly horrid as Iago in Otello in 2017, sings the equally vile Scarpia at some performances.
Sharing the title role as the opera singer, and singing the great aria 'Vissi d'arte', will be star soprano Angela Gheorghiu and Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais, Gheorghiu is a renowned Tosca, and it is a role for which she brings passion and operatic flamboyance.
For newcomers, Tosca
is always the perfect gateway opera – stuffed with music, fast-moving
and quite simply a nail-biter. With one of the most famous endings in opera, it shocks and moves
every time, and this enduring production has everything and more.
From the first, terrifying chords, with Alexander Joel conducting the Royal Opera Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, and with the late Paul Brown's stupendous set and Mark Henderson's expressive lighting, this is a musical and visual feast.
Tosca is sung in Italian with English surtitles. Booking opens 9AM, Wed 30 Jan.
|What||Tosca, Royal Opera House|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
27 May 19 – 20 Jun 19, eight performances; times vary. Running time c3hr, including two intervals
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|