Tosca has always been one of my favourites, and being a fan of Franco Corelli, I knew I wanted to see this Tosca. And I was not disappointed, one of my favourite filmed versions of Tosca that's for sure. The settings and costumes are sumptuous while not taking away from the opera's tragedy and darkness and the camera work is focused and not distracting from the drama. The colour is serviceable if occasionally faded. Musically, this is one of the most powerful and moving accounts I've seen. Act 2 is phenomenal, one of the best middle acts ever in opera, Te Deum is subtle and chilling and Mario Mario Mario and the Cello Ensemble evoke a lot of emotion. The conducting is refined and sensitive, yet really lets loose in the dramatic scenes, the torture scene is the very definition of tense.
Of the singing and acting, Franco Corelli was the one who stood out. Not only is he the handsomest Caveradossi I've seen, but his Caveradossi is incredibly well-acted, ardent, intense, poignant and arrogant, and vocally the singing is thrilling and beautiful at the same time, ringing tone yet with some sublime moments of musicality. Franca Duvall is a dramatically riveting Tosca, and of the many Toscas I've heard, Maria Caniglia sings with passion and beauty, while possessing one of the truer Spinto soprano voices. Afro Poli is charismatic and powerful on screen as the villain Scarpia, and the character's voice is sung in a tour-De-force vocal by GianGiacomo Guelfi.
All in all, a great opera film, with wonderful music, and Guelfi and especially Corelli are magnificent. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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