I've said more than once that Tosca is my favourite Puccini opera and one of my favourites of all time. While not my first choice, that's between the ones from 1976, 1992, 1984, 1978 and 1985, this production is excellent, with only the flat audio disappointing due to the ambiance perhaps-consequently there are moments where the singers sound a little too submerged- letting it down.
The Verona arena does look spectacular and is beautifully captured by the camera work. The settings and costumes are serviceable if not entirely the most suitable for this dark, tragic opera. The music is fantastic, and is confidently performed by the orchestra and conducted. The sound is not great, but the big moments still have their impact dramatically, with Scarpia's murder particularly well done.
Florenza Cedolins is a riveting Tosca, especially in the second act, with her singing passionate and musical. Ruggero Raimondi has lost some of his power vocally, but his acting is so extraordinary that his Scarpia is a gripping portrayal regardless. I was most impressed with Marcelo Alvarez, who is far better than he was in the fiasco that was the 2009 Met production where he was uneven, however he is dashing and poignant and sings his two big arias brilliantly with ringing tone.
All in all, excellent. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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