Lust, political corruption, police brutality, torture, rape, murder, execution, suicide: opera. Tosca's lover Mario is arrested for treason when she spills the beans about the escape of a political prisoner. Evil Baron Scarpia wins again.

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Karita Mattila ...
Marcelo Álvarez ...
George Gagnidze ...
Paul Plishka ...
...
Spoletta
David Pittsinger ...
Angelotti
James Courtney ...
Sciarrone
Jonathan A. Makepeace ...
Shepherd
Keith Miller ...
Jailer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Herself - Interviewee
Joseph Colaneri ...
Himself - Conducted by
Susan Graham ...
Herself - Host
Carrie-Ann Matheson ...
Herself - Musical staff
Metropolitan Opera Chorus ...
Chorus
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Lust, political corruption, police brutality, torture, rape, murder, execution, suicide: opera. Tosca's lover Mario is arrested for treason when she spills the beans about the escape of a political prisoner. Evil Baron Scarpia wins again.

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classical | See All (1) »

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23 November 2010 (Japan)  »

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Remade as The Metropolitan Opera HD Live: Puccini: Tosca (2013) See more »

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Redbrick Puccini
1 September 2010 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

This is the third season that the Met has broadcast live productions in high definition. The first two years contained some adventurous programming but it looks as though this year's productions consist mainly of operatic warhorses. They start with this uninspired production of Tosca. Karita Mattila is a game old bird and she has some vibrant notes in her lower register during Act I but I felt quite emotionally detached during her big Act II scene including her Vissi d'Arte and her stabbing of Scarpia. At least she is more physically comfortable in this role than she was in last year's Salome. Scarpia is adequately sung by George Gagnidze but he is a bit of a pantomime villain and did not really frighten me. Marcelo Alvaraz has mutated over the years from Young Elvis to Old Elvis but he can still sing a bit. Even he, I felt, was holding back a little and neither of his two big arias was completely successful.

Luc Bondy's production is ultra-traditional. The only surprises are that his Chiesa di Sant'Andrea is a modern redbrick building and the Te Deum at the end of Act I is a low-key affair. It certainly contrasts with the 1985 Met production with Zeffirelli's elaborate reconstruction of the Chiesa and the sumptuous religious procession. However, I could not see anything controversial about it and it is difficult to see why it was, apparently, booed when it opened. I did enjoy the brief contribution from Ms Mattila's stunt double who launches herself off the parapet as the curtain falls on the final scene.


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