4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A definitive 'Tosca' at last.,
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca [Royal Opera House, 2011] - Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel [DVD]  (DVD)
I was immensely impressed with this dvd. Not only do we have Gheorghiu's beautiful soprano and convincing acting, but we have in Kaufmann the greatest dramatic tenor I can remember. Terfel gives us a (for me) credible alternative to Gobbi in the role of Scarpia. He is a twisted, tragic rogue in Dickensian mode, who has bullied his way to high office and is held in awe by those who surround him. Terfel gives us a true villain, not as sinister as Gobbi, it's true, but one who wears his villainy on his sleeve. Gheorghiu sings her heart out: she has clearly listened to Callas, but is wisely anxious not merely to copy her. The ROH orchestra gives its all and Pappano conducts with conviction and to magnificent effect. How influenced Puccini was by Wagner - listen to the orchestral interlude preceding Cavaradossi's execution, for example: almost 'lifted' from the pages of 'Die Meistersinger'. Sound is excellent, camerawork superb. I cannot either fault the performances of lesser characters like Spoletta, suitably sycophantic: creepy and knowing. This is a 'Tosca' I feel should be invested in by all lovers of the melodrama; it will be a very long time before it is surpassed.