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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Royal Opera 5 star production, 10 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Puccini: Tosca (Royal Opera House 2011) [Blu-ray] [2012] (Blu-ray)
This being one of my favourite operas, (have several audio & DVD Toscas) and this being a new production at Covent Garden, it just couldn't be overlooked. However, the revival I saw was with a different cast apart from Brynn Terfel. I new however that it was destined for release on DVD and therefore watched it on TV last Christmas.

Musically, I prefer the DVD performance to the one I saw in the opera house, this being due to the original casting of soprano and tenor who were ideally suited to their roles, especially Jonas Kaufmann as Cavaradossi. Regarding the production, I have to say that for me it has to be traditional and this fitted the bill admirably. Some operas can be updated (within reason) but for me this just doesn't work with Tosca.

In this production, sets and costumes were in period and Scarpia had a wonderful apartment for Act II with the clever lighting making the whole scene appear quite sinister. The church scene was very well structured and kept the congregation, who were on a higher level, separated from the action below. This kept the focus on Tosca and Scarpia up to the end of the scene. Act III was understated with minimum props but once again cleverly lit. In the final moments following Mario's execution when the soldiers return to the battlements, Tosca dashes round to the back of the stage and leaps off what appears to be a great height. Unfortunately, in the old Zeffirelli production, some Tosca's (Caballe was one) were seen to just walk off the battlements onto what was a staircase down the back of the set to stage level. Not very convincing I think you'll agree!

On that last note, if like me you prefer traditiional, then avoid the awful production from the New York Met. The final scene representing Tosca's suicide is achieved through the use of a costumed dummy which is pushed forward from behind a 'wall' just as the curtain falls. Very pantomime! But then the production as a whole has no redeeming features. Shame really as the cast and orchestra were OK.

The bottom line therefore is that overall, the new Covent Garden production is a must for fans of this opera.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Sep 2012 04:21:57 BDT
G. Wrigley says:
Like you, I have this on order, and cannot wait to see and hear it. One question for you: have you been able to get any information on whether this set includes the excellent 1-hour BBC doco "Pappano's Essential Tosca"? EMI do not seem to have any tracklisting info on any of their web sites yet, nor does any online retailer seem to have any information.
However, according to the Amazon product description, it is a 2 BR set, and I can't imagine why they would need 2 BRs for an opera as short as Tosca. So hopefully, the doco is going to be on the other disk. It would be great if it is, because it is excellent and obviously meant to complement this performance.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Sep 2012 08:07:47 BDT
J. Hansen says:
Pappano Tosca, Cov.Garden
As you say, Tosca doesn't require two discs so I'm fairly certain that the Pappano doc. programme, which I enjoyed, will be on the 2nd disc.

Posted on 25 Sep 2012 18:52:08 BDT
Mrs Pisaroni says:
Saw this when televised but dreadfully sad there isn't going to be a DVD release, just Blue Ray :( :( :(

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Oct 2012 14:11:51 BDT
damon says:
Puccini: Tosca [Royal Opera House, 2011] - Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel [DVD]

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Nov 2012 14:05:16 GMT
Only one BD and no Pappano's Essential Tosca. Perhaps EMI couldn't licensed the rights? Only a brief introduction is included.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Nov 2012 08:20:43 GMT
J. Hansen says:
Yes, have to say I was a little disappointed myself by the omission.
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