Una storia di passione e intrighi, un triangolo amoroso tra lei, lui e l'altro, un ricatto ignobile, la morte che inganna i protagonisti che credono di sfuggirle: questa è Tosca di Giacomo Puccini, un'opera ricca di tensione e colpi di scena, presentata in un nuovo allestimento.
Opera lirica in tre atti
Libretto di Giuseppe Giacosa e Luigi Illica tratto dal dramma La Tosca di Victorien Sardou
Musica di Giacomo Puccini
Prima rappresentazione: 14 gennaio 1900, Teatro Costanzi, Roma
ACT I: The church of Sant’Andrea della Valle, Rome. Cesare Angelotti, an escaped political prisoner, enters in the church and hurries into the chapel, in which, following an agreement with his sister, the Marchesa Attavanti, he will find everything he needs for his escape out of the city. Having heard a noise, the sacristan comes near thinking that Mario Cavaradossi, the painter working there, has returned. However, he is not there, and his lunch basket is untouched. When he comes back and uncovers the painting that he is working on, the sacristan recognizes that the model for the figure of the Magdalene is an unknown woman who in the last few days has spent a lot of time praying in the church. As he starts painting, Cavaradossi reflects upon the mysterious connections between the beauty of his lover, the celebrated singer Floria Tosca, a brunette with dark eyes, and the unidentified blond with blue eyes. Even though he painted the latter, he confesses to love only Tosca. The sacristan leaves, and Angelotti thinks he is alone in the chapel until he sees the painter, and recognizes him as a friend who shares his revolutionary ideas. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Tosca. Worried about the fate of Angelotti, Cavaradossi hides him. Floria is a good sort, but a jealous type, and most of all she is very religious and unable to tell her confessor a lie. Tosca came to suggest to Mario that they should meet that evening in their out-of-town villa. But she recognizes the Marchesa Attavanti as the model for Cavaradossi’s Magdalene, and has a jealous fit thinking that the other woman is a rival. Cavaradossi manages to calm her with passionate pleas of love, and swears that he will meet her later and will not in the meantime leave the church. Angelotti reappears, and says that his sister left him woman’s clothes to escape from the Baron Scarpia, the head of police. Mario gives him the key to his villa, saying, if necessary, in the garden he will find a well where he can hide securely. The sound of a canon is heard. Angelotti’s escape has been detected. Mario helps his friend get out. The sacristan returns surrounded by seminarians and the choir, and announces Napoleon’s defeat at Marengo, ordering everyone to prepare for a solemn Te Deum of thanksgiving. The exultation of all is interrupted by the arrival of Scarpia. The dreaded head of police suspects that the escapee is in the church, and several clues confirm his suspicions: a fan that Attavanti forgot, the empty lunch basket, and the absent painter. Scarpia figures out that Cavaradossi has abetted Angelotti. All of a sudden Tosca comes back looking for Mario, disappointed that the celebrations for Napoleon’s defeat have upset their plans. That evening she will have to sing for the queen. Not finding her lover, her jealousy overtakes her. Scarpia makes it worst by showing her the fan that he found next to the painter’s things. The woman recognizes the Attavanti coat-of-arms. Convinced that Mario went with his lover to the villa, she rushes off to surprise them. Scarpia has her followed, certain that he will find Angelotti. While he seems to join in the celebration of the Te Deum, he actually gives full range to his desire to have Tosca and to kill her lover.
Act II:Scarpia’s room on the upper floor of the Palazzo Farnese. Wrap in his thoughts, Scarpia is dining. He has asked Tosca to come after the concert in honour of the victory. He is certain that for love of Mario, she will come. He exalts in the idea that soon he will be violently having his way with her. His underling Spoletta enters. He followed Tosca to the villa, but Angelotti was nowhere to be found. Cavaradossi, however, was arrested and is brought to Scarpia. He is questioned, but denies all knowledge of the escaped prisoner. During the interrogation, Tosca comes in. Mario forbids her to reveal anything that she might know. Cavaradossi is closed in the torture chamber, but the baron makes sure that Tosca hears his suffering. The tension mounts, and finally the woman reveals where Angelotti’s whereabouts. The torture stops, and Tosca sees Mario, who has fainted and is bloodied. When he comes to his senses, he is proud that he did not speak, but hearing Scarpia order Spoletta to search for the escapee in the well of the garden, he understands that Tosca has talked, and in his anger, he curses her. However, when another underling, Sciarrone, announces that, contrary to what was believed, that Napoleon won at Marengo, Cavaradossi exults in joy. Scarpia has him sent away to be executed. In the meantime, Spoletta comes with the news that Angelotti was discovered and committed suicide. Now Scarpia and Tosca confront each other. At first the Baron is gallant, proposing a way out, then he becomes more and more brutal. He finally reveals himself. Cavaradossi can be saved only if Floria will give herself up to him. In vain, Tosca tries to convince him otherwise, asking the Madonna to help her. The hate and disdain that Scarpia reads in her eyes, only increases his desire. The time is coming, and the execution is near. In complete despair, Tosca accepts the bribe, but wants to make certain that Mario will be saved. The baron replies that he cannot openly free Cavaradossi. He must undergo a false execution by firing squad. He calls in Spoletta, and in front of Tosca, orders him to do as he promise, adding however in a low voice to do as he did for the Conte Palmieri. Tosca asks the head of police to sign a safe conduct so that she can flee with her lover. After writing the order, Scarpia goes to embrace Tosca, but the woman stabs and kills him with a knife that she took from the table.
Act III: The top of Castel Sant’Angelo. Dawn is near, and from the distance a shepherd sings. Cavaradossi is waiting to be executed, and the warden agrees to bring Tosca his last message. Mario is passionately recalling his love trysts with Tosca, when she appears, and, overcome with joy, shows him the safe conduct signed by Scarpia. Mario does not believe it, but she tells him of the baron’s bribe and also that she killed him with her own hands. She then says how he should act. He must pretend to fall dead and not get up until she makes a sign. The two lovers fantasize about their future. The time has come for the execution. When the soldiers leave, and Tosca tells Mario to get up, in despair she realizes that he has been killed. Scarpia’s atrocious trick was successful. The baron’s assassination has also been discovered, and as the soldiers are about to arrest her, Tosca kills herself by jumping from the ledge.