Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


TOSCA by Giacomo Puccini on Great Performances at the Met/PBS, December 2009. Live telecast.

The first great opera of the 20th century as presented by the Met in New York and telecast live on Great Performances. This is the story of a great artist Cavaradossi (Marcelo Alvarez), and his lover, the jealous and tempestuous opera singer Floria Tosca (Karita Mattila), and how they come afoul of the venal Scarpia (George Gagnidze), who promises to set his captive Cavaradossi free if Tosca will only make love to him. Well ... the best laid plans ... This was conducted by Joseph Colaneri and directed by Gary Halvorson. One could quibble about certain aspects of the production, but basically this is first-rate, with great singing [and acting] from the three principles. Puccini's music combines beauty and drama for an often very powerful effect. One of the great operatic tragedies. NOTE: To read more about Tosca and other 20th century operas click here.

Verdict: The three singers certainly hit the high note! ***1/2.

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