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Tosca role debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper

in the year of Puccini 100

20th May to 30th July
It’s an honour to be making my debut as Tosca in such a prestigious theatre as the Bayerische Staatsoper, in a new production with stage direction by Kornél Mundruczó and musical direction by Andrea Battistoni. The vocal team is equally prestigious: we will have two singers as Cavaradossi (Charles Castronovo for the eight performances in May and June, and Jonas Kaufmann for the three remaining performances in July) and Ludovic Tézier as Scarpia.

What fascinates me most about Tosca is her courage, both when she kills Scarpia and when she decides to throw herself from Castel Sant’Angelo. She is an artist but, above all, a woman dominated by her passions and by love.

I love the whole opera, from both a musical and a dramaturgical perspective. First staged at the beginning of the 1900s, Tosca immediately became extremely popular, and it was clear that it represented the authentic spirit of Rome. Beyond its musical value, for those of us who are Italian, the ability of Puccini and of his librettists Illica e Giacosa to weave such a complex plot into its Rome setting at the beginning of the 1800s was and still is striking, making us reflect, and highlighting several themes that are dear to us: history and religion, but also atheism, heroism and eroticism. What a magnificent drama!

In such a fast-paced story, Tosca’s and Cavaradossi’s arias don’t break into the action but, rather, intensify the contraposition between the captivating sensuality of the two lovers and that of the vile Scarpia. Thinking about the aria “Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore”, one of the most famous in the operatic repertoire and one of the best-loved by opera lovers, I reflect on the “Dolcissimo con grande sentimento” as indicated by Puccini, and on the recommendation piano, pianissimo, con grande sentimento, dolcissimo for the orchestra.

Tosca owes so much to Rome and Rome owes so much to Tosca but, above all, Tosca is Puccini magnified to the nth degree, and for this reason I’m proud to be singing in this role for the first time in this, the centenary year of the composer’s death, which is being commemorated all over the world.

The premiere on 20 March will be broadcast live by radio BR-Klassik, while the performance on 27 July will be broadcast by Staatsoper.tv as part of Opera for All.

Tickets and info: www.staatsoper.de/en/productions/tosca
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