Topics: Tosca, Tenor, Opera Pages: 3 (1037 words) Published: December 7, 2007
Love, jealousy, hate, death – these are the themes of many operas and so it is with Tosca, the most famous opera composed by Giacomo Puccini. It premiered in the Teatro Costanzi in Rome on January 14, 1900. The one the professor viewed in class took place at New York City's Metropolitan Opera in March of 1985, starring Placido Domingo (tenor) as Mario Cavaradossi, Hildegard Behrens (soprano) as Floria Tosca and Cornell MacNeil (baritone) as Baron Scarpia. Tosca is an opera consisting of three acts. In Act I, the setting reveals an enormous church with bright lights that emphasize the mood for a place of romance. The salmon-colored dress of Floria signifies her love and romance for her loved one, Mario Cavaradossi. His costume is ordinary. The white veil Floria is wearing symbolizes her innocence. In contrast, Scarpia wears this black costume which brings out his negativity and cruelty and signifies his aggressive blunt personality. Unlike Act I, Act II is much darker and smaller, which gives a feeling of tension and danger. Floria's red dress shows passion and desire for her beloved Mario, but at the same time hate as well as anger for the mean and cruel Scarpia, well expressed when she ends Scarpia's life. Act III is set in a diminutive dark prison. This scene expresses a fear of death and anxiety as Mario awaits his execution. Mario seems exhausted from his beating. His clothes are torn, his head bleeding. The next scene is set outside having a dark, tense yet optimistic expression, but turns out to be a scene of Death. Tosca is a play of cheating and doubt. Nothing seems honest and direct. Even love is troubled by jealousy and hate. Mario Cavaradossi is a romantic, idealistic and masculine character. The best scene from Act I is the way Mario tries to express his love for Floria by comparing her raven beauty with that of the blonde Magdelene ("Recondite armonia") that he had just painted. Suspicious of the painting, she jealously questions him. Passionately...
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