Puccini's tale of true love and treachery arrives in Dartford
PUBLISHED: 15:31 18 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:00 18 April 2016
The opera Tosca features some of the composer's best-loved works
Puccini’s renowned opera Tosca, an epic tale of true love and treachery, is set to arrive at the Orchard Theatre next month.
Set against the dramatic landscape of Rome during the Napoleonic Wars and the corrupt Italian regime of that time, it features some of opera’s best-known music.
Puccini’s work tells of Floria Tosca’s true love for artist Mario Cavaradossi. Tosca is forced to enter into a deal with the chief of police Baron Scarpia in order to save Cavaradossi, her lover, from execution.
Scarpia’s price is Tosca’s seduction, but she cannot go through with it, and in desperation she stabs Scarpia to death. Cavaradossi is executed and, realising all is lost, Tosca throws herself from the battlements to her death.
Based on a play by Victorien Sardou, the opera was once described as a ‘shabby little shocker’, but it has continued to captivate audiences since its premiere at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome in January 1900.
The Italian composer was inspired to write the piece after witnessing Sarah Bernhardt’s performance in the Victorian melodrama Tosca in Manchester.
It features some of Puccini’s most well-known works, the tender and moving arias Recondita Armonia, Vissi d’Arte and E Lucevan le Stelle.
The production stars Vladimir Dragos as Scarpia with international sopranos Maria Tonina and Alyona Kistenyova as Tosca, and features a spectacular new set built in the UK by Set Up Scenery, which builds sets for the Royal Opera Covent Garden.
Producer Ellen Kent visited Puccini’s House in Italy in preparation for the tour.
She said: “My productions are always rather beautiful and I suddenly realised that, in my view, I have been doing what Puccini would have liked and wanted. It felt like meeting somebody I knew.”
Ms Kent’s previous productions include Madama Butterfly, Traviata, Aida, Carmen, Die Fledermaus, Nabucco, Rigoletto, Norma, The Barber of Seville, and The Marriage of Figaro.
She has also produced several ballets, including Grigorovich’s Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Coppelia.
Tosca arrives at The Orchard Theatre on Saturday, May 7. Pre-show dining is also available.
To book tickets or for more information visit orchardtheatre.co.uk or call the ticket office on 01322 220000.