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  • William J A Parker

Scottish Opera's Tosca leaps to success!


Roland Wood as Scarpia and the cast of Tosca. Scottish Opera 2019. Credit James Glossop.

*****


Though none of the main characters in Puccini's Tosca survive to see the fall of the curtain, the atmosphere in the audience at the opening night of Scottish Opera's revival Tosca couldn't have been more alive!


Reset in 1940s fascist Italy, the 40 year old set was just as magnificent and foreboding as ever, with massive pillars, luxurious fireplaces and grey tones dominating the aesthetic. Natalya Romaniw steals the night as she makes an impressive Tosca debut showcasing a fine mastery of both the necessary delicacy and power required for the role, and Gwyn Hughes Jones melts our hearts in the face of his execution in the third act. Roland Wood's portrayal of Scarpia is superbly acted and his voice is both dark and elegant all at once. Key to this productions success will also lie in the hands of Paul Carey Jones who expertly asserts Sacristan's humourous utterances and Aled Hall, whose brilliant stage presence often makes Spoletta the most intimidating character on stage. With the obvious political parallels between Puccini's original 1800 setting and this adaptation, the production is perhaps one of the most successful reimaginings of it's kind in Scotland.


With the obvious political parallels between Puccini's original 1800 setting and this adaptation, the production is perhaps one of the most successful reimaginings of it's kind in Scotland.

Aled Hall (Spoletta), Roland Wood (Scarpia), Lancelot Nomura (Sciarrone) and Paul Carey Jones (Sacristan) in Tosca. Scottish Opera 2019. Credit James Glossop

Stuart Stratford is impressive in the pit as always and commands a powerful orchestral instrument, and though at times passages do feel a little unbalanced, this does not distract from the drama. The dialogue between the singers on stage and the orchestra is electric.


Revival director Jonathan Cocker does Anthony Besch's production a great service whilst at the same time allowing for both his and the performers individuality to shine through. A production which both honors the history and says a lot about our frail modern existence too. Not to miss!



Natalya Romaniw as Tosca and Gwyn Hughes Jones as Cavaradossi. Scottish Opera 2019. Credit James Glossop.

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