Detroit Film Theatre


WORLD OPERA IN CINEMA: TOSCA

Sunday, September 19, 2010

10:00 AM Detroit Film Theatre

The DFT is the exclusive home to an extraordinary series of opera performances from the great concert venues of Europe, presenting full-length productions in luxurious high-definition with English subtitles. New this season, all operas will be presented on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. Come early, because pre-curtain coffee and bagels are included in the ticket price! Seats are $20 general admission, $18 for seniors, students and DIA members.

Tosca was called a “shabby little shocker” by one English critic, but that’s an understatement: Tosca is a fiercely effective masterpiece of music-drama. Puccini had been interested in the Sardou’s play La Tosca for some time, but by 1895 the rights belonged to another composer, Alberto Franchetti. However, the publisher Ricordi and librettist Luigi Illica had no trouble persuading Franchetti to surrender the rights, telling him the subject matter – rape, murder, warring political factions – were far too vulgar for the Roman public’s taste. Soon after, Puccini was busy at work with the complete libretto in hand. Puccini approached the opera with his usual meticulousness – travelling to Rome to hear the tones of the bells in Castel Sant’Angelo, marking the exact pitch of the bell at St. Peter’s. Puccini also made two important changes to the libretto. He rejected an aria sung by Cavaradossi under torture, instead replacing it with the quartet; he felt that the static nature of the aria would slow the drama. Likewise, Puccini rejected both a poetic aria and transcendental love duet for the couple before Cavaradossi’s execution. Ricordi found the “acting lesson” scene too perfunctory, but Puccini insisted that Tosca would not waste her time on flowery language – and of course, the drama proves that he was right. Performed at Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa, Italy.
 
Daniela Dessì (Tosca)
Fabio Armiliato (Cavaradossi)
Claudio Sgura (Scarpia)
Enrico Iori (Angelotti)
Armando Gabba (Sagrestano)
Mario Bolognesi (Spoletta)
Angelo Nardinocchi (Sciarrone)
The chorus (A jailer)