Highlights from Puccini's Tosca this week on The Lyric Stage
The setting for Tosca is Rome in 1800, a politically tumultuous time. The prima donna Tosca is forced to play a role she never wanted when she becomes trapped between her love for the rebel Mario Cavaradossi and the scheming of the police chief Baron Scarpia, who will stop at nothing in his lust for her. The resulting tension leads to explosive, unusually brutal action for the opera public in 1900, including assassination, treachery, murder and suicide. But with some of Puccini's best music, it has been successful since its premiere in Rome in 1900.
This week we have highlights from a 1957 recording, with Zinka Milanov as Tosca, Jussi Bjoerling as her lover Mario Cavaradossi, and Leonard Warren as the malevolent Baron Scarpia. Erich Leinsdorf conducts the Rome Opera Orchestra and Chorus.