Desire, power, and passion take center stage in the Opéra Royal de Wallonie’s 2014 production of Puccini’s incomparable masterpiece Tosca. The brilliant three-act melodrama was staged by Claire Servais and featured Paolo Arrivabeni as music director. Dutch soprano Barbara Haveman is the desperate Tosca to acclaimed Italian bass-baritone Ruggero Raimondi’s evil Scarpia.
Set in Rome in the year 1800, this startlingly realistic tale of love and politics unfolds around the figure of Scarpia, the city’s terrifying chief of police. Infused with an addictive mixture of action and passion, Puccini’s opera of unbounded lyricism and luscious orchestration sets the text of a libretto judged by its time to be “vulgar and melodramatic”.
Photo: © Opéra Royal de Wallonie