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Puccini: Tosca / Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel. Royal Opera House Orch. & Chorus - Antonio Pappano [DVD]

Notes & Reviews:

One need only watch Angela Gheorghiu as Tosca, scratching her chin in puzzlement as she tries to figure out who Cavaradossi's painting of Mary Magdalene looks like, to realize that Sarah Bernhardt may rest easy. "Golly, who could that be?" she's thinking deeply, and then, grabbing the dramatic moment by the throat, she hurls out "E l'Attavanti!" much to everyone's surprise. Later, in Act 2, when Scarpia asks her if she knows the whereabouts of the escaped prisoner Angelotti, Gheorghiu-as-Tosca, dramatic brain-wheels a-spinning, thinks to herself "time for chest voice" and sings the words "Non so nulla," thusly. And so it goes: albeit without a hint of spontaneity on the soprano's part, there is a good chance that this Tosca is, note-for-note, one of the finest ever sung.

The only performance on DVD that generates a vaguely comparable amount of heat is from the Nederlands Opera with Terfel and Catherina Malfitano; the 1976 film that takes place on location is lip-synched and therefore rules itself out; the early Met/Zeffirelli show with Domingo, Hildegard Behrens, and Cornell MacNeil is excellent. And of course, Callas' second act (EMI) with Gobbi shows us all how it should be done. This new one is excellent, and if you "buy" Gheorghiu's act, you'll have no complaints at all.


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Works Details

>Puccini, Giacomo : Tosca
  • Performers: Angela Gheorghiu; Jonas Kaufmann; Bryn Terfel; Lukas Jakobski; Jeremy White; Hubert Francis; Zheng Zhou; William Payne; John Morrissey
  • Conductor: Antonio Pappano
  • Ensemble: Royal Opera House Orchestra
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1900
  • Studio/Live: Studio