Theatre Review: Tosca at the Royal Opera House

There’s a lot to love in this gripping revival of Puccini’s enthralling opera TOSCA at the Royal Opera House.

Tosca is one of Puccini’s most popular and enthralling operas. His tale of torture, murder and suicide usually brings the best out in great singers and musicians and this latest production is no exception.

Set in Rome at the time of Napoleon’s invasion of Italy, there’s a lot to love about this revival of Jonathan Kent’s 2006 production. Under the baton of Antonio Pappano, Puccini’s wonderfully dark and dramatic music dominates the room. Act 1 is particularly enjoyable, gripping the audience from the upbeat opening right though to its sinister conclusion - the infamous Te Deum scene.

The singing is strong too. Martina Serafin portrays the title role with a degree of tenderness as she embarks on an emotional rollercoaster of jealousy, betrayal and murder. The powerful Marcello Giordani nearly brings the roof down as Cavaradossi, a painter who gets into trouble by hiding a political prisoner from Scarpia, the brutal chief of police played by Finnish baritone Juha Uusitalo, making his Covent Garden debut.

Tosca runs until July 17 and features two casts, including two sold-out performances in July staring Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel – all stars of previous revivals. Fortunately, one of these July shows will be recorded and shown in cinemas later this year, offering a chance for opera lovers on a budget to see this fantastic opera.

* Showing at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, WC2, until July 17.