Giacomo Puccini

Tosca

Upcoming Performances

Thursday

Oct 25 at 7:30 PM

Monday

Oct 29 at 7:30 PM

Friday

Nov 2 at 8 PM

Monday

Nov 5 at 8 PM

Friday

Nov 9 at 8 PM

Overview

Met favorite Sondra Radvanovsky and rising star Jennifer Rowley share the title role of the volatile diva at the heart of Puccini’s operatic thriller. Joseph Calleja brings his stylish tenor to the role of Cavaradossi, Wolfgang Koch is the nefarious police chief Scarpia, and Carlo Rizzi conducts Sir David McVicar’s resplendent production.

Production a gift of Jacqueline Desmarais, in memory of Paul G. Desmarais Sr; The Paiko Foundation; and Dr. Elena Prokupets, in memory of her late husband, Rudy Prokupets

Major funding from Rolex

Revival a gift of NPD Group, Inc.

Languages

Languages sung in Tosca

Sung In

Italian

Titles

Title languages displayed for Tosca

Met Titles In

  • English
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Italian

Timeline

Timeline for the show, Tosca

Estimated Run Time

2 hrs 53 mins

  • House Opens

  • Act I

    45 mins

  • Intermission

    30 mins

  • Act II

    41 mins

  • Intermission

    30 mins

  • Act III

    27 mins

  • Opera Ends

Premiere: Teatro Costanzi, Rome, 1900. Puccini’s melodrama about a volatile diva, a sadistic police chief, and an idealistic artist has offended and thrilled audiences for more than a century. Critics, for their part, have often had problems with Tosca’s rather grungy subject matter, the directness and intensity of its score, and the crowd-pleasing dramatic opportunities it provides for its lead roles. But these same aspects have made Tosca one of a handful of iconic works that seem to represent opera in the public imagination. Tosca’s popularity is further secured by a superb and exhilarating dramatic sweep, a driving score of abundant melody and theatrical shrewdness, and a career-defining title role.

Creators

Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) was immensely popular in his own lifetime, and his mature works remain staples in the repertory of most of the world’s opera companies. His operas are celebrated for their mastery of detail, sensitivity to everyday subjects, copious melody, and economy of expression. Puccini’s librettists for Tosca, Giuseppe Giacosa (1847–1906) and Luigi Illica (1857–1919), also collaborated with him on his two other most enduringly successful operas, La Bohème and Madama Butterfly. Giacosa, a dramatist, was responsible for the stories, and Illica, a poet, worked primarily on the words themselves.

PRODUCTION

Sir David McVicar

SET & COSTUME DESIGNER

John Macfarlane

LIGHTING DESIGNER

David Finn

MOVEMENT DIRECTOR

Leah Hausman

REVIVAL STAGE DIRECTOR

Jonathon Loy

Headshot of Giacomo Puccini

COMPOSER

Giacomo Puccini

Setting

No opera is more tied to its setting than Tosca, which takes place in Rome on the morning of June 17, 1800, through dawn the following day. The specified settings for each of the three acts—the Church of Sant’Andrea della Valle, Palazzo Farnese, and Castel Sant’Angelo—are familiar monuments in the city and can still be visited today. While the libretto takes some liberties with the facts, historical issues form a basis for the opera: the people of Rome are awaiting news of the Battle of Marengo in northern Italy, which will decide the fate of their symbolically powerful city.

Music

The score of Tosca (if not the drama) itself is considered a prime example of the style of verismo, an elusive term usually translated as “realism.” The typical musical features of the verismo tradition are prominent in Tosca: short arias with an uninhibited flood of raw melody, ambient sounds that blur the distinctions between life and art, and the use of parlato—words spoken instead of sung—at moments of tension.