Brian Jagde stars in a Tosca at Opéra Bastille which can take your breath away – Seen and Heard Worldwide

FranceFrance Puccini, Tosca: Soloists, Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine, Refrain and Orchestra of l’Opéra nationwide de Paris / Paolo Bortolameolli (conductor). Opéra Bastille, Paris, 20.10.2022. (SL)

Elena Stikhina (Tosca), Brian Jagde (Cavaradossi) and Ambrogio Maestri (rear, Scarpia) © Vincent Pontet/OnP

Director – Pierre Audi
Units – Christof Hetzer
Costumes – Robby Duiveman
Lighting – Jean Kalman
Dramaturgy – Klaus Bertisch
Refrain grasp – Alessandro Di Stefano

Floria Tosca – Elena Stikhina
Mario Cavaradossi – Brian Jagde
Baron Scarpia – Ambrogio Maestri
Cesare Angelotti – Sava Vemić
Spoletta – Michael Colvin
A Sacristan – Renato Girolami
Sciarrone – Philippe Rouillon
A Jailer – Christian Rodrigue Moungoungou

L’Opéra nationwide de Paris delivers all the things one may need and extra in an exhilarating manufacturing of Puccini’s Tosca, directed by Pierre Audi and first carried out there in 2014. Set in nineteenth-century Rome, a time of political turmoil, the opera navigates advanced themes of affection, competing political ideologies and violence. These themes, coupled with Christof Hetzer’s mystical set design and Robby Duiveman’s very good costumes, create an electrifying environment that units the tone for the whole efficiency.

When the primary act opens, a murky veil rapidly lifts to disclose the imposing Church of Sant’ Andrea della Valle, shrouded in a blanket of smog. The drama of the opera begins when Brian Jagde as Mario Cavaradossi decides to harbor the political prisoner Cesare Angelotti, performed by Sava Vemić, after he escapes from jail. The 2 males flee the church to cover Angelotti within the countryside underneath the quilt of the youth choir’s rehearsal of ‘Te deum’, fantastically carried out by the youngsters’s refrain, Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine.

When Ambrogio Maestri (an enormous voice and threatening presence) as Baron Scarpia, the Roman chief of police, suspects that Cavaradossi is the one harboring the escaped prisoner, he begins to interrogate Cavaradossi’s lover, Floria Tosca, sung by Elena Stikhina in very good voice. A celebrated soprano, Tosca enchants each man who crosses her path. Beneath the megalithic cross that hovers ominously above the stage, Tosca finds herself having to plead for the lifetime of her lover with the infatuated Scarpia, who takes Cavaradossi prisoner.

Pierre Audi’s Tosca Act III © Vincent Pontet/OnP

A spotlight of the efficiency is available in Act III when Jagde sings Cavaradossi’s ‘E lucevan le stelle’ as he awaits his execution. The retrospective aria (Italian for ‘and the celebs have been shining’) muses on Cavaradossi’s love for Tosca and the way it has all been in useless within the mild of his impending dying. Jagde’s compelling efficiency was so magnificent that the whole opera home erupted in applause at its finish.

Quick-paced violence, torture, deception and manipulation are all accentuated by a thunderous efficiency from the Orchestra of l’Opéra nationwide de Paris. Underneath conductor Paolo Bortolameolli, the orchestra offers a panoramic basis for the opera that doesn’t miss a single beat.

Tosca can be exhibiting on the Opera Bastille till 26 November and is one to not be missed.

Sam Loetscher