Opera Australia has pulled out all the stops in this thrilling revival of the rather controversial version of Puccini’s TOSCA as directed by John Bell. The production was first seen in 2013.
Musically and vocally, this production is fabulous. The Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra under the baton of maestro Andrea Battistoni play superbly. At a couple of points one could hear hints of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Turandot and La Boheme,– sometimes starkly dramatic, at other times lyrically passionate. Curly haired, dynamic Battistoni conducted energetically yet also with precise attention to the swirling, passionate melodies.
This unsettling, confronting revival sees the narrative transposed to Rome in the 1940’s, with the Nazi occupation in full and deadly swing. Death, guns and violence are everywhere. Continue reading TOSCA @ The Joan Sutherland