About the Event
From August 2 to August 30, the Arena di Verona will shine with Hugo De Ana's spectacular version of Giacomo Puccini's beloved Tosca for four performances.
Hugo de Ana adorns the stage with magnificent sculptural figures that reflect aspects of the drama itself.
Tosca is a three‐act opera composed by Giacomo Puccini at the end of the 19th century. The libretto is by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica.
A melodrama set in Rome in 1800, during Napoleon´s invasion of Italy, the piece depicts torture, murder, and suicide alongside love, jealousy and conviction, in some of Puccini´s most intensely lyrical and dramatic music. Through‐composed, the use of thematic motifs emulates Wagnerian technique, and it is clear Puccini intended 'Tosca' to be a work of music drama. The opera was not critically acclaimed at its premiere, early in 1900, but was an immediate success with audiences — a trend that has continued into the present.
Angelotti, a political prisoner, has just escaped from the Castel Sant’Angelo and seeks refuge in his family chapel in a nearby church. A sacristan enters with the painter Cavaradossi, who continues his work on a portrait of Mary Magdalene. Angelotti reveals his presence and asks for his friend’s help, but hides again as the painter’s lover, the famous opera singer Floria Tosca, enters. Tosca is suspicious, but Cavaradossi reassures her of his fidelity, and the lovers plan to meet later in the evening.
A cannon shot, announcing Angelotti’s escape, is heard and Cavaradossi helps his friend flee.
The chief of police, Baron Scarpia, arrives searching for Angelotti. Suspecting Cavaradossi’s involvement, Scarpia convinces Tosca that Cavaradossi has run off with another woman, knowing that Tosca’s jealousy will lead him to Cavaradossi and Angelotti. As the ‘Te Deum’ builds in intensity, he vows to ensnare them all.
Cavaradossi has been arrested. Summoning Tosca from her concert in the courtyard below, Scarpia tries to extract Angelotti’s hiding place from Tosca, but she pleads ignorance, so Scarpia raises the stakes, torturing Cavaradossi. Tosca reveals the secret, asking Scarpia for Cavaradossi’s freedom in return. Delirious with pain, Cavaradossi hears Scarpia order his men to Angelotti’s hiding place, and curses Tosca.
Tosca pleads for her lover’s life, and Scarpia offers an exchange — if she will submit to his lust, he will spare Cavaradossi’s life. Tosca realises she must agree to the bargain. Scarpia tells Tosca there must be a mock execution, but slyly orders his men to prepare for a real one.
At Tosca’s request, Scarpia writes a safe‐conduct pass for her and Cavaradossi. Tosca finds a dagger among Scarpia’s papers, stabs him, and goes to find Cavaradossi, safe‐conduct in hand.
Awaiting execution, Cavaradossi bribes the jailer for pen and paper to write a farewell letter to Tosca. Tosca appears, tells him that she has murdered Scarpia but that they will escape together following the mock‐execution. The arrival of the firing squad interrupts the lovers’ excited planning.
The shots are fired and Tosca begs Cavaradossi to wait until the soldiers are gone before he moves, then discovers to her horror that the execution was real after all. Distant shouts announce the discovery of Scarpia’s murder. As the soldiers rush in to seize Tosca, she curses Scarpia’s betrayal, and leaps to her death from the castle parapet.
- Ticket to the opera performance in the chosen category
- One month's free access to a premium classical music streaming service
- self‐guided audio tour of Verona in English
- Giacomo Puccini – Tosca
Cast / Production
Arena di Verona
The Arena di Verona is the third largest Roman amphitheatre still standing. Built around 30 AD, the Arena is also among the best-preserved amphitheatres of the period. Its gigantic dimensions (140 meters long and 100 meters wide), and seating for over 30,000 spectators, ensure it dominates the northern part of Piazza Bra. Excellent acoustics and a fabulous location make it an ideal venue for large-scale opera performances. The monument was re-established as a theatre during the Renaissance, and in 1913 the tradition of opera at the Arena di Verona began with a production of Giuseppe Verdi's 'Aida'.
Giacomo Puccini was an Italian opera composer of the late 19th century. He was considered one of the greatest composers of the Italian Opera, second only to Verdi. His early works were characterised by features of the traditional 19th century romantic Italian opera. Later, his style developed into the realistic verismo style, which inspired him to write his most famous masterpieces and became one of the leading exponents of the style. His most renowned works La bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), Madama Butterfly (1904), and Turandot (1924), all are popular operas played in the most prestigious venues of the classical world.