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Tosca: Caracalla 2024

Rome, Baths of Caracalla — Main Hall

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About the Event

Immerse yourself in the stunning architecture of Rome's breathtaking Baths of Caracalla for the ultimate concert set to awake your understanding of opera.

Music Giacomo Puccini

Opera in three acts
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
based on the play La Tosca by Victorien Sardou

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.

Act 1: 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.

Act 2: 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.

Act 3: 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.


  • Giacomo Puccini – Tosca
Program is subject to change

Cast / Production

Conductor: Antonino Fogliani
Director: Francesco Micheli

Chorus Master: Ciro Visco
Creative Design And Setting: Massimiliano E Doriana Fuksas
Costume Designer: Giada Masi
Video: Luca Scarzella, Michele Innocente, Matteo Castiglioni
Lighting Designer: Alessandro Carletti

Tosca: Carmen Giannattasio / Sonya Yoncheva 24, 31 July
Mario Cavaradossi: Saimir Pirgu / Vittorio Grigolo 24, 31 July/ Arsen Soghomonyan 3, 7, 9 August
Baron Scarpia: Claudio Sgura / Roberto Frontali 17, 24, 26, 31 July
Sacristan: Domenico Colaianni
Spoletta: Saverio Fiore
Angelotti: Vladimir Sazdovski

Teatro dell’Opera di Roma Orchestra and Chorus
with the Partecipation of Scuola di Canto Corale

New Production

Baths of Caracalla

The Baths of Caracalla are one of the best remaining examples of the ancient public baths of Rome. The city´s second largest Roman thermae, or public baths, Caracalla is the only site in which it has been possible to restore the original decorative scheme. Built during the reigns of the Emperors Septimius Severus and Caracalla (212 AD to 216 AD), under imperial patronage, the baths were immensely popular. Contemporary descriptions create a picture of oriental paving in coloured marble, enormous marble columns, glass paste mosaics, painted stucco, marbled walls and hundreds of colossal statues. Nonetheless, the baths fell into disuse in the 6th Century, and were allowed to decay. Extensive excavations in the 19th and 20th Centuries returned the Baths to their current state. Since 2001, this spectacular venue hosts concerts and performances of operas on a movable stage outwith the main structure, so as not to put stress on the ancient ruins.

Giacomo Puccini

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.


Baths of Caracalla, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, Rome, Italy — Google Maps

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