Entertainment

Review of Tosca at the Royal Opera House

Well, actually it’s four and a half stars: five if you haven’t seen Jonathan Kent’s magnificent production of this great Puccini opera before; four if you already know how good it is. Dating back to 2006, Kent’s production has had many revivals, and they’ve ranged from superb to staggeringly perfect. So what makes it so good?

As all this drama takes place, we are treated to Jonathan Kent’s magnificently powerful staging, from the church to Scarpia’s studio to the shadowy rooftop execution venue, all perfectly elevated to match the grandeur of the music and face the challenge of Puccini’s brilliant score and the drama of the plot.

On this occasion, the title role was superbly played and beautifully sung by Swedish soprano Malin Byström, excellently accompanied by Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones as Cavaradossi.

Italian baritone Gabriele Viviani was even better as Scarpia, displaying just the right degree of seething venom to bring out the villainy of the role without coming across as melodramatic.

With the Royal Opera House Orchestra under the control of the versatile and experienced Russian conductor Sergei Levitin, it all made for a magnificent evening.

If you haven’t seen an opera before, this Tosca is a good starting point to discover the absorbing entertainment it can offer.

  • Ticket office and information: roh.org.uk or 020 7304 4000 (various dates until December 21)



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