Performed in the original Italian with Czech and English surtitles
She sacrificed all for art and love and in the end there was only desolation and death…
Tosca – famous, but also a woman and a lover, who in the space of a single night loses everything. Maria Callas – one of the world’s most famous opera singers, but also a woman and a lover, who renounced all for her art, only in the end to give up art for a love that was never fulfilled. Two fates that merge in one moment…
Tosca is a work from its beginnings meant for a great artist. The original play La Tosca by the French playwright Victorien Sardou was written for the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt. Floria Tosca became one of her most successful roles and then inspiration for the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. The opera’s creation was not straightforward, its creators many times doubting whether the choice of subject with its complicated political background of the Napoleonic wars was a good one, but the premiere in Rome’s Teatro Costanzi in January 1900 confirmed the dramatic instincts of the composer. The public, although at first shocked by the realism and brutality of some scenes, quickly took this opera full of wonderful and emotive music to its heart. Since its Roman premiere in 1900 this tragic tale of the three main characters – the singer Tosca, the painter Cavaradossi and the police chief Barona Scarpia – has repeatedly pulled in audiences throughout the world. Its passionate music impresses and sends shivers down the spine at the same time. Puccini’s opera contains popular numbers, such as Cavarodossi’s aria “E lucevan le stele” and Tosca’s “Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore”. Tosca quickly won a place among the most performed operas in the world and just like the theatre work was always linked to the great performers, whether Emmy Destinn or Maria Jeritza. Maria Callas is still considered to be the greatest interpreter of this role there has ever been.
Jiří Heřman on the new production:
For me the main theme is self-sacrifice and how far a person can go in this. Is sacrifice from love liberating? If the meaning of life is love, can we live without it? These are questions we are going to ask in this new production. A great inspiration for me was my time spent studying in Rome and the art and life of Maria Callas.
Premiere on 15th May 2015, Janáček Theatre
Janáček Opera Ensemble and Orchestra of the National Theatre Brno