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Puccini: Tosca [Blu-ray]

18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Angela Gheorghiu, an iconic artist with a beautiful
voice and a star quality that dazzles on stage, captivated
the world in her role as Tosca, at the Royal Opera
House in July 2011. Puccini s ever-popular opera, Tosca,
returned to The Royal Opera House, where the stellar
cast included Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel, the Royal
Opera Chorus and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera
House, who were under the baton of Antonio Pappano,
the Music Director of the Royal Opera House. With the
all-star cast, opera history was in the making and was, by
far, the hottest ticket in town. For the majority of us who
were not lucky enough to be there, it has been captured
on this DVD, exclusively released by EMI Classics.
Gheorghiu received much praise and accolades as Tosca.
Laura Kate Wilson of Bachtrack wrote As Gheorghiu
delivered the chilling O Scarpia, avanti a Dio! ( Oh Scarpia,
we shall meet before God! ) and that final heart-wrenching
refrain rose from the orchestra pit it was clear that opera history
had been made, and I felt incredibly lucky to have witnessed
it. Rupert Christiansen of the Telegraph added that The
velvety smoothness of (Angela Gheorghiu s) line and tone was
something to marvel at.
The set includes pieces such as the Act I Te Deum, Vissi
d arte and E lucevan le stele. Jonathan Kent s detailed
production draws on the full historical backdrop of
Rome in 1800, a political world of control and suspicion,
beautifully evoked in Paul Brown s lavish designs. The
pageantry of church ritual, the darkness of a brooding
study with its hidden torture chamber and the false
optimism of the light of a Roman dawn all throw into
relief the love of the beautiful diva Tosca, the idealism
of her lover Cavaradossi and the deadly, destructive
obsession of the malevolent Chief of Police, Scarpia.
Drama, passion, and fabulous music.

1. Opening Titles. - Puccini. Tosca
2. Ah! Finalmente!. - Puccini. Tosca
3. E sempre lava!. - Puccini. Tosca
4. Dammi i Colori!. - Puccini. Tosca
5. Gente là dentro!. - Puccini. Tosca
6. Mario! Mario! Mario!. - Puccini. Tosca
7. Qual'occhio al mondo. - Puccini. Tosca
8. E buona la mia Tosca. - Puccini. Tosca
9. Sommo giubilo, Eccellenza!. - Puccini. Tosca
10. Un tal baccano in chiesa! Bel rispetto!. - Puccini. Tosca
11. Or tutto è chiaro. - Puccini. Tosca
12. Ed io venivo a lui tutta dogliosa. - Puccini. Tosca
13. Tre sbirri... Una carozza. - Puccini. Tosca
14. Tosca è un buon falco!. - Puccini. Tosca
15. Ha più forte sapore. - Puccini. Tosca
16. O galantuomo, come andò la caccia?. - Puccini. Tosca
17. Ov'è Angelotti?. - Puccini. Tosca
18. Ed or fra noi parliam da buoni amici. - Puccini. Tosca
19. Sciarrone. che dice il Cavalier?. - Puccini. Tosca
20. Orsù, Tosca, parlate. - Puccini. Tosca
21. Floria... - Amore.... - Puccini. Tosca
22. Quanto? Quanto? Il prezzo!. - Puccini. Tosca
23. Vissi d'arte. - Puccini. Tosca
24. Chi è là?
25. Io tenni la promessa. - Puccini. Tosca
26. Io de' sospiri. - Puccini. Tosca
27. Mario Cavaradossi? - A voi. - Puccini. Tosca
28. E lucevan le stelle. - Puccini. Tosca
29. Ah! Franchigia a Floria Tosca. - Puccini. Tosca
30. O dolci mani! ... L'ora! Son pronto!. - Puccini. Tosca
31. Come è lunga l'attesa!. - Puccini. Tosca
32. Presto, su! Mario!. - Puccini. Tosca
33. Curtain Calls. - Puccini. Tosca
34. Tosca . An Introduction

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel, Lukas Jakobski, Antonio Pappano
  • Directors: Jonathan Kent, Jonathan Haswell
  • Writers: Giacomo Puccini
  • Producers: Royal Opera House
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, Color, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: Italian (DTS 5.1 Surround), Italian (PCM 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: EMI Classics
  • DVD Release Date: October 22, 2012
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,454 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine on September 19, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
In terms of concept, design and staging, there is nothing particularly innovative, imaginative, original or even too exciting about Jonathan Kent's direction for this 2011 Royal Opera House production of Tosca. It adheres to the period locations and action as they are laid out in the original libretto, each of the three acts recognisably taking place in specific locations in Rome - Act 1 in the church of Sant' Andrea, Act 2 in the Palazzo Farnese, Act 3 on top of the Castel Sant' Angelo - actual locations that have been used in the past for filmed versions of Puccini's opera. If there's little that is striking about the stage designs, which are functional at best, Kent stages the dramatic action within them to the full extent of the verismo realism that the opera calls out for. What distinguishes a good traditional production of Tosca from all the others however, and what makes this Royal Opera House production something special, is the casting and the ability of the performers to bring something of their own unique character and ability to the work. It's hard to imagine a more stellar contemporary cast in the three principal roles than the one assembled here.

As Floria Tosca, Angela Gheorghiu is the ultimate diva playing a diva - a fact that she acknowledges in her interviews and clearly relishes. Those characteristics can often be pushed a little too far with this particular singer, who often plays the diva whether it's called for or not, but here at least it's appropriate and Gheorghiu is totally convincing. It's more than just good casting of course, since, as ever, Gheorghiu sings superbly.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 26, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
This recording of Tosca created from performances on July 14 and 17 in 2011 brings together artists of considerable renown for a short run. These are Angela Gheorghiu as Tosca, Jonas Kaufmann as Cavaradossi and Bryn Terfel as Scarpia. To these must be added the considerable expertise of the conductor, Antonio Pappano. The production by Jonathan Kent has become a staple fixture in the Royal Opera repertoire and is unashamedly `traditional' in its concept.

The combination of such talents raised expectations that something very special could be achieved. As one who has a number of recordings by all of these artists, I can honestly state that, in my opinion, none of them has delivered anything finer individually and that this combination has resulted in a recording of Tosca that is gripping from start to finish and may well have exceeded even the most optimistic hopes of all concerned.

It must be made clear from the start that this is certainly not the performance that anyone other than purchasers of this disc will have seen as this is a combination of two performances, and presumably the best of each, uniquely available on this disc. Others attending the same production will crucially have heard different combinations of the cast so are not in a position to comment about this particular disc. Even attenders of either of these two nights or those who watched the TV broadcast will still not have experienced this particular edited product. The editing is seamlessly done so the whole final product runs as if it was one live uninterrupted performance.

The production, as mentioned above, is traditional but very well observed and convincing. The slowed down, and thus more chilling, entry of the execution squad in act 3 would be one of many examples of dramatic flair.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alex W. Sanders on September 16, 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I expected to be getting a treat for a fairly low price for a Blu-ray. Instead I got less than I paid for. Upon all is fine conductor with many fine recordings to his credit. But I found it he kept lightening the orchestra whenever Ghioghiu was singing in order to let her be heard. She simply doesn't have a big enough voice for this role in this house. She uses her voice well it's well colored and she doesn't sing louder than she ought. She's also missing the big personality than a Tosca requires to sell the role. The only time she reaches fortissimo is when she's telling Mario how she killed Scarpia.
Kaufmann on the other hand can't stay away from fortissimo at every opportunity. He still has a mezzavoce but that's for warming up cor the next fortissimo opportunity. It's not healthy singing and it's not real communication, which is what singing's about. One of the problems is that Kaufmann is not a spinto, he's a heldentenor and is marvellously effective in Wagner, Strauss and lieder.
But that's not where stardom and the big bucks are these days. Thanks to the Three Tenors and their shopping mall fans, singing the loudest for the longest is now the measure of artistry. But everyone forgets what Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras sounded like when they were younger and still had healthy voices. They didn't have to shout to make their point - they could do it with beauty. I recently went back to listen to an "83 Ernani from the Met with Pavarotti - God what a voice he had! It brought tears.
I found Terfel disgusting and uninteresting. Our introduction to him is watching him do bugeyes and it doesn't get much better. This man is an educated Italian nobleman who we are supposed to believe is a psycho. I don't find psychos to be interesting.
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