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Freedom Versus Tyranny

Donald considers how Puccini's adaptation of Tosca turned Victorien Sardou's play, originally a vehicle for the actress Sarah Bernhardt, into an operatic tour de force.

While on the one hand, a controversial subject matter and the musical merits of Puccini's "Tosca" would continue to divide opinion for years after its premiere in 1900, on the other, the strength of its dramatic impact immediately struck a chord with audiences. Today Donald Macleod considers how Puccini's masterful adaptation turned Victorien Sardou's play, originally a vehicle for the actress Sarah Bernhardt, into an operatic tour de force.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca - Opera In 3 Acts extract

    Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Singer: Angelo Veccia. Conductor: Giuseppe Sinopoli. Singer: Placido (Son) Domingo.
    • DG : 431-775 2.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
    • 2.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca, Act I : Ah! Finalmente!

    Performer: Maurizio Muraro (Angelotti) Performer: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Performer: Antonio Pappano

    • EMI: CDS 557 1732.
    • 1.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca - Opera In 3 Acts extract

    Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Singer: Angelo Veccia. Conductor: Giuseppe Sinopoli. Singer: Placido (Son) Domingo.
    • DG : 431-775 2.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
    • 2.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca - Opera In 3 Acts - extract

    Conductor: Sir Antonio Pappano. Singer: Angela Gheorghiu. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Singer: Roberto Alagna.
    • EMI:CDS 557 1732.
    • EMI.
    • 30.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca, Act I : Recondita harmonia

    Performer: Placido Domingo (Cavaradossi) Performer: Angelo Veccia (Sagrestano) Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra Conductor: Giuseppe Sinopoli

    • DG 431 775-2.
    • 1.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca - Opera In 3 Acts - extract

    Conductor: Sir Antonio Pappano. Singer: Angela Gheorghiu. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Singer: Roberto Alagna.
    • EMI:CDS 557 1732.
    • EMI.
    • 30.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca - Opera In 3 Acts - Act 1; Mario!

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Singer: Giuseppe di Stefano. Singer: Leontyne Price. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan.
    • DECCA : 476-7522.
    • DECCA.
    • 5.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca, Act I : Mario! Mario!

    Performer: Leontyne Price (Tosca) Performer: Giuseppe di Stefano (Cavaradossi) Performer: Vienna Philharmonic Conductor: Herbert von Karajan

    • Decca 476 752-2.
    • 5.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca - Opera In 3 Acts - Act 1; Mario!

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Singer: Giuseppe di Stefano. Singer: Leontyne Price. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan.
    • DECCA : 476-7522.
    • DECCA.
    • 5.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca - Opera In 3 - Acts ct 1; Tre sbirri - Te Deum

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Singer: Giuseppe Taddei. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan. Choir: Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor.
    • DECCA : 476-7522.
    • DECCA.
    • 10.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca, Act I : Tre sbirri, una carrozza

    Performer: Giuseppe Taddei (Scarpia) Performer: Vienna State Opera Chorus Performer: Vienna Philharmonic Conductor: Herbert von Karajan

    • Decca 476 752-2.
    • 10.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca - Opera In 3 - Acts ct 1; Tre sbirri - Te Deum

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Singer: Giuseppe Taddei. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan. Choir: Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor.
    • DECCA : 476-7522.
    • DECCA.
    • 10.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca - Opera In 3 Acts - extract

    Singer: Giuseppe di Stefano. Orchestra: Orchestra of La Scala, Milan. Singer: Maria Callas. Singer: Tito Gobbi. Conductor: Victor de Sabata.
    • Tosca.
    • EMI.
    • 13.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca, Act II : finale

    Performer: Maria Callas (Tosca) Performer: Giuseppe di Stefano (Cavaradossi) Performer: Tito Gobbi (Scarpia) Performer: Orchestra of La Scala, Milan Conductor: Victor de Sabata

    • EMI 215894-2.
    • 13.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca - Opera In 3 Acts - extract

    Singer: Giuseppe di Stefano. Orchestra: Orchestra of La Scala, Milan. Singer: Maria Callas. Singer: Tito Gobbi. Conductor: Victor de Sabata.
    • Tosca.
    • EMI.
    • 13.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca - Opera In 3 Acts - extract

    Conductor: Sir Antonio Pappano. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Singer: Maurizio Muraro.
    • EMI : CDS 5-57173 2.
    • EMI.
    • 2.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca, Act III : finale

    Performer: Roberto Alagna (Cavaradossi) Performer: Angela Gheorghiu (Tosca) Performer: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Conductor; Antonio Pappano

    • EMI CDS 557 1732.
    • 30.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Tosca - Opera In 3 Acts - extract

    Conductor: Sir Antonio Pappano. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Singer: Maurizio Muraro.
    • EMI : CDS 5-57173 2.
    • EMI.
    • 2.

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