Puccini’s Tosca

« previous episode | next episode »

Saturday, August 03, 2013

American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky stars as the title role in Puccini’s Tosca presented by Los Angeles Opera. She sings opposite Marco Berti, the Italian tenor who plays Tosca’s lover, Mario Cavaradossi.

Completing their love triangle is Baron Scarpia, the antagonistic police chief played by Georgian baritone Lado Ataneli. Tosca, trapped between her lover and the law, must make a heartbreaking choice that will seal Cavaradossi’s fate. Acclaimed tenor Plácido Domingo conducts.



Floria Tosca                           Sondra Radvanovsky

Mario Cavaradossi                  Marco Berti

Baron Scarpia                        Lado Ataneli

Cesare Angelotti                     Joshua Bloom

The Sacristan                           Philip Cokorinos

Spoletta                                   Rodell Rosel

Shepherd Child                         Eden McCoy


CONDUCTOR:                     Plácido Domingo

STAGE DIRECTOR:             John Caird



  & CHORUS MASTER:       Grant Gershon

Comments [11]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Credentials are in order to verify my earlier comments. So here they are. I have sung four three-hour-long solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall including programming the Wagner "Wesendonck Lieder" and the Mahler "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen" song cycles. I am an opera composer ["Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"], a Wagnerian romantischer heldentenor and the director at the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute of Boonton, NJ. where I teach voice and train artists in all the Wagner and Shakespeare roles. One may download, free, my singing at CARNEGIE HALL by going to Recorded Selections on my websites www.WagnerOpera.com, www.ShakespeareOpera.com and www.RichardWagnerMusicDramaInstitute.com

Dec. 29 2013 05:41 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

My comments here are referencing the LA TOSCA performance broadcast of the MET OPERA on Saturday December 28th, 2013, NOT the LA OPERA broadcast!!! It is difficult for me to state to a reading public my utter frustration with some of the performers, let alone the set and costume designers at the MET OPERA nowadays, who are either past their prime or seeking sensationalist means to bolster their name recognition and financial gains. Today's TOSCA [ 12/28/2013 ]had one element in the broadcast that was amazingly good vocally and dramatically, the title role's protagonist SONDRA RADVANOVSKY. As a boy at age 15, I would go standing room at the FAMILY CIRCLE of the old MET OPERA. After performances I was a regular known "quantity" conversing with the singers regarding vocal technique, with stage directors regarding dramaturgy decisions and with conductors regarding tempi, balances, etc. They often anticipated my questions and reveled in anecdotal references. That was the era of BJOERLING, WARREN, MERRILL, FAUSTO CLEVA, MITROUPOULOS, PEERCE, TUCKER, DEL MONACO, CORELLI, CALLAS, BERNSTEIN, LEINSDORF, MELCHIOR, FLAGSTAD, TRAUBEL, VARNAY, HINES , MILANOV, HORNE,PRICE, STEVENS, PINZA, SIEPI, SCHOEFFLER and LONDON, etc. Many more might be listed but you get the "drift.' What a bad year for the passing of icons in the cultural realm. RISE STEVENS, more than any other singer currently was identifiable by her savvy in her performances as CARMEN and her other mezzo roles and her dramaturgical igniting her scenes with sensual creditable emotion. PATRICE CHEREAU accomplished more by his "capitalizing" on GEORGE BERNARD SHAW's "THE PERFECT WAGNERITE" view that the "RING" truly fit nicely into the schemata scenario of CAPITALISM with all its degenerate "dog eat dog" operating philosophy. Whatever one's own personal view of economics, Wagner himself had to contend with royalty to pay for the mounting of his music dramas and depend on Jewish merchants to finance what royalty did not. VLADIMIR JUROVSKI's conducting passion and skills top my most memorable operatic occasions this year. HE IS A HOLLYWOOD DREAM come true for what the ideal opera conductor should be !!! The passing of singers RISE STEVENS, MARTA EGGERTH, REGINA RESNIK, EVELYN LEAR and DIETRICH FISCHER-DIESKAU and composer MARVIN HAMLISCH and conductor WOLFGANG SAWALLISCH and director PATRICE CHEREAU deserves considerable tributes to their own special talents and accomplishments. My own background with famous MET OPERA opera singer teachers [ FRIEDRICH SCHORR, ALEXANDER KIPNIS, MARGARETE MATZENAUER, FRIEDA HEMPEL, JOHN BROWNLEE, MACK HARRELL and MARTIAL SINGHER ] and acting teachers [ LEE STRASBERG and PHILIP BURTON ] and conductors [LASZLO HALASZ, FAUSTO CLEVA, GEORGE SCHICK and EDWIN MC ARTHUR ] and my own performances consort to evaluate so highly the value of the proper studied approach to singing, acting and composing.

Dec. 29 2013 05:15 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Must agree that our Tosca was shrill, Scarpia's Italian not so hot and tenor a little wobbly and off-key.

Aug. 03 2013 04:14 PM
Ron Attivissimo from NYC

Tosca from LA Opera.....this has to be among the wort sung Toscas I have ever heard. Do the singers know the score...esp. L.Ant. baritone (Scarpia)...his Italian is terrible (Civitavecchis is one word...not 2 as he thinks); he is always off pitch; speaks more than sings the role. Sandra R. fared no better...shrill, no idea of intonation; Berti cannot hold on to notes, esp, top notes which are forced and tight. Domingo must have had a very hard time keeping singers and orch. together. I hope this cast NEVER comes to the Met.

Aug. 03 2013 03:04 PM
Susan Yates from Croton-on-Hudson NY

Very much enjoying the performance of Sondra Radvanovsky. The more I hear from her, the better it gets. She has the sort of sound that Callas must have heard in her head, but couldn't always produce.

Aug. 03 2013 02:37 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Glad you liked my comment on Scarpia and the TeDeum. I am being nice today and not my snarky self. In the novel, Immortal Bohemian, it is written that Puccini had some trouble getting the words for the TeDeum from his village priest. Only when he treathened to become a protestant did the priest forward the words. Do not know if this is really true. The author of the novel was Father Dante Del Fiorentino, I think. A film was projected about this years ago but it did not come to fruition. Enjoying the singing so far but no one can erase Bjoerling and Milanov from my heart. Yes, my heart.Nostalgia, perhaps. Nostalgia from the Greek, Pain from an old wound. I listened many years ago to a broadcast from Chicago and they used a different version of Tosca. Pavarotti was the Mario. Puccini would revise and revise. Just like a master builder which he was.
Best wishes to all. Enjoy, Enjoy.

Aug. 03 2013 02:11 PM
unefoisensuisse from California

Enjoyed the comment on Scarpia. ALways enjoy your comments anyway. I wholeheartedly agree that Te Deum in Tosca gives me chills as to evil human behaviors. Enjoy music and life. Looking forward to future comments as always.

Aug. 03 2013 01:19 PM
minnie from Sacramento

The "Recondita armonia" was terrible. The tenor didn't know where to place his voice.

Aug. 03 2013 01:18 PM
unefoisensuisse from California

I respectfully disagree with the point of mentioning the nationality of singers. Agreed too, it is a non issue. But who has the issue? We really do not need to read in too much from the context of fearing not be political correct. I enjoy knowing the singers' ethnic origin and even genealogy, as it is to me belonging to one's family and national pride.

Aug. 03 2013 12:57 PM
Jackson from Bloomington, IN

Why is every singer's nationality mentioned in the above description of this broadcast? It seems like such a non-issue, not at all worth mentioning, yet ever singer's name is preceded or succeeded by their nationality. As if nationality is a new adjective connoting whatever... Bad writing. Just plain old bad writing. This comment submitted by an American.

Aug. 03 2013 11:01 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

This opera is lurid, melodramatic and WONDERFUL. The finale of Act I whereby Scarpia voices his filthy desires with the chorus singing the TeDeum is a masterful piece of writing.

Aug. 03 2013 07:57 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.