Tosca by De Ana, a sort of noir with a combination of politics
3 August 2017 Share

Tosca by De Ana, a sort of noir with a combination of politics

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The last opera of the 2017 Arena Opera Festival is being performed 5 times with the imposing production by Hugo de Ana. Antonino Fogliani is debuting at the Arena, conducting the Chorus, Orchestra and Soloists –

On Saturday 5th July at 8:45 pm, Tosca, the opera in three acts to music by Giacomo Puccini and with a libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, will be staged. The last opera of the 2017 Opera Festival is being performed 5 times with the imposing production by Hugo de Ana, responsible for its direction, set design, costumes and lighting. Antonino Fogliani is debuting at the Arena, conducting the Chorus, Orchestra and Soloists.

Tosca was composed between 1896 and 1899 and performed for the first time at Rome’s Teatro Costanzi on 14th January 1900; the plot is taken from the play of the same name by Victorien Sardou, the success of which was closely linked with the performance of the very famous Sarah Bernhardt, which Puccini himself had seen. The two librettists, Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, considerably simplified the original plot, concentrating the story on the three main characters of Tosca, Cavaradossi and Scarpia. The events take place on 14th June 1800 in Rome, in an extremely tumultuous atmosphere following the revolutionary events in France. Tosca highlights the love, death and jealousy of its protagonists: the singer Floria Tosca, a highly feminine diva with a character combining religiousness and transgression; Mario Cavaradossi, an artist who is a staunch follower of the anticlerical Roman Republic and a revolutionary member of the Enlightenment movement, in love with his art; Baron Scarpia, the power-thirsty chief of the papal police. The backdrop to the events is Rome, in a state of political and social tumult. The score is equally full of coups de théâtre and renowned romances, including the world-famous E lucevan le stelle, Recondita armonia and Vissi d’arte.

2017, Arena, Tosca (Photo Ennevi, Fondazione Arena)

2017, Arena, Tosca (Photo Ennevi, Fondazione Arena)

 

De Ana brings Tosca to the Arena’s large spaces, with a production conceived ad hoc and greatly loved by audiences. To stage «a character opera», as the director himself described it, de Ana focussed on theatricality of a cinematographic nature, able to communicate the characters’ psychology and grasp their dramatic intentions in a profound manner: «As in a thriller, a sort of noir, with a combination of politics and religion, but above all passion; passions that, from start to finish, stir all the characters, in all senses, not only as far as love and jealousy are concerned».

As a setting for the story, de Ana designed an impressive extremely symbolic set for the Arena di Verona, highlighted by elegant, rich and imposing costumes of the Napoleonic period. Therefore the set evokes the city of Rome in the Verona amphitheatre, with Castel Sant’Angelo and its statues reproduced on a huge scale, the Basilica of Sant’Andrea della Valle, which hosts the pompous celebration of the Te Deum, Palazzo Farnese with its magnificence, the far-off sound of the church bells and the shepherd’s song, and the trenches with their cannons at the sides of the set. A successful production, re-proposed for the 2017 Opera Festival, and described by critics as «an opera to listen to with your eyes».

The Puccini opera was performed for the first time at the Arena di Verona in 1937 with set design by Ettore Fagiuoli and proposed again in 15 successive festivals with 10 different productions. La interpretation of the Argentinean director Hugo de Ana was presented on the Verona stage for the first time in 2006 and again in 2008, 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2017, with a total of 100 performances, making it the sixth most performed opera at the Arena di Verona.

Ambrogio Maestri, Susanna Branchini (Photo OAM)

Ambrogio Maestri, Susanna Branchini (Photo OAM)

Antonino Fogliani, who successfully conducted the same opera on the 2016-2017 Season at the Teatro Filarmonico, is at his debut on the Arena stage. On stage there is a cast of great Arena performers: in the title role the protagonists are Susanna Branchini (5, 10/8) and Ainhoa Arteta (17, 22, 25/8), along with Carlo Ventre (5, 10, 17/8) and Marcelo Álvarez (22, 25/8) in the role of the painter Cavaradossi. His antagonist Scarpia is interpreted by Ambrogio Maestri (5, 10, 17/8) and Boris Statsenko (22, 25/8), while Romano Dal Zovo sings the part of the revolutionary Angelotti. The cast is completed by Nicolò Ceriani as the Sacristan, Antonello Ceron as Spoletta and Marco Camastra as Sciarrone; in the role of the Prison guard, for the first time at the Arena, there is Omar Kamata; lastly, Stella Capelli is A shepherd boy. The performers are supported by the Orchestra, the Chorus (under the direction of Vito Lombardi) and the Technicians of the Arena di Verona. The production also features the A.d’A.MUS. Children’s Chorus directed by Marco Tonini.

Further performances: 10, 17, 22, 25 August 2017 – 8:45 pm.

Top photo: 2017, Arena, Tosca (Photo Ennevi, Fondazione Arena)

Opera prices from euro 19 to euro 204
biglietteria@arenadiverona.it
Call center (+39) 045.8005151

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