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Lakaw is a journey is a step is a move. I love to travel around the world and this is my travel and travel gadget site. Welcome and Enjoy!

0 comments | Sunday, November 18, 2007

I asked my friend after watching Toska last night in Sioux Falls, "Why do most beautiful love stories end in tragedy?" The answer I got was, "Because that is what makes them good."
It was my first time to watch an opera concert in my entire life. I am no neophyte with regards to musical plays or concerts from big R&B artists, but with opera, I am a fresh fish in a bowl.

When my friend invited me for a night of intense tale about the struggle of ideas and lust, the new and the old, a true love and a true hatred compressed in time span from the noon of 17 June 1800 to the dawn of 18 June, I know it would be a great night for me.

Indeed it was. I liked the roles of Floria Tosca and Mario Cavaradossi, who played lovers here. Their voices were superb -- magnifico! It made me think if I had to quick my R&B style and go for opera.

The night was filled of emotions from the actors on stage. From now on, I will be loving operatic concerts and who knows, someday soon, I will be one of them. LOL.

Here is Giacomo Puccini "Toska" (Opera in three acts) synopsis. By the way, did I mention that the main characters in this story all died?
Act I

Cesare Angelotti, an escaped political prisoner, runs into the church of Sant’Andrea della Valle to hide in the Attavanti family chapel. At the sound of the Angelus, the Sacristan enters to pray. He is interrupted by Mario Cavaradossi, who has come to work on his portrait of Mary Magdalene - inspired by the Marchesa Attavanti, Angelotti’s sister. Mario contrasts the beauty of the blond Marchesa with that of the woman he loves, the raven-haired singer Floria Tosca ("Recondita armonia").

Angelotti ventures out and is recognized by Mario, who gives him food and hurries him back into the chapel as Tosca is heard calling outside. She jealously questions Mario, then prays and reminds him of their rendezvous that evening ("Non la sospiri la nostra casetta"). Recognizing the Marchesa’s likeness in the painting, she explodes with renewed suspicions, but he reassures her ("Qual’occhio al mondo"). When she has left, Mario summons Angelotti as a cannon signals that the police have discovered the escape; the two flee to Mario’s villa.

Napoleon’s army is supposed to have suffered defeat, and the Sacristan returns with choirboys who are about to sing a Te Deum. Their excitement is silenced by the entrance of Baron Scarpia, chief of the secret police, in search of Angelotti. When Tosca comes back looking for Mario, she encounters Scarpia, who shows her the Attavanti crest on a fan he has just found. Thinking Mario faithless, Tosca tearfully vows vengeance and leaves as the church resounds with the Te Deum. Scarpia has the diva trailed, scheming to get her in his power ("Va, Tosca!").

Act II

In the Farnese Palace, Scarpia anticipates the pleasure of bending Tosca to his will ("Ha piu forte sapore").
The spy Spoletta arrives, not having found Angelotti; to placate the baron, he brings in Mario, who is interrogated while Tosca is heard singing at a royal gala downstairs. She enters as her lover is being taken to an adjoining room for torture. Unnerved by Scarpia’s questioning and Mario’s screams, she reveals Angelotti’s hiding place.

Mario is carried in; realizing what has happened, he rages at Tosca, but the gendarme Sciarrone rushes in to announce that Napoleon has won the Battle of Marengo, a defeat for Scarpia’s side. Mario shouts his defiance ("Vittoria!").

Tosca yields to Scarpia in exchange for her lover’s life. Fighting him off, she protest her fate to God, having dedicated her life to art and love ("Vissi d’arte").

Spoletta interrupts: faced with capture, Angelotti has killed himself. Tosca, forced to decide, agrees to Scarpia’s proposition. The baron pretends to order a mock execution for the prisoner, after which he is to be free. Spoletta leaves.

Scarpia prepares a document of safe-conduct for the lovers. When he embraces her, Tosca stabs him with a knife, wrenches the document from his fingers and, placing candles at his head and a crucifix on his chest slips quietly out.

Act III

The voice of a shepherd is heard as church bells toll the dawn. Mario is led to the roof of Castel Sant’Angelo prison to await execution; he bribes the jailer to convey a farewell note to Tosca. Writing it, overcome with memories of love, he gives way to despair ("E lucevan le stele").

Suddenly Tosca runs in, filled with the story of her recent adventure. Mario caresses the hands that committed the murder for his sake ("O dolci mani"), and the two hail the future.

As the firing squad appears, the diva coaches Mario on how to fake his death convincingly; the soldiers fire and depart. Tosca urges Mario to hurry, but when he fails to move, she discovers that Scarpia’s treachery has transcended the grave: the bullets were real.

Spoletta rushes in to arrest Tosca. She climbs the battlements and, crying that she will meet Scarpia before God, leaps to her death.


Source: http://www.operaandballet.com
Read more here.

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