Real sings final victory with “Tosca” in its most arduous and glorious season

Madrid, Jul 4 (EFE) .- Like the tenor Joseph Conrad in the shoes of Mario Cavaradossi when he spits the word “victory” at his antagonist in one of the peak moments of “Tosca”, the Teatro Real has written with this classic the last page of its most arduous season, but also one of the most glorious in its history.

“It has been a hard, long and complicated year, with personal, institutional and labor difficulties, but leaving aside the health part, from the artistic point of view it has been positive”, summarized just a few days ago the general director of the institution, Ignacio García-Belenguer.

Tonight has materialized again with almost ten minutes of applause and the attendees standing, 66% of the full capacity, taking into account the restrictions that have accompanied each function since that initial screening of “Un ballo in maschera” in which the public was he scrambled for the safety distance, a short-lived fright from which they soon recovered.

Then the Italian Nicola Luisotti was also on this stage as musical director, recipient of today’s applause along with the Spanish Paco Azorín, who is in charge of the stage, as well as the singers Carlos Álvarez as the perfidious Barón Scarpia, the aforementioned Joseph Calleja as the libertarian painter and especially Sondra Radvanovsky as Floria Tosca, acclaimed with encore included.

On the other side, in the boxes and stalls, other personalities such as Christine Lagarde, president of the Central Bank, the tenor Plácido Domingo and his family or the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa and Isabel Presyler did not want to miss the occasion.


It was at the beginning of 1900 when the Teatro Costanzi in Rome hosted the premiere of “Tosca” by Giacomo Puccini with a libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica, and before the end of that year the Real received its first production.

Since its reopening, 32 performances had been offered here between the 2003-2004 and 2010-2011 seasons, always under the stage direction of Nuria Espert. The new staging, developed between the Liceu de Barcelona and the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, has been updated for the Madrid coliseum.

Considered one of the most representative of Italian verismo, Luisotti and Azorín said after weeks of rehearsal that “Tosca” is the closest thing to a prolegomenon of cinema in the world of opera, starting with the symbiosis between his music, his dramatic intensity and its solid argument.

This takes place at the end of the 18th century, with the background melodrama of the characters conditioned by the political events of the moment: the Napoleonic invasion of Italy and the conflict between republicans with liberal ideas, such as Cavaradossi, and the royalists and the traditional elite. whose interests Scarpia serves.

In addition, everything happens in 24 hours, a police plot, cinematographic with a very black and white aesthetic, with three acts that begin and end like the previous one, which gives everything a very Hollywood continuity solution.

To enhance all these aspects and get the public to see “Tosca” like those spectators who sat down for the first time in Rome in 1900, Azorín has devised formulas such as showing above all the back of the altar from which the sacristan speaks, thus exposing the hidden interests of the Church.

In addition to this anti-clerical character that Puccini’s opera contained, they have also focused on the inherent reflection on the ambiguous dimension of art.


“It is not men who guide the revolution, but the revolution that guides men.” That premise, with which the opera has started, takes on a literal body in this montage by Azorín in which a naked female character walks around the stage and lights the libertarian breaths of its protagonists.

It is seen in a third symbolic act, almost dreamlike, where the sacrifice of the protagonists does not fall on deaf ears, because the revolution will continue without them. “They have given their lives for art and that remains,” Azorín explained.

And what if she has triumphed in the famous aria “Vissi d’arte” by Radvanovsky, including an encore requested by public acclaim, becoming the second woman to do so after Lisette Oropesa in “La Traviatta”.

And hence also that “victory” of Cavaradossi prior to his execution, that victory that Joseph Conrad said he would sing personally against the pandemic and for the effort of the Real – International Opera Award for the best lyric theater of 2020 – to keep under the premise of safe culture a high-level programming.

“Tosca” will be on these tables until July 24. In addition, it will be broadcast on July 10 at 9:00 p.m. on screens installed in Plaza de Oriente and Plaza de Isabel II, with a limited capacity of 1,000 seats. That day, also the viewers of MyOperaPlayer and the theater’s YouTube channels and RTVE will be able to enjoy it for free and on July 11 it will be broadcast at 11 p.m. on La 2.


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