Tosca, the Italian passion at the MetOpera
The direction looked particularly successful; Frizza was able to obtain an authentic “Puccini” sound – which doesn’t happen all the time, not even in the most important theaters in the world – a warm, profound, yet very subtle dynamics. He sounded very flexible too, capable of easily following the singers, but also of pushing them at the right moment. This was specially clear in Lucean le stelle, one of the best moments of the opera.
The MetOpera boasted a Roberto Alagna in great shape, with a very homogeneous and clear voice, a perfect diction and a beautiful vocal technique, that filled the space completely and in every moment. Cavaradossi‘s role is perfect for him and for his vocal expressivity. Probably, the performer with the most outstanding personality of the night.
Patricia Racette champions the passion of Tosca splendidly and has a nice medio, but she was a bit low in the high notes and the vibrato was a bit large, so it lost a little precision. George Gagnidze had a slightly throaty voice in the first act, but it is likely that he then received some indications, because he didn’t have this problem in the second act. Among the so called “secondary” characters, the performance of John Del Carlo in the role of the priest was particularly remarkable and very appreciated is beautiful voice, with his exceptional scene presence and very good diction.
The staging is far from the sumptuousness of Zeffirelli‘s historical production, but it presents very interesting and suggestive intuitions. For example, when Tosca leaps from Castel Sant’Angelo the lights go off and you barely have the time to see the soprano vanish in the dark.
The production will see Roberto Alagna and Marcello Giordani alternate in the role of Cavaradossi, and Patricia Racette and Sandra Radvanovsky in that of Tosca. The premiere was dedicated to the memory of Tito Gobbi, legendary interpreter of Scarpia.
It is moving and endearing to see in New York, even in such a sober set, the references to those places so familiar to us Italians like the church of Sant’Andrea della Valle, Palazzo Farnese and Castel Sant’Angelo, which are the background of the eternal beauty of Puccini’s music and which keep on having an immortal charm on the world’s audience.