Hedging your bets on Bonaparte

11.2.2005
Words by Birgitta Jónsdóttir
Rome, June 1800. Napoleon has just invaded Italy. During the action the Austrian General Melas is reported to have defeated Napoleon and the consequent celebrations are likely to be attended by Queen Marie Caroline, wife of the Neapolitan king, daughter to the Empress of Austria and sister to Marie Antoinette, the beheaded queen of France. This is the backdrop to Puccini’s Tosca. Baron Scarpia, the much-feared Chief of Police, is based on a real-life Sicilian figure, and Cavaradossi and Angelotti are supporters of the liberal group hoping for Napoleon’s victory.
Tosca is among Puccini’s most popular operas. The music is complex and catching. There is poetic beauty in the lover’s duets between Tosca the singer and Cavaradossi the painter. That beauty is contrasted by the roughness of the police officer Scarpia, who tries to deceive Tosca in order to win her love. The leading role of Tosca is performed by Elín Ósk Óskarsdóttir and chorus of 36 people participates in the performance.

Most recent art and cultures articles:

From our sponsors