Przyslala Basia Jaworski
I am a great Puccini admirer. His music goes straight to my heart to never leave it again. I love all his operas and all his heroines are equally dear to me. I love Angelica and Cio-Cio-San very much and after they die I keep crying for hours. But none of them compare to Tosca. The story is so incredibly complex and so ingeniously constructed that I – even if I can really dream the opera! – discover something new in it everytime I listen to it.
Have you noticed that Puccini has no (big) roles for mezzos? For the sake of convenience, I do not count Edgar. After all, that was not yet a ‘real Puccini’. I think the reason is his women are anything but one-dimensional. They are strong and vulnerable at the same time, neither good nor bad. Cio-Cio-San was a geisha, Suor Angelica had an illegitimate child, Mimi had loose relationships. And yet we love them, all of them, even the fickle Manon Lescaut and their death makes us grab our handkerchiefs.
The ‘Puccini baritones’ are friendliness itself: the sweet and helpful Marcello, the compassionate consul Sharpless. Even the sheriff Jack Rance plays fair and after a lost game of poker he lets his rival go.
There is one exception: Baron Scarpia. From the beginning he dominates the stage in the literal and figurative sense. He is the one who has worked out the whole scenario and worked it out down to the smallest details. He is the hunter, who will not shy away from any means to catch his prey. He is the devil, afraid of nothing and no one; and in order to get what he wants he is prepared to cheat. But beware: he is totally repulsive, but also an attractive, charming, erudite and intelligent man and therefore an extremely dangerous opponent.
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