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Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Sydney

Running Time

Approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes, including two intervals.


Performed in Italian with English surtitles.

Please note

This production contains depictions of violence, including violence against women, sexual violence, murder and suicide. It also contains loud noises and gunshots.

Love. Jealousy. Betrayal.

“Ah! Tosca.” Scarpia growls it, lust in his voice, danger in his eyes. Tosca thinks of her lover, his captive. How far will she go to save him?

Opera’s greatest thriller is a taut tale of passion and betrayal, taking place over just 24 hours in Rome. Renowned prima donna Tosca is in love with Cavaradossi, a painter and revolutionary. When the sadistic Chief of Police Scarpia tries to crush them, our heroine finds the strength to do the unspeakable.

Puccini’s music is sensational: from the overpowering choral power of the famous Te Deum, Tosca’s ode to art ‘Vissi d’arte’ and the haunting tenor showpiece ‘E lucevan le stelle’ as Cavaradossi faces death.

When the final note rings into silence, and you pick your jaw up off the floor, you’ll feel an extraordinary emotional release.

In this acclaimed, five-star production from Opera North, director Edward Dick writes the tension large upon the stage. A stunning renaissance fresco colours a gilded dome hanging over the performers. Dramatic, stadium-style lights by Lee Curran put a razor focus on the unfolding action, revealing beauty and menace in turn.

Tosca is the perfect first taste of opera, and one opera lovers return to again and again, to experience how music can bring great stories to emotional highs. Tosca has it all: romance, action and an unforgettable ending.

The action turns on a trio of brilliant performers, so we’ve found singers you don’t want to miss: Tosca is played by both Giselle Allen, who originated the role in this production to great acclaim, and audience favourite Karah Son. International tenor Young Woo Kim sings Cavaradossi. And we have two imposing Scarpias: Armenian baritone Gevorg Hakobyan and homegrown star Warwick Fyfe.

“An unforgettable operatic experience ★★★★★”

The Stage

“A corker of a show… staged imaginatively and cogently ★★★★★”

The Times

“Drama to hit you in the gut ★★★★★”

The Independent

The music

Opera North’s production of Puccini’s Tosca Mykhailo Malafii as Cavaradossi and Giselle Allen as Tosca

Cheat Sheet: Tosca

Everything you need to know about Puccini’s blood-soaked, lustful melodrama.

What happens in the story? Who was the composer? What should I expect from the music? Here’s everything you need to know…

Read the Cheat Sheet
Opera North’s production of Puccini’s Tosca Robert Hayward as Scarpia and the Chorus of Opera North

Tosca's real-life locations

Learn more about the three locations in Rome where this gripping tale of love and murder is set.

Find out more

7 surprising facts about Puccini

Discover the fascinating off-stage stories of the composer who gave the world La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, Turandot and Tosca.

Find out more
Overture Dining at the Sydney Opera House

Enjoy dinner before the opera

Overture Dining at Sydney Opera House

Allow us to make your dinner reservation for you: at Overture Dining in the Northern Foyer of the Joan Sutherland Theatre. You’ll be served a three-course menu for just $97.

See the menu

Cast & Creative

Johannes Fritzsch (Jun 25–Jul 18)
Tahu Matheson (Jul 27–Aug 16)
Set Designer
Tom Scutt
Costume Designer
Fotini Dimou
Lighting Designer
Lee Curran
Maxine Braham
Assistant Director
Giselle Allen (Jun 25–Jul 18)
Karah Son (Jul 27–Aug 16)
Gevorg Hakobyan (Jun 25–Jul 27)
Warwick Fyfe (Jul 31–Aug 16)
Shepherd Boy
Alexander Hugo Young (25 Jun, 2, 6, 18, 27 Jul, and 7, 10, 14 Aug)
Bede Egerton-Warburton (29 Jun, 4, 10, 13, 31 Jul, and 3, 12, 16 Aug)

Opera Australia Orchestra
Opera Australia Chorus

The Story

In a beautiful church, the painter Cavaradossi is working. When an escaped prisoner bursts in, Cavaradossi risks his own life to help Angelotti hide from the Fascist police. But Cavaradossi’s lover, Tosca, overhears him talking and becomes jealous. In spite of Cavaradossi’s ardent assurances of love, it is easy for the chief of police, Scarpia to fan the flames of her jealousy. He wants Tosca for himself.

Scarpia arrests Cavaradossi on suspicion of aiding Angelotti, and as he is tortured, Tosca is made to listen to his cries. She has a fateful choice before her: give into the hateful Scarpia’s lascivious demands and save her lover’s life, or save her honour and kill Cavaradossi. In that terrible moment, Tosca makes a choice, and the consequences play out in a heart-rending Act III.

She lived for love. On this desperate day, can she find the strength to kill for it?

Not afraid of spoilers? Read the full synopsis