Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre

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

Three ominous chords ring out of the orchestra pit and the mood is set. On stage, the soaring marble columns are brilliant with light, but somewhere out of sight, a shadow looms.

A runaway prisoner bursts into the chapel, and the opera takes off: a gripping tale of love, lust and betrayal unfolding at breakneck pace.

Tosca has everything: a real and worldly love, an extraordinary heroine and the greatest villain in all of opera.

Puccini’s evocative music intensifies the emotion at every turn. Combined with John Bell’s thoughtful production set in Nazi-occupied Rome, the effect is “epic, absorbing and shattering” (The Sydney Morning Herald — ★★★★½).

Tosca’s dramatic music demands powerhouse performers. American soprano Latonia Moore takes on Floria Tosca, a role coveted for its vast dramatic arc and show-stopping aria, ‘Vissi d’arte’. She leads a brilliant cast under the baton of sensational young conductor Andrea Battistoni. 

Dine before the opera at Arts Centre Melbourne

A couple dines at Arts Centre Melbourne before the operaLet us make it easy for you with pre-performance dining at Café Vic at Arts Centre Melbourne. You'll be served a themed set menu, including matched wine. Lunch and dinner options available. View the menu.

Simply add the dining option to your cart after selecting tickets. If you already have tickets, sign in to your account to add dinner to your existing booking or call 03 9685 3700.

Conductor Andrea Battistoni
Director John Bell
Set Designer Michael Scott-Mitchell
Costume Designer Teresa Negroponte
Lighting Designer Nick Schlieper
Fight Choreographer Nigel Poulton
Tosca Latonia Moore
Cavaradossi Diego Torre
Scarpia Marco Vratogna
Angelotti Gennadi Dubinsky

Luke Gabbedy

Spoletta Benjamin Rasheed
Sciarrone Michael Honeyman
Jailer Tom Hamilton

Opera Australia Chorus

Orchestra Victoria

Please note that this production is set in Nazi-occupied Rome, and Nazi symbols, including swastikas and uniforms, are shown on stage. 

Running time: approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, including two intervals

Production Partner

David and Angela Li

The StoryHide

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.

Scarpia arrests Cavaradossi on suspicion of aiding Angelotti, and as he is tortured, Tosca is made to listen to his cries.

Scarpia gives her an impossible choice: give in to his lascivious demands to save her lover’s life, or save her honour and give Cavaradossi up for dead. In that terrible moment, Tosca makes a choice, and the consequences play out in a heart-rending Act III.

Not afraid of spoilers? Read the full synopsis.

Act I

Angelotti, who has just escaped from prison, finds a key left for him in a church by his sister, the Marchesa Attavanti, and hides in the Attavanti chapel. The sacristan enters, grumbling about having to clean the painter Cavaradossi's brushes. Cavaradossi returns to his work and, when Angelotti emerges from hiding, promises to help him but tells him to hide again when they hear Tosca approaching. Although she begins to suspect that he is having an affair with the Marchesa, Cavaradossi reassures her of his love before she leaves.

Angelotti tells Cavaradossi that his sister has left him some female clothing and that he intends to escape in disguise. Cavaradossi mentions a hiding-place down the well in his garden in case of emergency. They hear a shot, indicating that the escape has been discovered, and Cavaradossi rushes Angelotti to his safe house.

The sacristan announces a grand Te Deum to celebrate a report of a victory for the current regime. Excitement at this news is cut short by the arrival of Scarpia, on Angelotti's trail. A search of the church reveals a fan with the crest of the Attavanti and, when Tosca returns, looking for Cavaradossi, Scarpia uses it to inflame her jealousy, as a way of winning Tosca for himself.

Act II

Scarpia waits for Tosca, who is singing at an official reception to celebrate the victory. Spoletta informs him that Angelotti has still not been found but that Cavaradossi has been arrested. Under interrogation he denies any knowledge of Angelotti. Tosca arrives as Cavaradossi is led off to torture. At first she refuses to tell Scarpia anything, but finally she can bear Cavaradossi's suffering no longer and reveals Angelotti's hiding-place. When Cavaradossi is brought in and hears Scarpia ordering the arrest of Angelotti it is obvious that Tosca has betrayed him. At this moment the news of a serious defeat for the current regime arrives. Cavaradossi is triumphant and Scarpia orders his execution.

Tosca begs for the life of her lover and Scarpia names his price: she must have sex with him in exchange for Cavaradossi's freedom. Seeing no alternative, she agrees, and Scarpia orders Spoletta to perform a mock execution of Cavaradossi, after which he and Tosca will be able to escape. As he claims his reward, however, Tosca kills him.


Cavaradossi awaits execution. He remembers the happiness Tosca had brought him. Tosca then tells him what has happened and prepares him for the mock execution. She realises too late that she has been deceived by Scarpia: the execution was real. Tosca pays for Scarpia's murder with her own life.

A story of love, loss and betrayal...

Let us make it easy for you with pre-performance dining at Arts Centre Melbourne.

Allow us to make your dinner reservation before evening performances: 6pm at Café Vic in the Arts Centre Melbourne. You'll be served a themed three-course set menu for just $95, including matched wine.

Enjoy lunch before a matinee performance: 11:30am at Café Vic. You'll be served a themed two-course set menu for just $65, with main and dessert, including a glass of wine.

Simply add dinner to your cart after selecting your tickets.

Entrée (love)
Dinner only, not available at lunch

Torn fior di latte, heirloom tomatoes, basil, red onion, aged balsamic.

Torn fior di latte, heirloom tomatoes, basil, red onion, aged balsamic
a glass of sparkling wine on arrival


Main (loss)
Dinner and lunch

Free range chicken breast roasted and served with a wild mushroom and
               herb risotto finished with vincotto.

Roast free range chicken breast, served with a wild mushroom and herb risotto, finished with vincotto
a glass of Endless Sauvignon Blanc, King Valley


Dessert (betrayal)
Dinner and lunch

Homemade tiramisu served with a Bailey’s anglaise.

Homemade tiramisu served with a Baileys anglaise
+ tea or filtered coffee. 


Specific dietary requirements can be accommodated, please send us an email after booking.

Published menu is subject to change without notice. Vegetarian and vegan options are available upon request. This menu is only available before performances of Tosca.
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