Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House

Puccini was a true theatre composer, using every means available to move the emotions of an audience. His aim was dramatic truth.

The sweep and flow of the music propels riveting drama of love, jealousy and sacrifice with astonishing vigour and force.

And who better to direct an intimate actor’s piece but the distinguished actor/director John Bell, the artistic director of Bell Shakespeare.

He has joined forces with award-winning set designer Michael Scott-Mitchell and the young, emerging costume designer Teresa Negroponte to create a monumental staging set in Mussolini’s Italy in the 1940s, during the Nazi occupation.

Puccini’s irresistible score features the unforgettable aria, ‘Vissi d’arte’, a moment of heart-breaking poignancy in a plot where Floria Tosca and Cavaradossi are embroiled in an attempt to help a friend escape from prison.

The chief of police in Rome, Baron Scarpia, is himself the perpetrator of worse crimes than those he has officially to deal with.

Two true divas will share the title role, Alexia Voulgaridou and Cheryl Barker.

They are joined by the sensational tenors Yonghoon Lee and Diego Torre – while the breathtaking baritone John Wegner plays Scarpia in the legendary love triangle.

Conductor Christian Badea
Nicholas Milton (from 4 Aug)
Director John Bell by arrangement with Bell Shakespeare
Set Designer Michael Scott-Mitchell
Costume Designer Teresa Negroponte
Lighting Designer Nick Schlieper
Floria Tosca Alexia Voulgaridou (until 2 Aug)
Cheryl Barker (from 4 Aug)
Cavaradossi Yonghoon Lee (until 2 Aug)
Diego Torre (from 4 Aug)
Scarpia John Wegner
Douglas McNicol (20 & 25 July only)
Angelotti David Parkin
Sacristan John Bolton Wood
Gaoler Samuel Dundas
Spoletta Graeme Macfarlane
Sciarrone Michael Honeyman

Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra

Opera Australia Chorus

Running Time: Approximately 3 hours and five minutes including two intervals of 35 and 25 minutes.

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