Scottish Opera: Tosca Review
The curtain rose and we were within the basilica church in Rome I used to walk past on my way from the Anglican Centre to meetings at the Vatican. The dark red interior stonework and a slightly lighter paving looked comforting, and the mildly dotty sactristan pottering about perfectly normal. And so the story of the political prisoner who has just escaped from Castel Sant’Angelo and his friend the painter developed. The choir and then the clergy process behind, the onlookers are asperged. All very real.
Tosca is not pleased that the painter’s portrait of Mary Magdalene looks nothing like her, particularly in the eyes and begs it be changed. Sarah Glanville is Tosca and she sees us through the evening spent in the apartment of the Chief of Police and on to the battlements of the Castel Sant’Angelo quite brilliantly.
Robert Poulton, the English baritone, is Scarpia the Chief of Police. What a wonderful voice - he excels in his determination to have his own way with Tosca. The story has a sad ending, but throughout it has been effortless viewing. Not surprising that this is a revival of the 1980 production first performed in Glasgow by Scottish Opera - but which deservedly has meanwhile gone all over the world. It was a treat to have it back.
And so ends Scottish Opera’s forty-ninth season. Friends talk about opera in London and at Glyndebourne. I tell them we have Scottish Opera - and aren’t we fortunate.
Performance reviewed: Wednesday 23 May 2012.
Further performances on Friday 25 May 2012 at 7.15pm, Sunday 27 May 2012 at 4pm, Thursday 31st May at 7.15pm and Saturday 2 June 2012 at 7.15pm.