Tosca

Giacomo Puccini (1858 – 1924)

12
Thursday
January
19:30 - 22:45
C-Prices: € 100,00 / € 82,00 / € 58,00 / € 34,00 / € 24,00
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Information about the work

Melodramma in 3 acts
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
based on the drama LA TOSCA by Victorien Sardou
First performed on 14th January 1900 in Rome
Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 13th April 1969

Recommended from 13 years on

3 hrs 15 mins / 2 intervals

In Italian with German and English surtitles

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance

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The Children’s Chorus is sponsored by Engel & Völkers and Dobolino e.V. [the support association for the Children’s Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin] and Berliner Volksbank

12
Thursday
January
19:30 - 22:45
C-Prices: € 100,00 / € 82,00 / € 58,00 / € 34,00 / € 24,00
Buy tickets
the content

Puccini's "Torture Opera", as Oskar Bie dubbed it, was based on LA TOSCA, the well received play by Victorien Sardou [1831–1908], which premiered in Paris in 1887 with Sarah Bernhardt in the title role. Puccini attended a performance of the play in Milan during an 1889 tour and found the subject matter interesting, although the Tosca project was to remain dormant for another six years. Puccini's interest in the work grew, doubtless prompted by another viewing of the Sardou play in Florence and by Luigi Illica's work on a TOSCA libretto for composer Alberto Franchetti [1860–1942]. Following a "conspiracy" between Puccini, Illica and Ricordi, the publisher successfully persuaded Franchetti to abandon his TOSCA project and to surrender the scoring rights to Puccini.

As in all other Puccini operas TOSCA amply demonstrates the mutual causality between humane attentiveness and culinary pleasure when the composer's artistic intention becomes the benchmark for interpretations. The outcry and resignation are the two fundamental prerequisites for the human attention paid by Puccini: The empathy reflected in his composition, far from contenting itself with abstract gestures, aims to disturb and transform. The "small things" - Puccini refers to them with modern understatement as his preferred focus of attention – become "large issues", provided that we want this to happen.

In view of the connection between Puccini's choice of subject matter (directly and indirectly inspired by Zola, Hauptmann and Gorki) and his method of composition it is natural that we crown him Verdi's successor and confer on him the badge of "verismo". He is known to have been a great admirer of Wagner and anything but a second-rate imitator. He created a very personal bond with Verdi and Wagner by taking his inspiration from both masters. He took all their harmony refinements and subtleties of instrumentation and managed to detach the voice somewhat from the orchestra, all the while giving it a far more fragmented and melodically sensitive accompagnato in the orchestra than the radical and laconic Verdi ever had. This is also mirrored in the aesthetic theme of Tosca. Puccini's musical statement is as brutal as it is tender, as intelligent as it is sentimental, as precise as it is dreamy. Puccini's watchwords are authenticity, precision of musical detail, social awareness, the poetic sound of the ostensibly mundane, heroism coupled with shrewdness, the contrast between passionate commitment and cold remoteness.

The Chief of Police Scarpia, the singer Floria Tosca and the artist Cavaradossi in their different ways, all insist on their personal freedom to act as they please - Scarpia as a condition of his claim to power, Cavaradossi in his rebellious urge to bring about change and Tosca as an expression of a plain, unlimited love.

At a time of momentous change such attitudes take on an exemplary significance. Depending on how we view Puccini and ourselves today, we can approach TOSCA as a romantic shocker or as a bad omen for freedom. Whatever our attitude, each of these very different individuals in the triangular relationship pays the ultimate price for his or her actions. Their deaths are not accompanied by a glorious halo marked Redemption; they are bitter, horrific, definitive.

Götz Friedrich's 1987 reappraisal of Boleslaw Barlog's straightforward and unadulterated interpretation in 1969 takes Puccini's intentions literally: the mutual causality between humane attentiveness and culinary pleasure is nourished by the music and feeds, in turn, into the scenic interpretation

Our articles on the subject

Dr Takt on Giacomo Puccini's "Tosca" / Act I, fourth meter before figure 5
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02
DEC

Advent Calendar in the Foyer: The 2nd Door

Today in the foyer: The Small and Large Chorus of the Children's Chorus sings Christmas carols
17.00 hrs / Rank foyer on the right
Duration: approx. 25 minutes / free admission


Around 150 active singers make up our Children's Chorus, which is an important and heavily involved ensemble partner in numerous operas. Its members come together at least twice a week to make music under the direction of Christian Lindhorst. In its performances and concerts on stage, in the Chamber Music Hall of the Philharmonie or at other events, the Children's Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin spans the spectrum from baroque to modern.

In the course of the 2022/23 season, the children and young people aged 9 to 16 will appear on the stage of the house in CARMEN, LA BOHÈME, TOSCA and TURANDOT as well as in the new production of MATTHEW PASSION. And on 18 December 2022, the chorus will take a trip to St. Paul the Apostle Church in Schöneberg, where it will join the Kammersymphonie Berlin for a Christmas programme "In dulci jubilo" with works by Michael Haydn, Johannes Brahms, Michael Praetorius and Gottfried August Homilius, among others.

Today's programme includes Advent and Christmas carols such as "Jetzt ist wieder Weihnacht da" or "Lied von den Schneeflocken".

The children's chorus is sponsored by Dobolino e.V. and Engel & Völkers.