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This production of Tosca is the finest I have ever seen, and I have seen a great many. Perfectly sung by all the characters all of whom acted superbly. The orchestra with Pappano in charge, was truly exciting. A fine traditional production, thank God with good costumes. Watching this performance I was completely 'carried away' Angela Gheorghui is the perfect Tosca, beautiful and seems to live the role. Jonas Kaufmann is a truly great singer, a voice to die for. Bryan Terfel is a splendid Scarpia, completely convincing in his evil character. Lovely voice. PERFECT
This highly traditional production, splendidly sung by it's impressive leads in this wonderfully detailed blu ray transfer with excellent sound is only marred by occasional directorial clunkiness. Jonas Kaufmann is musically and dramatically outstanding. Terfel is also impressive but Angela Gheorghiu suffers from being given some very awkward direction at the end of Act Two which undercuts the emotional impact of her vocally outstanding performance. The high def makes it very clear there is a problem over the stabbing of Scarpia too and his subsequent "blood loss" or, initially, lack of it then followed by Gheorghiu's valiant attempt to deal with the technical problem, is faintly comic. Similarly a rather strange set design for Act Three (no that object in the sky isn't an asteroid, it's the giant wing of the stone angel!) and once more some rather clunky direction reappears, where even Kaufmann suffers through his required, albeit brief, silly gestures when he assumes he is to be saved ( totally out of place for both the moment and character)and this is compounded by some peculiar business with the soldiers (half naked washing??) at the start of the scene as well. However, these are minor caveats as, overall, it's still a very impressive evening, as is clearly supported by the understandably jubilant Garden audience and do not detract from a 5 star rating!
This compares favourably with the BBC filmed version with some pros and cons. Always preferred is live performance, whilst the filmed version gets dispensation to a degree, with filmed live sessions and scenes which cannot easily be staged. Although Terfel, as Scarpia, comes over as creepy, he doesn't carry the menace of Raimondi in the film. Gheorghiu, in her own words, likes camera and it shows in her much greater expression for the filmed version. In some respects she doesn't act this part because she firmly believes that she is Tosca and who could doubt her. I think that she appears, rightly, more at ease with romanticism when playing opposite to her husband. Her husband Alagna, I feel is a much under rated tenner, but carries the role as a weaker victim in the filmed version. Kaufmann in contrast comes over as a wilful insurgent and the depth of his tenor, almost baritone, voice carries this message with conviction. Other than that, I have enjoyed both versions.
I admit to not being a great authority on opera I am familiar with The Magic Flute, Fidelio and The Turn of the screw(all of which I studied with the Open University)and have a great regard for The Dutchman, Aida and Carmen. These are of course the"easy operas". So I thought it time I gave Tosca a go!! I chose the Terfel, Kaufmann,Gheorghiu,Royal OperaHouse production under Antonio Pappano(a hero of mine) a go and was not disappointed. Wow!! I have never been a great fan of Terfel but his Scarpia is iconic(so I was wrong).The climax is heart wrenching and I am emotionally drained. Well done all of you
This was wonderful and spell-binding entertainment for the full two hours. It had a great story line, great characters, wonderful costumes & sets. The singing and music were also truly lovely, the acting was top drawer – what else could you ask for? Angela Gheorghiu just oozed a woman in need of love, and so willing to give it back. Bryn Terfel as Scarpia was for me, not far behind in being the star of the show – his performance was utterly awesome. Now that’s what a nasty ‘baddy’ should be like? Jonas Kaufmann (Mario) too came across perfectly as the unlucky love interest for the rather clingy Tosca! This rates up there with the best as far as I am concerned. I just loved it. If I could give this 6 stars I would!
This production is all that an opera should be. Firstly, well sung and acted - Bryn Terfel is a superbly nasty piece of work as the cruel chief of police, Scarpia. Others may play the part with more subtlety, equally valid, but Terfel's portrayal as a bullying "heavy" is valid too. Kaufmann must be the most exciting tenor around today - he sings superbly, and looks great too. Gheorghiu looks good, and, though not my favourite voice, sings and acts well. The sets are realistic and convincing, and the whole production is very satisfying
From the moment Kaufmann comes on stage this rendition takes off and Gheorghiu is marvellous too. Terfel is amazingly sinister and Pappano wonderfully sensitive to the score. Picture and sound quality almost take one to Covent Garden, which I could never affored to go to. I'm not a great lover of Italian opera but I'm glad I decided on this rather than either of the two 'on location' versions which I also considered. In stereo the sound stops during the closing bows but otherwise the blu ray is excellent - and so far I've only watched it on tv, yet to pipe it through my hi fi.
I ordered this just after seeing a life broadcast of Tosca from the New York Met. That was fantastic, especially the baritone playing Scarpio. That production was not available but I thought that Bryn Tefal would be brilliant in that role so ordered this production. I am not dissapointed, the whole production is amazing. However, I am biased as Tosca, Otello and La Boheme are my 3 favourite operas!
A perfect combination of the drama, music and performers. Utterly compelling. I have not seen Bryn Terfel in an opera before. His slightly over dramatised Scarpia is really chilling. I shall look out for more of his performances. The relationship between the two main characters was truly electric. I feel privileged to be able to own such an exciting DVD.