Tosca, 1976

A second visit by the Kinecroft Theatre Company from Abingdon with another Puccini favourite for us.



Act 1: In mid-June 1800 Rome is ruled by fear, in that republicanism has collapsed and power shifted to royalism. Scarpia, general of the secret police and on the side of royalism, continuously commits many republicans to prison. One of them, Angelotti, succeeds in breaking out and rushes into the church of Sant’ Andrea della Valle where he meets with another republican, Cavaradossi, who hides Angelotti in his secret hideout. Later, after the two left the church, Scarpia (who gives chase to Angelotti) enters there but cannot find him, although he does meet Tosca. She’s a singer and Cavaradossi’s lover. Scarpia tricks Tosca into going to Cavaradossi’s house and has his subordonates follow her.

Act 2: In the Farnese Palace, Scarpia receives word that his subordinates can’t find Angelotti, but have arrested Cavaradossi. Scarpia tortures Cavaradossi, but Cavaradossi doesn’t confess Angelotti’s whereabouts. Scarpia calls Tosca, and shows her her lover’s tortured state. Tosca gives up the route to the secret hideout to Scarpia. Then, word comes that Napoleon has won the Battle of Marengo, that is, a defeat for royalism. Cavaradossi exclaims with delight. Scarpia is furious with him, and condemns Cavaradossi to death. Tosca begs Scarpia to save her lover’s life. Scarpia demands that Tosca yield herself to him in exchange for her lover’s life. As Scarpia goes to touch Tosca, she stabs him to death with a knife from the table.

Act 3: Tosca runs to Cavaradossi who is confined to the prison at the castle of Sant’Angelo. But, the firing squad carry out their orders to shoot Cavaradossi. When Scarpia’s subordinates rush to arrest Tosca for Scarpia’s murder, she kills herself by leaping from the castle.

The programme also contains a little two-sided summary of the plot; side one covered from Act I to the interval and side two from Act II to the close. As before, please click the images to enlarge.