The Royal Opera presents Puccini’s Tosca

Tosca , Act II (2011) ©ROH/Catherine Ashmore, 2011

Tosca, Act II (2011) ©ROH/Catherine Ashmore, 2011


The Royal Opera brings back Jonathan Kent’s hugely popular and atmospheric staging of Tosca. Featuring love, jealousy, politics, torture, murder and suicide, Tosca is an opera of extremes, with a starkly enthralling plot which inspired Puccini to some of his most dramatic and memorable music. Paul Brown’s monumental designs and Mark Henderson’s atmospheric lighting highlight the excitement, troubled politics and passion of this much-loved opera. 


Tosca is based on Sardou’s 1887 French-language play La Tosca, written for the great French actress Sarah Bernhardt. The action takes place in Rome in June 1800. In 24 hours, the love between the beautiful opera singer Floria Tosca and the painter Mario Cavaradossi is brutally disrupted by the vile machinations of the sadistic Chief of Police, Baron Scarpia. Tosca received its premiere in 1900 at a time of unrest in Rome and its first performance was delayed for a day for fear of disturbances; once performed, it became an immediate success with the public.


British conductor Alexander Joel returns to The Royal Opera to conduct one of the most popular and exciting of all Italian operas, containing some of Puccini’s most beautiful arias and duets.


Unlike many of Puccini’s other heroines, who stoically accept their fates, Tosca courageously and determinedly attempts to control her destiny. The role calls for an exceptional soprano to interpret it, and The Royal Opera is delighted to present Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais and Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu, who share the role of Floria Tosca. Kristine Opolais made her Royal Opera debut in 2011 as Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly) and has since returned to sing the title roles in Tosca and Manon Lescaut. Angela Gheorghiu created the role of Tosca in this production in 2006 and has returned to sing it on numerous occasions, most recently in 2018. She has also recently sung Tosca in Hamburg and Dresden. 


Italian tenor Vittorio Grigòlo sings the role of the painter Mario Cavaradossi for the first time with The Royal Opera. He made his operatic debut as a child in the role of the Shepherd Boy (Tosca) for Rome Opera, and recently made his role debut as Cavaradossi for the Metropolitan Opera, New York. He made his Royal Opera debut in 2010 as Des Grieux (Manon) and most recently sang Hoffmann (Les Contes d’Hoffmann) for The Royal Opera.


Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel returns to the role of the diabolical Scarpia, which he originally created in this production in 2006, sharing it with Italian baritone Marco Vratogna. Bryn Terfel made his Royal Opera debut in 1992 and his recent roles for the Company have included the title role in Falstaff, Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore) and Hans Sachs (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg).  He returns to The Royal Opera to sing the title role in Boris Godunovlater in the Season. Marco Vratogna made his Royal Opera debut in 2008 as Paolo Albiani (Simon Boccanegra) and his other roles of The Royal Opera have included Iago (Otello) and Amonasro (Aida).


Two former Jette Parker Young Artists take the roles of Spoletto and Sciarrone respectively: Australian tenor Hubert Francis and Korean bass Jihoon Kim. Hubert Francis recently sang Spoletta and Coachman (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk) for the Company. Jihoon Kim has recently sung Robert (Les Vêpres siciliennes) for The Royal Opera. 


Current Jette Parker Young Artist, Scottish-Iranian bass-baritone Michael Mofidian sings the role of Cesare Angelotti. He made his Royal Opera debut in 2019 as Narumov (The Queen of Spades); his other roles this Season are Alcalde (La forza del destino), Minotaurus (Phaedra) and Zuniga (Carmen). New Zealand-born Samoan bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu sings the role of Sacristan. He made his Royal Opera debut in 2003 as Zoroastro (Orlando) and his other roles for the company have included Colline (La bohème) and Jake Wallace (La fanciulla del West). 



27, 30 May at 7.30pm, 4 June at 12 noon, 7, 10, 15, 17, 20 June at 7.30pm

The performance on 17 June will be British Sign Language Interpreted

Tickets available from the Royal Opera House website and Box Office
(+44 (0)20 7304 4000)

David Taylor