Rebellion. Corruption. Jealousy. Torture. A mislaid dagger. And most of all, love.
The ingredients in Puccini's opera are enough for an entire television series, but actually take place in the course of one intense day in Rome in June 1800. When Mario Cavaradossi, a painter, is suspected of harbouring a political refugee, Scarpia, the sadistic chief of police, sees his chance, not only to catch the rebel but also to win Cavaradossi's lover, the famous opera singer Floria Tosca. Neither Scarpia nor Tosca spare any means to get what they want.
The Bergen International Festival opens with a concert version of the opera, with moving duets and some of the world's best-known arias, including Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore (Tosca's Prayer) and É lucevan le stelle (And the stars were shining).
Artist in Residence Lise Davidsen, soprano, makes her stage debut in the title role. Her revolutionary lover is portrayed by the British-Italian tenor Freddie De Tommaso, while the evil Roman police chief is played by the Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel.
In the opening performance of the Bergen International Festival this fatal trefoil takes the stage accompanied by Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, Edvard Grieg Kor and Edvard Grieg Youth Choir.
Image: Lise Davidsen (photo: Morten Krogvold), Freddie De Tommaso (photo: Craig Gibson), Bryn Terfel (photo: Johannes Ifkovits)
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Read about soprano and artist in residence Lise
Watch: Freddie De Tommaso and Lise Davidsen singing Non la sospiri la nostra casetta from Tosca on Freddie's new album Il Tenore.