Puccini wrote sublime music for unsavoury stories.
As last night’s performance of Tosca progressed in Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre, I began to be uncomfortable with the dramatic rendition of Scarpia. He is an evil, manipulative, sexually predatory individual of the kind that absolute power creates all too easily. It did no one any favours to have the acting lean towards pantomime.
At the curtain calls, which deservedly for everyone’s singing went on for ages, the performer was booed as the villain is at the end of popular panto.
The storyline of Tosca is stripped back to make it one of the clearest opera plots; a drama of the purest kind. This audience member doesn’t need gimmicky renditions to keep her buying the ticket.