PucciniTosca opera to libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica. Directed 2018 by Michael Sturminger at the Osterfestspiele Salzburg. Stars Anja Harteros (Floria Tosca), Aleksandrs Antonenko (Mario Cavaradossi), Ludovic Tézier (Baron Scarpia), Andrea Mastroni (Cesare Angelotti), Matteo Peirone (The Sacristan), Mikeldi Atxalandabaso (Spoletta), Luca Casalin (Sciarrone), Levente Páll (A Jailer), and Benjamin Aster (A Shepherd Boy). Christian Thielemann conducts the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Salzburger Bachchor (Chorus Master Alois Glaßner), and the Salzburger Festspiele und Theater Kinderchor (Chorus Master Wolfgang Götz). Costume and set design by Renate Martin and Andreas Donhauser; lighting design by Urs Schönebaum. Directed for TV by Tiziano Mancini. Sung in Italian. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

For a long time we pined for a contemporary “thriller” version of Tosca (better than the execrable Baden-Baden effort that victimized poor Kristine Opolais). Mark Pullinger assures us (May 2019 Gramophone at page 95) that we finally have a good one in this film-noir inspired production set in modern day Rome. But William Braun, on pages 72-73 of the September 2019 Opera News, pans the updating stating that the plot “runs off the rails” in Act 3 with “silly” plot twists. He goes on to say, however, that Harteros “sweeps the field” of video Tosca sopranos and that the orchestra and chorus also turn in admirable reports. So it appears we must keep looking for a completely successful update of Tosca.

This was shot in 4K, and here are a few images floating around the Internet to give a taste for the production. In the first image below Cavaradossi (Alexsandrs Antonenko) lectures students on modern art:


Ludovic Tézier, shown here as Scarpia assaulting Tosca (Anja Harteros), seems to be everywhere these days deploying what might be the healthiest voice in all opera:


From the interrogation scene:


And here’s a clip of Harteros singing ‘Vissid’arte‘ (subtitles in German) that’s probably from Tiziano Mancini’s video file (that was shown on TV before winding up in the Blu-ray):