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Giacomo Puccini 1858-1924 Tosca (1900) Historical situation ca 1800 1789 French revolution 1797 Napoleon Bonaparte invades Rome, puts Pope Pius VI in.

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Presentation on theme: "Giacomo Puccini 1858-1924 Tosca (1900) Historical situation ca 1800 1789 French revolution 1797 Napoleon Bonaparte invades Rome, puts Pope Pius VI in."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Giacomo Puccini Tosca (1900)

3 Historical situation ca French revolution 1797 Napoleon Bonaparte invades Rome, puts Pope Pius VI in prison (where he dies) and declares Rome a republic-only to 1799 (by 1806 forgets about republic) Kingdom of Naples and Sicily: King Ferdinand IV (Bourbon) and Queen Maria Carolina (daughter of Austria’s Maria Theresia Hapsburg, sister of Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI). They sided with the British against Napoleon. When King tries to free Rome is defeated, retreats to Sicily and Naples is declared a republic as well-monarchy restored 1799, with help of Lord Nelson too. Then they conquer Rome and settle in Palazzo Farnese Rome under occupation of Naples’ troops

4 Italian opera of the 19th century Deeply rooted in national life Cared little for Wagner Verismo as reaction against Wagner Verismo (realism): a phase of naturalism in literature and music characterized by projection on stage of fierce passions, violence, and death Expression of intense passion, arouse sensation by violent contrasts, cross section of life, sensational harmonies, concentration 1890 Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) & 1892 Leoncavallo’s I pagliacci (Clowns) first examples, one act each (unity of intent and passion)

5 Giacomo Puccini ( ) Born in Lucca in musical family Father died when he was 5: went to study with uncle. Was unruly and not committed to study Became organist but saw Aida in Pisa and decided to become opera composer 1880 to Milan conservatory Marries Elvira Bonturi, one son 1891 to Torre del Lago by Viareggio 1903 serious car accident Was a heavy smoker 1924 dies of throat cancer

6 Puccini’s ten operas 1882 first opera: Le Villi 1889 Edgar 1893 Manon Lescaut 1896 La bohème 1900 Tosca (verismo) 1904 Madama Butterfly (exoticism) 1910 La fanciulla del West 1917 La rondine 1918 Il trittico: Il tabarro, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi Turandot (unfinished) with Toscanini

7 Puccini’s style Melody driven Popular appeal of music Parlando style of declamation Significant motives (leitmotifs) No closed numbers, alternation of “conversational” and lyrical portions Masterful manipulation of orchestral color, rich orchestration “perpetual pregnancy” of melodies, where heightened emotional state is presented Insistence on precision in most minute details (e.g., exact tune sung in Te Deum, order of procession, exact pitch of St. Peter’s bells for act 3 etc.)

8 Tosca sources Victorien Sardou’s 5-act drama La Tosca of 1887 written for Sarah Bernhardt (Puccini saw her in the play in Florence) Puccini wants the rights and asks his friend Ricordi for help first in Then he writes La bohème, and when he asks again in 1895 rights already given to Franchetti, and Illica has written libretto Ricordi and Illica convince Franchetti to relinquish the rights (con him into…) Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica Sardou Giacosa Illica

9 Tosca: characters Floria Tosca: [tosco=poison] fiery, very religious, beautiful, jealous, celebrated opera singer (soprano) Mario Cavaradossi: aristocrat, painter, Tosca’s lover, pro-Napoleon (tenor) Baron Scarpia: [scarpa=shoe] mean head of the secret police of the King (baritone) Cesare Angelotti: [angelo=angel] escaped prisoner bonapartist, brother of the Marchesa Attavanti, former consul of the Roman Republic (bass)

10 Locales: Act I Chiesa di Sant’Andrea della Valle

11 Locales: Act II A room in Palazzo Farnese, residence of the King and Queen of the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily

12 Locales: Act III Castel Sant’Angelo (upper level)

13 Plot: Act I (Sant’Andrea della Valle) Cesare Angelotti, a political prisoner, escapes from Castel Sant’Angelo (the prison of the Pontifical state, just reinstated) and takes refuge in Sant’Andrea della Valle, where his sister Attavanti has left him women’s clothes in the family chapel The Sacristan announces (erroneously) Napoleon’s defeat. He and the altar boys rejoice Mario Cavaradossi, who is painting a Mary Magdalen, and Angelotti have a conversation and Angelotti escapes to Cavaradossi’s villa. They were friends and are happy Cavaradossi receives a visit from his lover, the singer Floria Tosca, who becomes jealous of the model and because she heard voices. She is calmed by Cavaradossi and leaves

14 A cannon announces Angelotti’s escape and the chief of the police, Scarpia, arrives to look for him. He finds a fan with Attavanti’s arms and uses it to make arise jealous suspicion in Tosca. Tosca departs to go look for Cavaradossi in his villa, thinking he’ll be there with the Marchioness Attavanti and Scarpia’s man Spoletta [spola=shuttle or bobbin] follows her. The church fills with people and the Te Deum (standard celebration for military victory) begins, in celebration of the alleged victory over Napoleon Meanwhile Scarpia is savoring catching the two conspirators (Angelotti and Cavaradossi) and conquering Tosca’s favors.

15 Plot: Act II (Palazzo Farnese) Scarpia is having dinner, while waiting for news, but his man announced not having found Angelotti, but having arrested Cavaradossi. Meanwhile outside Tosca is heard singing When she comes the men start interrogating and then torturing Cavaradossi, so that Tosca can hear the screams Scarpia tells her it is in her power to stop the torture by revealing Angelotti’s hiding place. She can’t bear the screams and reveals that Angelotti is hidden in the villa’s well.

16 Cavaradossi, who hadn’t talked, is upset with Tosca. Napoleon’s victory at Marengo is announced, to Cavaradossi’s delight When he is taken away Scarpia blackmails Tosca offering Cavaradossi’s freedom in exchange for her favors She refuses but when she hears Angelotti has killed himself gives in Scarpia promises the execution will be a mock one and gives them a safe-conduct When he approaches her she stabs and kills him.

17 Plot: Act III (Castel Sant’Angelo) Cavaradossi, while awaiting execution, writes a note to Tosca She comes and explains the plan to him, coaching him on how to feign death. She tells him of Scarpia’s death The death squad comes and shoots Cavaradossi with real bullets Scarpia’s men run in to catch Tosca She realizes Cavaradossi is dead and jumps off the top ramparts of the castle to her death.

18 Some musical elements “Scarpia” chords, loud, on a pentatonic scale: B ≤ A ≤ E The Sacristan’s buffo motive Tosca and Cavaradossi’s love motive (from 1 st act duet), mutual passion


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