The Opéra of Montréal will open its 2017-18 season with an all-time classic: Tosca by Giacomo Puccini, a drama in three acts revolving around a love triangle. A painter (Mario Cavaradossi) and a singing diva (Tosca) are in love, but Scarpia, the chief of Roma’s Police is looking for a political dissident who is hiding at Cavaradossi’s work place. Scarpia is so enraptured by Tosca’s beauty that he will do anything in his power to have sex with her…
At a sneak peek of the production at the rehearsal studios of Opéra de Montréal we sat down with conductor Giuseppe Grazioli, director Jose Maria Condemi, tenor Giancarlo Monsalve, (Cavaradossi) soprano Melody Moore-Wagner (Tosca) and baritone Gregory Dahl (Scarpia).
Melody Moore-Wagner (soprano, plays Tosca):
For the American soprano, the important thing is to always keep the character relevant and realistic. “I love our director because Jose Maria Condemi is a thinking director, he actually thinks how much time has passed between this event and that event and what would have happened in that time. Often you would see Tosca come up to Act three with her full regalia dress, a crown and some big cloak made of velvet. And it’s not realistic because she just got off a safe passage to get out of the city and she’s been told at what time this fake execution is going to happen. So she would have had time to go and make herself a bit more discreet to be running to the streets and save Cavaradossi. You don’t do that in a full gown and a crown! You just don’t! Andrew is a real persons’ director. He wants the action to be realistic, so there is not a lot of parking and barking.” [Referring to the tendency of some singers and productions to stand up and sing without much acting].