Vancouver Opera has just finished its run of Puccini’s Tosca for which it received rave reviews. I got to see it on opening night and enjoyed it immensely. I’ve been looking forward to hearing this particular opera for many years ― and not only because I have yet to meet a Puccini opera I didn’t love.
No, I’ve been wanting to hear Tosca ever since the friend who introduced me to opera told me how, at the end of the opera, Tosca jumps to her death from the ramparts of Castel Sant’Angelo. Why did this make such an impact on me? Because my friend told me the story of Tosca’s demise when we were standing on the ramparts of Castel Sant’Angelo. (There’s nothing like context to make opera come alive!)
If you’re wondering how high those ramparts might be, here’s a photo of the Tiber that I took when I turned around after taking the above photo.
Another interesting detail about Tosca: Act I is set in the Church of Sant’Andrea della Valle. My friends and I discovered this bit of trivia when we wandered into the church, which just happened to be located on the same street as our Roman hotel. Lesson learned: you never know what awaits you inside a Roman church.