Performance | Famous Performances: Tosca | Turn of the Century | Opera
Stories of chaotic and bungled performances of Tosca abound, but there are two in particular that have become legendary. The first concerns a production in New York in 1960. The prima donna singing the title role had, through her various demands and irascibility, made herself unpopular with everyone – so much so, in fact, that the backstage crew decided to have their revenge on her. At the end of the opera, Tosca is instructed to leap from the battlements of the Castel Sant’Angelo, after her lover, Cavaradossi, has been executed. She would normally land safely on a specially constructed pad. In this instance, the crew apparently substituted the pad with a particularly springy trampoline. The tragedy of Tosca’s dramatic leap was cut short as she reappeared above the parapets several times.
The other story reports that a set of under-rehearsed extras in a 1961 production in San Francisco was rushed in to be the firing squad. Instructed to come on stage, conduct the execution and exit with the principals, the squad was confused to discover both Tosca and Cavaradossi on stage and no clear indication of who should be shot. They finally settled on Tosca – she was, after all, the tragic eponymous heroine – only to see her lover collapse beside her. Further disarray followed when Tosca leapt off the parapet and the men were left on stage. True to their instructions, they exited with the principals, following one another as they too jumped from the castle.
An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...
Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.
The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.
Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers
his life, music, art and movies, with a
sweep of incredible photographs.