A “shabby little shocker” is next up for Northern Ireland Opera
7 February 2023
Reporter: Michael Quinn
Northern Ireland Opera has announced Puccini’s Tosca, which will be directed by the company’s Artistic Director Cameron Menzies, as its next major production at the Grand Opera House, Belfast in September.
First staged in Rome in 1900, the opera is set during Napoleon’s invasion of Italy in 1799 and is a torrid tale taking place over 24 hours in which the villainous Baron Scarpia sentences the painter Mario Cavaradossi to death unless his lover, the titular soprano Floria Tosca, succumbs to his libidinous desires.
With depictions of torture, murder and suicide set against a background of political turmoil and danger, it later prompted the music critic Joseph Kerman to describe it as “a shabby little shocker”.
Tosca follows NI Opera’s widely acclaimed La traviata at the Grand Opera House in 2022 when it was the venue’s fastest-selling opera on record, and will feature the NI Opera Chorus and the Ulster Orchestra. The production will be complemented by an outreach programme “aimed at connecting communities and audiences with one of the greatest operas ever written”.
The company's revival of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast last year has been nominated in three categories in this year's Irish Times Theatre Awards: Best Production, Best Director (Cameron Menzies) and Best Set (Niall McKeever).
Tosca will run from September 9–16 at the Grand Opera House, Belfast.
- Tosca - Giacomo Puccini (Northern Ireland Opera)