Giacomo Puccini's "Tosca" was premiered in Rome in 1900 and is one of the most important works of the verismo. Deeply human emotions such as love, jealousy, betrayal and arbitrariness are at the center of the action, making the opera a perennial favorite of opera literature. Puccini's intention with his "Tosca" was not to stir the audience, but to shake it up. "The mood of Tosca is not romantic and lyrical, but passionate, agonizing and gloomy. (...) Until now we were gentle, now we want to be cruel," he outlined in a letter to his librettist.
At the Theater an der Wien, Burgtheater director Martin Kušej is now staging this "thriller of violence and great emotion" in a way that, he says, "has never been seen before." He is interested in concentrating on what Puccini has already laid out: "My goal is to transform Puccini's radical approaches into the 21st century. (...) Puccini's opera combines grandiose music with a brutal story in an incredibly direct way, which is what makes it so exciting. I don't think that has to be a contradiction, and that's what I want to tell. In addition, I have an interest in this singular work of the classical repertoire also because I think certain border crossings in the reception of opera are indispensable. We need to get right to the music, to the texts and to the settings."
The Latvian soprano Kristīne Opolais, who also repeatedly crosses borders with her playing and with whom Martin Kušej has already successfully collaborated in Rusalka, is in his production as Floria Tosca in the crosshairs of politics and art, love and desire. Chilean tenor Jonathan Tetelman embodies the politically liberal-minded painter Mario Cavaradossi. Ingo Metzmacher is at the podium of the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna.