Puccini: Tosca

Opera 100

Here we write a 100-word précis of numerous opera plots. This is an ongoing and serendipitous series, the idea being to present the storyline in an instant.

Puccini: Tosca

by: Alexander Campbell

Escaped political prisoner Angelotti is discovered in church by sympathetic artist Cavaradossi. Initially Cavaradossi conceals this from his diva lover, jealous Floria Tosca. Sadistic policeman Scarpia arrives. Insinuating Cavaradossi has another lover he follows the distraught Tosca to Cavaradossi’s villa. He arrests then tortures Cavaradossi forcing Tosca to betray Angelotti’s whereabouts. To guarantee Cavaradossi’s release, after a mock execution, Scarpia blackmails Tosca into submitting to his carnal desires. Revolted, she stabs him. Atop Castello Sant’Angelo she encourages Cavaradossi before the firing squad only to discover the execution genuine. Scarpia’s murder is discovered. Trapped, she leaps to death from the parapets.

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