If the liaison between Titus and Berenice inspired one of the greatest French playwrights, it was the Roman Emperor himself, an incarnation of absolute sovereignty, that occupied the central position in what was to be Mozart’s last opera.
In this production created for the Opera Ballet in 1984, Rudolf Nureyev opted for powerful dramatization. Splendour and violence, truculence and beauty mingle, rekindling the passion of Shakespeare’s drama.
Based on the eponymous play by Victorien Sardou, Puccini’s opera brings together all the elements of a melodrama: love, politics, violence and religion. Set against the backdrop of the struggle for Italian independence, Tosca is a tragic tale of thwarted love between a passionate, jealous and impulsive singer and a romantic, idealistic painter who champions civil liberties.