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A ground-breaking Tosca




The Aurora Opera House wanted to celebrate its 50th anniversary very much alla grande and succeeded in putting on one of the most, if not the most, lavish Toscas I have seen anywhere in the past 63 years.
The peak in pomp and splendour was the Act I Te Deum finale. The dazzling mis-en sc?ne and the sweep of the music underlining Scarpia's confirmation of evil intent, provoked such a thunderous ovation that the scene was encored.?
For many years now in most opera houses, audience calls for an encore have been discouraged and rarely conceded.
In Malta, it was fairly common up to the 1950s/early 60s but these only linger in the memories of the more seasoned opera buffs. I cannot say I did not enjoy a second hearing of this finale.
If anything one could also enjoy what was the climactic high point of Luke Azzopardi's brilliant costume design.
Here, the ground-breaking aspect of this production was the collaboration with a leading? Maltese fashion house, Camilleri Paris Mode. It was a combination of aural and visual delight.
Long ago I read somewhere that Puccini's Tosca could have easily been called '"Scarpia'. The clashing opening chords of the opera are Scarpia's leitmotif: harsh...

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