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Subject: Re: The audience sighs as one
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Tue, 8 Aug 2017 12:38:55 -0400
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Ray mentions his Tosca and the exhilarating "rock star" experience it aff
afforded.  I'm beginning to think Tosca is THE opera that can best do this.

Pardon the length of my post, but all this talk has me recalling a Tosca in D
DC from 1997 which remains one of the most vividly produced pieces of t
theatre I can recall and, where more than once, did the audience "sigh" o
or "gasp" as one.

The first gasp occurred when the lovers, cavorting a tad more sensually 
than usual, found Tosca's hand grabbing Mario's butt, then sliding it up
up . . . . well, the middle.  

The second act was terrifying; an almost ridiculously handsome, 
bodybuilder-type Scarpia had a propensity toward violence, and repeatedly 
tossed Tosca around like a rag doll, slamming her onto the floor, onto the 
couch and into a marble column.  People were gasping throughout.  At 
Tosca's “Oh! Dio! ... che avviene!' where she rises to (I believe) a Bb, Scarpia
Scarpia hurled her onto the fainting sofa so hard she bounced back up ca
causing her to scream the end of the Bb, as she gained her balance to keep fr
from falling off the couch into the pit.  Then before writing the safe passage no
note, he tried to mount her from behind.  

Victimized and brutalized by this monster it was understandable this Tosca 
had lost it and she went after him like a lioness unleashed, plunging the 
blade into him over and over.  He fell, and tried to crawl away, but she 
hunted him down, sticking it to him again, then, straddling his body, as he 
grabbed her by the neck trying to choke her to death.  Her choked, stifled 
screams of “Mouri” were horrifying as she jammed the blade into him once 
more, loosening his grip.  The audience began cheering and clapping like it 
was an action adventure movie, shouts of “Yesss!” and “Alright!” punctuating Puccini.  Not everyone liked this (understandably), as half my row left affording me a center seat on the aisle for act 3.  

Then, when this Tosca (wonderfully sung and acted by Susan Foster) let out her great cry at the top of the parapet . . . and, still facing the audience, arms outstretched, fell backwards to her death, there were screams and gasps of 
punctuating Puccini.  Not everyone liked this (understandably), as half my ro
row left affording me a center seat on the aisle for act 3.  

Then, when this Tosca (wonderfully sung and acted by Susan Foster) let 
out her great cry at the top of the parapet . . . and, still facing the 
audience, arms outstretched, fell backwards to her death, there were 
screams and gasps of “Oh, my god!”  

While I wouldn’t want every performance to be done like this, once in a 
while – or at least once – you gotta love it!

p.

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