The complete opera Tosca by Giacomo Puccini, with libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
The original motion picture soundtrack to the 2000 film directed by Benoit Jacquot
Starring Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna, Ruggero Raimondi, Maurizio Muraro, Enrico Fissore and David Cangelosi
With the Tiffin Boys' Choir, and the Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, conducted by Antonio Pappano
Looked at from virtually any angle, this Tosca is a triumph. It is lavishly presented (billed as the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Benoit Jacquot's film), superbly engineered and boasts a first-rate cast. There are, indeed, two distinct stars: the outstanding soprano Angela Gheorghiu in an assumption of the title role which is awe-inspiring in its breadth of emotion and dramatic range; and the conductor, Antonio Pappano, whose intimate knowledge of Puccini's score illuminates page after page and detail after detail. Pappano possesses a complete grasp of the operatic situation, faultlessly pacing the whole opera to bring about a spine-tingling climax. The Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden give their all for him. If Roberto Alagna's portrayal of Cavaradossi does not quite scale the dizzying heights of Gheorghiu's Tosca, he is nevertheless capable of much subtlety. Ruggero Raimondi's Scarpia is all the more evil for his multi-layered approach to this character. Pappano's Tosca now becomes the modern version to have.