A Timely “Tosca”
I’m looking forward to attending the dress rehearsal of PORTopera’s production of “Tosca,” on Tuesday, July 27. Knowing artistic director Dona Vaughn’s ability to breathe new life into old librettos, and to create more complex characters than usually strut the operatic stage, I’m wondering what she will do with an opera whose arch villain is a policeman, and whose plot echoes Shakespeare’s Mark Antony: “The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones.” (Scarpia continues to do harm even after his death at the hands of Tosca.)
It is not often that an opera can be this relevant to today’s news. In addition to police misbehavior, we have torture for political ends based on faulty information, lechery in high places, propaganda and the banality of evil. My guess is that Scarpia will remain a stage villain, but more realistically vicious, while Tosca may be a little more complex and less Diva-like. Can’t wait to find out.