The Royal Opera’s Winter 2020/21 programme will open with 12 performances of Tosca. The revival of Jonathan Kent’s 2006 production will see Anna Netrebko in the title role, Yusif Eyvazov, Gerald Finley and Dan Ettinger conducting.
Puccini’s opera will be the first fully-staged production of an opera at Covent Garden since lockdown in March 2020. Running from Wednesday 13 January to Saturday 13 March, the production will also be live-streamed worldwide on Friday 22 January.
On 15, 18, 21, 23 January, Spanish soprano Saioa Hernández will sing the title role, with South Korean tenor Yonghoon Lee reviving the role of Cavaradossi in which he made his Royal Opera debut in the 2012/13 Season. Lithuanian bass-baritone Kostas Smoriginas, a former member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, will perform the role of Baron Scarpia.
When Tosca returns in March, British conductor Alexander Soddy will make his ROH debut with Swedish soprano Malin Byström, British-Italian tenor Freddie De Tommaso – who makes his role debut as Cavaradossi – and German baritone Michael Volle.
To comply with Covid-safe working and social distancing guidance, the orchestra will be smaller than usual, and Act I features some changes to the original staging. To ensure the safety of artists and creative teams and to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, mitigations have included strict socially distancing in the rehearsal studio alongside testing, for those in physical contact during rehearsal, administered privately, at no expense to the NHS.
Oliver Mears, Director of Opera of the Royal Opera House, said:
What better way for the Royal Opera House and our beloved audience to return to full-scale opera than with Puccini’s masterpiece? Gripping theatre from beginning to end, Tosca also features some of the most passionate music in the repertory, performed here by a dazzling collection of local and international stars. Classic opera at Covent Garden is back.
General booking is open from Tuesday 22 December at 10am.
Tope photo: Tosca © ROH 2016 Photo by Catherine Ashmore
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.