Chicago Symphony Orchestra
James Conlon, Conductor
Apollo Chorus of Chicago
Chicago Children’s Choir
Other Soloists will join this concert.
Once denounced as Puccini’s “shabby little shocker,” Tosca today is revered as one of the most popular operas of all time and an acknowledged masterpiece of music drama. It tells the story of a tempestuous opera singer known for her passion both on and off the stage, and her ill-fated affair with the political revolutionary Mario Cavaradossi that is thwarted by the lecherous and corrupt chief of police, Baron Scarpia, who was willing to renounce God to fulfill his lust. Puccini’s score, at times ominously thunderous, at others meltingly lyrical, traces the horrors of their story with nearly cinematic precision while including some of opera’s all-time greatest hits: Cavaradossi’s melting “Recondita armonia” and “E lucevan le stelle” and the defining aria of the entire opera, “Vissi d’arte,” sung by the diva who “lived for art” but died for love.