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Sun. June 23, 2019, 7 p.m. - 9:45 p.m. Vienna

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Giacomo Puccini


Conductor: Marco Armiliato, Director: Margarethe Wallmann
With Nina Stemme, Piotr Beczala, Carlos Álvarez


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Programme booklet



Marco Armiliato | Conductor

MARCO ARMILIATO studied piano at the Paganini-Conservatoire in his hometown of Genova. In the 90s, he became intensely active in the big opera houses of the world. At the New York Met, he conducted Il trovatore, La Bohème, Stiffelio, Madama Butterfly, Sly, Aida, Turandot, La Fille du Ré­giment and Rigoletto, and at the San Francisco Opera La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, La traviata, Tosca, Aida and Ca­valleria rusticana. At the Wiener Staatsoper, where he made his debut in 1996 with Andrea Chénier, he has conducted among others, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Bohème, Carmen, Cavalleria rusticana, Don Carlo, L’elisir d’amore, Falstaff, La forza del de­stino, Lucia di Lammermoor, Manon, Manon Lescaut, Pagliacci, Simon Boccanegra, Stiffelio, Tosca, La traviata, Turandot and Werther. He received further engagements at the opera houses of Barcelona, Madrid, Zurich, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Turin, Rome, at the Deutsche Opera Berlin, the Bavarian State Opera, at the ROH Covent Garden, at the Théâtre du Châtelet and Opéra Bastille in Paris, at the Hamburg State Opera and Verona. He is also internationally successful as a concert conductor.

Nina Stemme | Floria Tosca

The Swedish soprano Nina Stemme is one of the most sought-after interpreters of her field. After her debut as Cherubino in Italy, invitations to opera houses in Stockholm, Vienna, Dresden, Zurich, Naples, Barcelona, to the Metropolitan Opera, to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, to San Francisco, Zurich and the Festivals in Bayreuth, Luzern, Salzburg, Savonlinna, Glyndebourne and Bregenz followed, where she successfully sang the roles of her repertoire, such as Mimi, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Manon Lescaut, Tatjana, Suor Angelica, Euridice, Katerina (Lady Macbeth von Mzensk), Contessa (Nozze di Figaro) Marguerite (Faust), Agathe, Marie (Wozzeck), Nyssia (König Kandaules), Jenufa, Rosalinde, Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier), Eva (Meistersinger), Elisabeth (Tannhäuser), Elsa (Lohengrin), Senta (Fliegender Holländer), Sieglinde (Walküre), Amelia (Un ballo in maschera), Leonora (Forza del destino), Aida, Isolde, Arabella, Brünnhilde (Ring), Salome.


Piotr Beczala | Mario Cavaradossi

PIOTR BECZALA is one of the main representatives of Lyrical Tenors; he has celebrated success at the New York Met, in Chicago and San Francisco, at the Munich Staatsoper, ROH Covent Garden, the Paris Opéra National, the Milan Scala, the Berlin Staatsoper as well as the Festivals in Salzburg, Baden-Baden and Montpellier. Born and studied in south Poland, he was then made an ensemble member at the Landestheater Linz and then at the Opera in Zurich. He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 1996 with Anton Bruckner’s Te Deum and also as Tamino, Belmonte, Alfredo, Faust, Rodolfo, Roméo and Edgardo. His current and central repertoire also include Verdi’s Duca and Riccardo, Massenets Werther, Gounod’s Roméo, Tschaikowskijs Lenski and Vaudémont, Smetanas Jenik as well since recently Massenets Des Grieux. Recent engagements include, among others, in Munich, the Met, the Scala, in Salzburg and in Baden-Baden. He is also a highly demanded concert singer and works regularly with leading conductors. 

Carlos Álvarez | Baron Scarpia

KS CARLOS ÁLVAREZ was born in Málaga and studied at the conservatoire in his hometown. He made his debut as a singer in 1990. Since then, his international career has brought him to La Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Paris, Amsterdam, San Francisco, the Hamburg State Opera and the Bavarian State Opera, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Arena di Verona, the Zurich Opera House, the Opera House Bonn, Brussels, Valencia, the Salzburg Festival and the New Yorker Met. He made his debut at the Vienna State Opera in 1995 as Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia).
Further roles at the Vienna State Opera include Germont (La traviata), Riccardo (I puritani), Posa (Don Carlo), Sulpice (La Fille du régiment), Carlo Gérard (Andrea Chénier), Don Carlo (Ernani), Don Carlos (La forza del destino), Stankar (Stiffelio), duke of Nottingham (Roberto Devereux), Alphonse XI. (La Favorite), Escamillo (Carmen), Ford (Falstaff) as well as leading roles in Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro. In 2007 Carlos Álvarez was awarded the honorary title for singers in Austria “Kammersänger”.


ACT I Rome in the year 1800. Republicans pinning their hopes on Napoleon are being subjected to a rule of terror. One of their leaders, Angelotti, has managed to escape from the Fort St. Angelo prison and seeks sanctuary in the church of Sant’ Andrea della Valle. He hides in the Attavanti family chapel, the key of which has been left for him by a pre-arranged plan. In the church the painter Mario Cavaradossi is working on a painting of the Magdalena, using as his model (only without her knowing it) a beautiful lady who comes to the church to pray. She is Marchesa Attavanti, Angelotti’s sister. Angelotti comes out of his hiding place, confident that he can trust Cavaradossi. Nor is he mistaken, for Cavaradossi gives him the basket of food which was brought for himself and sends him back to his hiding place just as his beloved Floria Tosca is heard coming into the church. She is immediately struck by his uneasiness and notices that his painting of the Magdalena has an exact likeness of the Marchesa Attavanti. She cannot restrain her jealousy, and it is all Cavaradossi can do to persuade her that he is innocent, that her suspicions are unfounded, and that it is she alone whom he loves. After Tosca has departed Cavaradossi tells Angelotti he knows of a better hiding place for him, an empty well on his property. Suddenly there is a canon shot from the Fort, a signal that Angelotti’s escape has been discovered. It is high time he found a new hiding place. A service is being held in the church. Suddenly Rome’s Chief of Police, Scarpia, comes in. as soon as Angelotti’s escape was discovered Scarpia felt instinctively that the Attavanti chapel should be the first place for him to look in, and sure enough he finds the empty food basket Cavaradossi had given Angelotti, and the Marchesa’s fan. He immediately realizes that the latter is far more than just a clue: his knowledge of human frailties tells him that it can be used to inflame Tosca’s jealousy. And so it proves: Tosca once again doubts her lover’s fidelity, and Scarpia is a step nearer possession of Tosca, whose love for Cavaradossi makes her blind to all danger. While a solemn procession winds its way into the church, Scarpia gloates over his imminent triumph.  ACT II A rumor that Napoleon has suffered a defeat leads to a great celebration at the Palazzo Farnese, to which Tosca contributes a song. Scarpia can hear her voice from his room in the Palazzo. He accordingly has Cavaradossi brought in. the basket and fan do not succeed in making him talk, so Scarpia orders him to be dealt with in the adjoining torture chamber. Tosca arrives just in time to see him being led away to the torture chamber. Scarpia is well aware that mental torture in more effective than physical; Cavardossi’s screams of agony are too much for Tosca and she gives away Angelotti’s hiding place. And wen Cavaradossi is brought before Scarpia again, Scarpia allows himself the pleasure of telling him what Tosca has done. But Cavaradossi’s despair soon changes to triumph as news is handed to Scarpia of Napoleon’s victory at Marengo. Now the end of the tyranny is surely in sight. Only Cavaradossi will not live to see it, for he is to be shot for high treason. Tosca now plays her last card to secure Cavaradossi’s release. Scarpia has told her what the price is, and she says she is ready to pay it. To keep up the pretence Scarpia orders a mock execution: Cavaradossi is to be brought on blindfolded but the rifles will be loaded with blank ammunition. While Scarpia is making out safe conducts for Tosca and Cavaradossi Tosca’s hand lights on a knife, and just as Scarpia is about to claim his agreed reward she stabs him, snatches the passes from his dying grasp, and makes off without being seen. ACT III Cavaradossi is to be shot on the Fort. St. Angelo. He is allowed to write a farewell letter to Tosca, and as memories of her come flooding back, suddenly she appears before him, tells him what has happened, shows him how he is to behave at the mock execution, and assures him they are both safe. Cavaradossi faces the firing squad with a smile, and with a smile Tosca sees him fall, just as she had instructed him. As soon as the firing squad has gone, Tosca rushes up to him…but he is dead. So Scarpia’s trickery has triumphed after all. Life has no meaning for Tosca now, and as Scarpia’s underlings are heard coming up to arrest her she throws herself from the roof of the Fort St. Angelo.