Opera de Montreal presnets



To save the man she loves, diva Floria Tosca must endure the vile passion of police chief Scarpia.

Scheming, crime, passion: an operatic thriller featuring American soprano Melody Moore, our dazzling Butterfly from 2015.

“I lived for art, I lived for love… why, Lord, do you reward me thus?” (Tosca)


  • Act I – The interior of the Church of Sant’Andrea della Valle

Angelotti, consul of the Republic, has been imprisoned by Scarpia, the chief of police. However, having escaped, he seeks refuge in the church. Mario Cavaradossi, the painter, enters to continue a painting of Mary Magdalene; he muses on the likeness of his painting to the features of the woman who comes to pray every day. Angelotti peers out of the chapel and, recognizing Cavaradossi as an old friend, implores the artist to help him. Angelotti returns to hide in the chapel when the diva Floria Tosca – Mario’s lover – is heard in the distance. Tosca enters, and one look at the painting is enough to convince her that Mario is having an affair. The painter calms her jealousy and Tosca leaves.

Angelotti reveals that the woman Mario has been painting is none other than his sister, the Marchesa Attavanti, who has helped him to escape. Mario tells Angelotti that he must follow him to his country estate. No sooner have the pair gone than the sacristan rushes in with the news that the French have been defeated. Scarpia enters and discovers a fan bearing the Attavanti coat-of-arms, convincing him that Angelotti has been hiding there. Tosca returns and Scarpia shows her the fan, confirming her jealous suspicions. As she leaves, he has one of his agents, Spoletta, follow her.

  • Act II – Scarpia’s apartment in the Palazzo Farnese

Scarpia’s passion for Tosca is growing stronger. Spoletta arrives to report that Angelotti has not been found, but Cavaradossi has been arrested. Tosca arrives and her lover has just enough time to beg her to keep silent about what she knows of Angelotti before he is taken away to be tortured. Tosca cannot bear her lover’s torment and reveals that Angelotti is hidden at Mario’s villa. The torture stops.

News arrives that the battle has been won by the French. Cavaradossi sings an air of triumph and, with this outburst, is dragged away to execution, as Scarpia learns that Angelotti has committed suicide. Scarpia announces that Mario will be next to die, unless Tosca gives herself to him. Weeping, she agrees. Scarpia promises that she and her lover will have safe-conduct but that Mario must submit to a mock execution, to “save the face” of all concerned. As Scarpia approaches Tosca to embrace her, she picks up a knife and stabs him to death, taking the signed safe-conduct with her as she leaves.

  • Act III – The ramparts of the Castel Sant’Angelo

Cavaradossi is brought up from his cell, prepared for his execution. Tosca soon arrives, tells Mario of Scarpia’s deserved end and instructs him on how he must conduct himself during the mock execution. The “execution” takes place; then, with a cry of anguish, Tosca finds that Scarpia had tricked her; Cavaradossi is indeed dead. Distant shouts tell her that Scarpia’s murder has been discovered. The soldiers rush onto the platform to arrest her, but she climbs onto the battlement and casts herself over the parapet to her death.

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