Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Tosca in Ankara Opera House

On Monday we were in Ankara Opera House to watch Tosca Opera  composed by Giocomo Puccini first premiered at Roma in 1900.  The performance in Ankara was great.  Italian embassy in Ankara sponsored the Italian artists to put the opera on stage.  Opera was completely full, some audience were left standing on aisles.  We found no space for our car in the parking lot, the security advised us to drive to the main gate, we found an open space on left side of the main gate, and left our car there. After waiting in the long ticket queue, we received our internet tickets, entered the opera house, found our seats at the last row of right hand corner. 
I admired the tenor voice of Ihsan Ekber who was playing romantic painter Mario Cavaradossi. Chief of Police, Baron Scarpia was played by magnificent baritone Eralp Kiyici.  Beautiful Soprano Feryal Turkoglu as Floria Tosca was a bit cool  in the first act to my surprise,  but she warmed up her voice in the second act and sung her songs with high volume and created wonders.  
In the first act,  the role of the church children's choir is played by adult choir singers. In 1995 my youngest  little son Mehmet was in the same choir.  Then conductor Antoni Pirolli insisted that "Children should play the role of  children choir in Tosca"-  so I got the stage father responsibility, to drive my son to each opera performance and watch the complete opera performance for two seasons.  So today I had some confidence to write about new Tosca opera.  
Italian director VINCENZO GRISOSTOMI TRAVAGLINI  and,  conductors TULLIO GAGLIARDO VARAS   and  ALESSANDRO CEDRONE  were exceptional.  I would say that  décor was amazing, costumes were excellent, especially the very well designed costumes of leading roles Tosca, Mario and Scarpia. 
In opera Tosca we watch rape. We see murder committed by bloody knife. There is torture, and in the end  there is execution by firing squad beyond the castle wall. There is  suicide. In  1995, players were not touching to each other. Now there is rape in the second act, on a large sofa publicly.  Torture of Mario is explicitly exposed.  Tosca repeatedly knifes Scarpia, blood is soaked in her hands. In the past, torture was behind the stage, we could watch the voices, here it is displayed on the stage. Firing squad fires on  Mario Cavaradossi, Mario takes bullets and dies of bullet wounds.   While soldiers come to capture Tosca, she commits suicide by throwing herself over the castle walls. The opera was over, we long applauded the players / singers / directors, and all contributors while standing. If you miss last performance of  Tosca, it is on stage on October 13 and 23 in Ankara,  live performance at the opera so bloody, so fantastic, so extraordinary.

No comments: