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Talk about value for money. You get to hear Cavarodossi’s heartfelt outburst on the eve of his death, ‘E lucevan le stelle’, three times in this production from Genova: once over the opening credits while watching the sets being assembled, then the aria in the production itself, followed by an encore. There’s also a complete encore of Tosca’s plea ‘Vissi d’arte’. But then the real life husband-and-wife team of Daniela Dessì and Fabio Armiliato are clearly popular in Genova, Dessì receiving a huge round of applause just for walking on to the stage. The performance takes a little time to settle down, something not helped by hesitancy in Marco Boemi’s conducting. Dessì, too, often forces. But once they have all warmed up, it becomes a well-sung, dramatic staging, aided immeasurably by an impressive Scarpia sung by the immensely tall and imposing Claudio Sgura. The sets are based on those used for the premiere of Tosca in Rome in 1900. The third act looks particularly striking.

Richard Fawkes Read the full review on Agora Classica

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