Wed, Jun 24, 2015 - Page 11 News List

Passion and death stalk the National Theater

The Russian State Opera of Ekaterinburg has returned to Taipei with two classic operatic blood-soaked tales

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

The libretto is based on Victorien Sardou’s play by the same name and features Floria Tosca, an opera singer and a very jealous woman; Mario Cavaradossi, the painter she loves who is also a rebel sympathizer; and Baron Scarpia, a police chief who will stop at nothing to have his way with Tosca.

The story is set in Rome in 1800. Mario is hiding an escaped prisoner, Cesare Angelotti, who is being sought by the police. Unable to find Angelotti, Scarpia questions Cavaradossi and has him tortured. Scarpia plays on Tosca’s jealous nature and tricks her into betraying Cavaradossi. She then promises herself to Scarpia if he will let her lover live and he agrees to help Cavaradossi evade execution.

Spoiler alert: Scarpia lies to Tosca. She ends up stabbing him and the “fake” execution of Cavaradossi proves real. A despairing Tosca then hurls herself off the battlements (operas always seem to have battlements or cliffs, just for such occasions).

Performance notes:

WHAT: Russian State Opera of Ekaterinburg

WHEN: ‘Rigoletto’ tonight and tomorrow at 7:30pm; ‘Tosca’ on Saturday at 2:30pm and 7:30pm, Sunday at 2:30pm

WHERE: National Theater (國家戲劇院), 21-1 Zhongshan S Rd, Taipei City (台北市中山南路21-1號)

ADMISSION: NT$600 TO NT$4,800; available at NTCH box offices, online at and at convenience chain store ticketing kiosks. For more information, call 07-7809900.

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