Freddie De Tommaso made waves past year erstwhile a halftime jump-in made him the archetypal British tenor to sing Cavaradossi astatine the Royal Opera since Charles Craig successful 1963. Now De Tommaso is backmost astatine Covent Garden to sing the relation and this clip the formed includes Natalya Romaniw, the archetypal British soprano to sing Tosca astatine Covent Garden since Gwyneth Jones owned the portion backmost successful the 1970s. Indeed, a brace of Brits person not sung other each different successful Puccini’s opera present since 1954.
Now boasting its 12th revival successful 16 years, Jonathan Kent’s handsome play staging retains a compelling aerial of veracity: the chiaroscuro chapel with its half-glimpsed Te Deum; the candlelit gloom of Scarpia’s lair; the bloodstained dawn and pall of gunpowder arsenic the last curtain descends. Kent’s sure-footed storytelling adjacent allows wiggle country for singers to adhd a idiosyncratic interaction to acquainted characters.
Romaniw is simply a good Puccinian. Her diva is playful, kittenish even, with small of the envious harpy and an underlying consciousness of unaffected piety. Furious and sickened by Scarpia, erstwhile she kills, she kills for God. Her refulgent soprano possesses large warmth, particularly successful the plush mediate register. The apical is steely, but with a fragility that brushes the heart. Vissi d’arte was choked with emotion, successful a bully way. She’s helped by Daniel Oren’s delicate speechmaking of the score, beardown connected dynamics, if occasionally abbreviated connected elasticity.
De Tommaso is the existent deal, an 18-carat dependable with bronze undertones that turns heroic supra the stave. His gleaming E lucevan le stelle rang existent with lashings of bully old-fashioned heart. He and Romaniw were vocally well-matched, sparking disconnected each different throughout. Add the mesmerising Erwin Schrott’s immaculately sung, reptilian Scarpia, and this portion of historical casting becomes a Tosca to treasure.