Operas are typically performed in their original language with Italian
subtitles. Get the full story before the opera! Select Italy offers a variety of libretti in
English to complement your opera tickets.
Dress nicely for Italian musical events. You may be turned away if you are
dressed too casually. Opening night opera performances require a full dark suit for men, an
elegant dress for ladies.
Operas, ballets and concerts can run anywhere from 1.5 to 3+ hours.
Consider your evening transportation options for returning to your hotel. Some trains or
public transportation may not be available after 10:30 pm.
Some theaters may be equipped for those with disabilities. Please contact
Select Italy for further details.
Written by Giacosa and Illica, the libretto for Tosca was based on the play of the same name by Victorien Sardou (1887), which Puccini saw starring Sarah Bernhardt in 1889. The opera premiered at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome on 14th January, 1900 and has remained immensly popular ever since, with its story of love and death set against a historical and political background at the time of the
restoration of the Pope and Napoleon’s campaigns in Italy.
A sensational drama, with a plot that is anything but banal, treating themes such as bigotry and hypocrisy, political power and corruption, Tosca displays Puccini’s innovative musical techniques, differing from his previous operas such as the more lyrical Bohème, which range from reviving old Church modes to anticipating the music of Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Debussy.