Tosca

At last they are alone. The man hunt, the interrogation, the prayers, all forgotten as he leers at his conquest. Just sign the note of safe passage and she's his! Where's that pen? His upper lip sweats as he readies himself for Tosca's kiss. He doesn't see the knife glinting behind her back.

Tosca

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Vissi darte could equally be the catchphrase of John Bell, the Australian doyen of Shakespeare who, for more than fifty years, has lived wholeheartedly for his art.

Like the knife concealed against Tosca's silk gown, Puccini's verismo drama has a sharp edge, employed to startling effect in lushly orchestrated tunes. It is that theatrical instinct that has lured the director into the world of opera.

Bell has transplanted Tosca's story to 1943, when Mussolini's successors abandoned Rome to the invading German armies.

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