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BWW Review: TOSCA at Opera Wroclaw


They got me in the first scene. After that, it was all the better. It's not just a show, it's an Experience.

BWW Review: TOSCA at Opera Wroclaw

What can I say, Tosca was so great I really don't know where to start. Set design, lights, costumes and actors were so perfect together that watching the show was like diving into warm chocolate, a phenomenal pleasure for all the senses directed with a virtuosity by Michael Gieleta.

Let's start with the actors, when Mario (Tadeusz Szlenkier) starts singing you would have chills all over your body, his fate is tragic, his love for Tosca is overwhelming, his voice is like a wind on a hot summer day. Her chosen one (Ewa Vesin) has so much charm and grace that her every move is like a fluid dance and her voice is to die for (spoiler alert - that's what literally would happen) because of Scarpia (Mikolaj Zalasinski) and his desire. This character is a true embodiment of selfishness, lust and power. He is strong and whether you like it or not, you will be under his spell sooner or later (most probably sooner).
But actors are just the begging... Scenography is stunning and breathtaking, monumental buildings with a true Italian atmosphere of churches, streets, prison and villain's office. You can literally be there with characters and for sure forget that you are sitting in the building in center of Wroclaw early fall. It changes, moves and transforms a lot, so it feels like you're walking around to see and be in those scenes, you have impression that you can touch it even from balcony. Every little construction detail, paintings (I loved it!), candle holders, cracks in buildings, columns, floors, texture of the facade complete the perfect work.
Costumes are like cherry on the pie. Dresses, shirts, shoes, uniforms, colors, textures - all this to make a perfect picture of mid-1950s Italian style. A person behind the set design and costumes is Gary McCann (check out his website http: // www. and I can't wait to see more of his work because it is such a treasure. In addition I can say that after the show I felt a real need for dress or coat in red to be more like Tosca...
There are so many additional elements: the lights (Ewa Garniec) make the time change very authentic (especially in the Italian street scene), the choirs, the supernumeraries, the amazing orchestra conducted by Bassem Akiki... Everything makes of this baroque-modern performance a real must see. It's not overwhelming, it's truly beautiful for all the senses, to hear, see, feel even smell and taste. Once you get rid of sensual experiences and think about the intrigue and character of a woman against men, law, world order, you will find out if it is worth going your own way. But in this path you have to go alone and evaluate it in your own way.

It's a first premiere this season at the Wroclaw Opera and I can't wait to see the rest because the bar is very high. There was no end to the applause of the audience and I fully agree. Encore!

Photo: Opera Wroclaw

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