Discover what critics have been saying about the English National Opera’s revival of Puccini’s opera with our latest review round up…

(c)Genevieve Girling

Broadway World: **** “In the first of three new ENO productions this autumn, Christof Loy‘s UK premiere of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet’s new production is an insightful version that is also subtly updated.”

Evening Standard: **** “Sinéad Campbell-Wallace, originally a light-lyric soprano, but one who has gravitated towards heavier roles, offers both emotional weight and tonal flexibility in a persuasive account of the title part. Adam Smith’s voice has a penetrating core which forms the basis of a stirring delivery of the role of Cavaradossi on the too infrequent occasions when he allows the tone to blossom. Wood’s menacing Scarpia was outstanding. Also effective are Lucia Lucas as the Sacristan, Msimelelo Mbali as Angelotti and John Findon as Spoletta.”

The Guardian: **** “Conducted by Leo Hussain, it’s a compelling, albeit idiosyncratic piece of theatre. Loy, as one might expect, carefully probes his protagonists’ psyches, often with fascinating results. At the same time, however, you can’t help but feel he’s trying to do fractionally too much with it, deploying elements of symbolism that don’t always cohere.”

The Stage: *** “A mystifying staging redeemed by outstanding singing and orchestral playing.”

British Theatre Guide: “Swept along by Irish soprano Sinéad Campbell-Wallace’s Tosca—what a powerful voice, and what a passionate match for Adam Smith’s Cavaradossi, a dream team, he making his ENO debut. His voice jolts one to attention, a star in the making.”

London Unattached: “The award-winning ENO Orchestra is a splendid beast here, marshalled last night by Leo Hussain. From the opera’s dramatic opening brass chords of the Scarpia motif to the lyrical romanticism of the love scenes, Puccini’s orchestral textures shone brightly. If the tempi could have been a bit more fluid at times, maybe that will come as the production beds in. Special mention must go to the Children’s Chorus from Cardinal Vaughan school who brought vivacity and vocal accuracy to the stage. Well done kids!”

The Times: *** “One shouldn’t come out of Tosca thinking, “Hell’s bells, that was a long sit.” Puccini’s most violent opera should scorch like a hot iron. Sadly, that’s only occasionally the case in English National Opera’s new production.”

Culture Whisper: **** “For all the oddities here, Tosca feels as indestructible as the Roman landmarks in which it is set, and its relevance to persecuted women undiminished. Audience members enjoying ENO’s free tickets for under-21s will live to see in the 22nd century. Perhaps by then the Toscas of this world will have been able to go about their lives unmolested.”

The Telegraph: **** “The staging doesn’t always work, but Christof Loy’s production eschews mawkishness to find the thrumming heart of Puccini’s tragedy.”

The Arts Desk: *** “Powerful singing and playing, but mixed historical periods mute the drama.”

Tosca continues to play at the London Coliseum until the 4th November. You can book tickets here.


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