2000, 85 Minutes
Tosca is a tale of love, torture and despair—and that’s before the curtain goes up on this Opera Australia production at the Sydney Opera House.
Mid-winter and money is tight at Opera Australia as rehearsals begin for Puccini’s perennial favourite Tosca, a story of love, betrayal and murder set amid the political turmoil of 19th century Rome.
Popular diva Joan Carden has played the passionate title role many times. But her two co-stars are new to the production. With only three weeks before the curtain goes up, not everyone is sure they will make it—least of all director Cathy Dadd and renowned Scottish conductor Roderick Brydon. The drama backstage equals the soaring emotion of Tosca itself. Tension builds and comes to a head in frustration, anger, tears and laughter. Then it’s opening night and they’re on.
The filmmakers were granted no-holds-barred access to film behind the scenes, from day one of rehearsals to opening night at the Sydney Opera House. The result is an intimate and honest portrait of artists at work.
A Film Australia National Interest Program. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.