Tom Boyd's English version of

TOSCA by Puccini

available for productions by operatic societies


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"Tosca move is a winner... Tom Boyd's Tosca for Bel Canto Opera is set in Nazi-occupied Italy and the move is fully vindicated by this production...this was a finely considered reading". (The Gloucestershire ECHO)

"Audience spellbound as Tosca delights:... as Puccini's intention was to write a tragic opera dominated by fear and oppression, the setting in the Nazi era was a masterstroke."(Wilts and Gloucestershire STANDARD)

The 2008 performance of Tosca ended with a standing ovation and resounding "Bravos". Sung in English, the updated libretto by Tom Boyd of the U.K. was set in 1944 when the Nazis occupied Rome. A lot of people became opera lovers that night." (High Desert Opera, Colorado USA)

Tom Boyd's English version is updated to 1944, when Rome was occupied by the Nazis and German General Kesselring headed a brutal and ruthless regime that executed 10 Italian civilians for any one German soldier killed by the partisans. This version takes place on the day the Allies make a beachhead landing at Anzio.

As well as Bel Canto Opera performances of TOSC A in Malvern, Gloucester and Cheltenham in the UK, this English version has also been performed by High Desert Opera in Colorado and by Intimate Opera in Pasdena California USA.

Above: DVD of the High Desert Opera production of Tom Boyd's version, Colorado USA

below: scenes on Youtube from the Bel Canto Opera and High Desert Opera productions.


TOSCA: There's no curse that's worse than jealousy. Can't you see how it's torturing me?


to see all the words in the clip, click here


End of ACT I

SCARPIA: Go, Tosca! 'Twas Scarpia who set loose the soaring falcon that is your jealous nature. Every suspicion is a promise to Scarpia. Tosca's soul belongs to Scarpia. Go, Tosca! Two birds with one stone. I, and I alone, invested with such power...I can do what I want with them. Him, I'll dispose of. He's condemned for his partisan treason. She's what I prize! Her body quivering with love, weak in my clutches. I hold their fate in my hands. His, to the graveyard...and the other to Scarpia's bed!





TOSCA: His soul's with Satan. Now I must forgive him.

Before this little man, all Rome trembled! 

to see all the words in the clip, click here



ACT III - Cavaradossi's aria (É luvevan le stelle)

(from the production by High Desert Opera, Colorado USA)

CAVARADOSSI: I recall how the stars shone and the fragrance of jasmine...the sweet perfume of angels that scented the air when she entered. The rapture when our eyes met. When we touched we were trembling. So sweetly kissing, tenderly caressing... our hearts concealing the fiery passion that two young souls in love were feeling.

Now just a memory lingering in illusion. The time is passing... My life is all but over. I die as I discover... that never was my heart so brimming over ... with love for living.


End of ACT III.

TOSCA: May Scarpia repent in hell!

to see all the words in the clip, click here


Licensing agent: Bel Canto Opera, Poulton House, Cirencester Glos.GL7 5HW. email:

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