by Giacomo Puccini

5th and 7th May, 2010
semi-staged concert performance (in Italian) in Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham
with Susan Black as FLORIA TOSCA, Bruno Ribeiro as MARIO CAVARADOSSI and Rhys Jenkins as SCARPIA
conducted by William Bell


"IT was amazing how the Pump Room became three different Roman venues for this performance of Puccini's Tosca. Director Maria Jagusz ensured that every necessary stage item was included and there was ample room for movement, the drama being enhanced by use of lighting.

Susan Black excelled herself, producing some thrilling notes and strong passions, with the wisdom to rein back emotion to give periods of release from tension. She carried herself convincingly as Tosca, with a credible final suicide leap. Tenor Bruno Ribeiro, pictured, is a robust singer who showed Cavaradossi's strong character, but at times he needed more love in his voice. By Act III he was beginning to show that he is capable of achieving this. Rhys Jenkins is a singer of intelligence and vocal excellence. Colouring his voice appropriately, his Scarpia was a villain of brutality but also charm. His arias A doppia mira and Ella verra were sung with great depth of interpretation.

With the orchestra behind the Principals, voices and words were clearly heard. That orchestra and singers moved together was thanks to the conducting of William Bell who paced the music admirably and took the audience from one emotion to the next with ease and confidence."

Anne Dunn