OperaPulse’s Aria of the Week – While the aria, Vissi d’arte from Puccini’s Tosca, may not be the most well-known outside of opera world, it is arguably the most seminal aria in a dramatic soprano’s career. Opera buffs can argue ad nauseum about who performs the aria the best, with the great soprano Maria Callas topping the list. What draws the great amount of discourse to Vissi d’arte in particular is found within the text and subject of the aria.
Tosca sings to God – “Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore,…” – “I lived for art, I lived for love,..” and asks why she has received this awful fate. ‘What’s her fate,’ you ask? The Baron Scarpia suggests that Tosca submit herself to him in exchange for her lover’s life (Cavaradossi). Puccini has composed some of the most passionate and gut-wrenchingly beautiful music for this equally torturous subject matter.
Who gives the best performance below? Do you give equal weight to the importance of beautiful singing and passionate acting with a situation that is too cruel to imagine?
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