''Tosca'' is an {{opera}} by Italian composer Music/GiacomoPuccini, based on a play by Victorien Sardou. It is often cited as an operatic version of ''Grand Guignol'' horror-melodrama, the forerunner of today's splatter movies.

On the eve of UsefulNotes/{{Napoleon|Bonaparte}}'s occupation of Rome, the painter Mario Cavaradossi hides his friend, escaped political prisoner Cesare Angelotti, from the police. Unfortunately this brings both him and his sweetheart, the singer Floria Tosca, to the attention of the villainous chief of police Scarpia. Scarpia arrests Cavaradossi and demands that [[ScarpiaUltimatum Tosca spend the night with him]], then the painter's execution will be fake, and the lovers will be able to leave Rome. Tosca agrees, but when Scarpia comes to embrace her, she stabs him in the heart with a knife. Unfortunately, Scarpia did not intend to release Cavaradossi at all, and the execution turns out to be real. Seeing her lover dead and Scarpia's henchmen running to get her, Tosca [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled leaps off the parapet]] of the Castel Sant'Angelo, crying that she will meet Scarpia before God.

Oh, and did we mention that poor Angelotti [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled commits suicide]] somewhere in the middle of the second act? This gets us 4 dead people by the end of the opera.

Yeah. Opera really is [[TrueArtIsAngsty angsty]] business, folks.

!!Tropes featured include:

* AristocratsAreEvil: Baron Scarpia against the cavalier Cavaradossi and the commoner Tosca.
* TheBadGuyWins: Even when he's dead.
* BeatenByAGirl: After Tosca stabs Scarpia, she stands over him and gloats that the feared chief of police was killed by a woman.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled[=/=]DrivenToSuicide: Tosca leaps off a parapet at the very end of the opera. Angelotti kills himself off-stage rather than go back to prison.
* BreakTheCutie: The universe really, ''really'' has it in for poor Tosca.
* BSODSong:
** Cavaradossi's ''E lucevan le stelle''.
** Tosca's ''Vissi d'arte''.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Tosca's jealousy seems to be as well-known as her singing voice.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Cavaradossi gets this from Scarpia's goons, while Tosca is [[ForcedToWatch made to listen to his screams]].
* DownerEnding: Well, what did you expect from an opera?
* TheDragon: Spoletta to Scarpia.
* TheDreaded: All of Rome trembles in fear before Scarpia.
* DueToTheDead: when Scarpia hears of Angelotti's suicide, he orders his men to hang his body from the gallows anyway.
* DuringTheWar: UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars, to be specific. The outcome of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Marengo Battle of Marengo]] is a plot point.
* EvilSoundsDeep: Scarpia, the villainous chief of police, is a baritone.
* ExactWords: With Tosca watching, Scarpia instructs an underling that Cavaradossi's execution is to be faked "like Palmieri's was". We never get any further details about Palmieri, but the implication is that Palmieri's death was just as real as Cavaradossi's turns out to be.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: the entire opera takes place in the afternoon, evening, and early morning of 17 and 18 June 1800
* ForcedToWatch: Tosca is made to listen to Cavaradossi being tortured.
* TheGhost: Angelotti's sister, who helps him evade the authorities and is subsequently suspected by Tosca of being Cavaradossi's other woman, is mentioned a lot in the first act, we see her picture, but she never actually appears.
* GorgeousPeriodDress: for Tosca in most productions.
* GoodBadGirl: Tosca
* HidingBehindReligion: Scarpia. Contrast with Tosca's sincere faith
* HopeSpot: Right before the "fake" execution, Tosca and Cavaradossi playfully tease each other and make plans about their happy future together.
** This can depend on the production. In some stagings, Cavaradossi's expression and body language imply that he knows he will be killed and is putting on an act to cheer up Tosca.
** In the second act, after ''Vissi d'arte'', Scarpia behaves as if he's moved by Tosca's pleading… [[BaitTheDog for about ten seconds]].
* IrrelevantActOpener: the shepherd in Act III.
* KillEmAll
* LyricalDissonance: Scarpia has all these gorgeously melodic tunes. He's singing about his plots to rape Tosca, kill Cavaradossi, and generally be as nasty as possible. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OybPHZN8P3E This all happens while he's *in a church*, with the congregation singing the "Te Deum"]] right behind him.
** His second VillainSong, ''Ha più forte sapore'', in which he sings about how he likes to win women by force, is also quite lovely to hear.
* MoralMyopia: Scarpia. Celebrating loudly and/or swearing in church? Scandalous! Planning murder and rape ''while still in church''? Perfectly all right.
* NoSenseOfPersonalSpace: Scarpia towards Tosca, so very often.
* NotWhatItLooksLike: Tosca spends most of the first act convinced that Cavaradossi is cheating on her, because he won't tell her about Angelotti.
* OminousLatinChanting: The "Te Deum" underscoring Scarpia's VillainSong.
* PoorCommunicationKills: Cavaradossi is hiding Cesare Angelotti from the authorities. Tosca finds a fan, dropped by Angelotti's sister when hiding food and clothes, and immediately assumes Cavaradossi is cheating on her.
* RashEquilibrium: Scarpia doesn't actually pardon Cavaradossi, as he promised Tosca; Tosca kills Scarpia rather than sleep with him as she promised in order to get the pardon.
* ScarpiaUltimatum: The {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* SceneryPorn: Sant'Andrea della Valle, the Farnese Palace and the Castel Sant'Angelo; Puccini seems determined to prove that there's no place more beautiful than Rome for a story of torture, murder, and suicide.
* SeeYouInHell: Kind of — just before jumping off the parapet, Tosca cries that she'll next be meeting Scarpia before God, with the implication that they'll both be answering for their crimes.
* ShotAtDawn: Cavaradossi's execution.
* SmiteMeOMightySmiter: Tosca has a moment of this in act 2 after Scarpia demands that she has sex with him.
* [[ShoutOut/ToShakespeare Shout Out: To Shakespeare]]: Scarpia compares himself to [[Theatre/{{Othello}} Iago]] in his first scene. You know, just in case you were confused about who the villain here was.
* StagedShooting: Cavaradossi's firing squad is a subversion -- Scarpia tells Tosca that the guns will be loaded with blanks, but he pulls a variation on YouSaidYouWouldLetThemGo instead.
* TenorBoy: Cavaradossi
* TheseHandsHaveKilled: This trope gets a whole duet devoted to it.
* VillainSong: Scarpia gets one at the end of the first act. And another in the beginning of the second.
* WhiteShirtOfDeath: Cavaradossi in the third act.