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Trivia / Tosca

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  • All-Star Cast: Tosca has had many famous opera singers recording and performing on stage together as Tosca, Cavaradossi, and Scarpia:
    • Recordings:
      • 1953, conducted by Albert de Sabata: Greek soprano Maria Callas as Tosca, and Italians Giuseppe Di Stephano and Tito Gobbi as Cavaradossi and Scarpia, respectively.
      • 1966, conducted by Lorin Maazel: Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson as Tosca, Italian tenor Franco Corelli as Cavaradossi, and German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as Scarpia.
      • 1972, conducted by Zubin Mehta: African-American soprano Leontyne Price as Tosca, Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo as Cavaradossi, and American baritone Sherrill Milnes as Scarpia.
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    • Films/Productions:
      • Benoît Jacquot's 2001 film casts Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu as Tosca, French tenor Roberto Alagna as Cavaradossi, and Italian bass-baritone Ruggero Raimondi as Scarpia.
      • Gianfranco De Bosio's 1976 film casts Bulgarian soprano Raina Kabaivanska as Tosca, Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo as Cavaradossi, and American baritone Sherill Milnes as Scarpia.
      • The famous 1992 film by Brian Large (a performance that takes place at the exact locations and times of day according to the libretto) casts American soprano Catherine Malfitano as Tosca, Plácido Domingo as Cavaradossi, and Ruggero Raimondi as Scarpia.
  • Dawson Casting: This isn't as bad as other examples in opera, since Tosca is at least twenty according to Sardou's play, but she's still generally played by singers with a lot of experience under their belts.
  • Fatal Method Acting: While there have been no confirmed fatalities connected with Tosca, there have been plenty of injuries over the years, to the point where people talk about a Tosca curse:
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    • Scarpias have been stabbed for real with malfunctioning prop knives (This happened, for instance, to Maria Callas' longtime co-performer Tito Gobbi).
    • Cavaradossis have been struck by shrapnel from prop guns. See an agonizing example here (at 1:58).
    • Toscas have missed the mattress in the final jump. Poor Elisabeth Knighton Printy, for instance, fell thirty feet and broke both her legs.
  • Throw It In!: One night on stage, the famous soprano Maria Jeritza tripped and fell, just before Tosca's great aria Vissi d'arte. Rather than climb awkwardly back up again to sing, she chose to remain on the floor for the duration of the aria. This worked so well that it has become traditional that Tosca sings Vissi d'arte while lying on the floor.
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