Tosca, Royal Opera House, review
Oksana Dyka's Tosca is more dumpy washerwoman than diva
Monday 12 May 2014
It’s fourteen years since Roberto Alagna sang the doomed hero Cavaradossi at Covent Garden, and if his voice has lost some of its original lustre it still rings out with bright clarity as he proclaims his love from the top of his painter’s scaffold.
But in this revival of Jonathan Kent’s production he is very unlucky in his allotted partner, because the Ukrainian soprano Oksana Dyka has no notion of what her part entails.
This Tosca comes on less like the diva we expect than a dumpy washerwoman who has been taught a few stock operatic poses – arms flung wide, fists to temples – with which she rings the changes in a curious kind of semaphore.
She may have sung this role in Rome, Berlin, and Milan, but her sound has a relentlessly hard edge; charm, vulnerability, and pathos are beyond her, as is the subtlety required for the duel of wills in Act Two.
Did the revival director just give up? Oleg Caetani’s heavy-handed conducting didn’t help.
That the production was not completely scuppered was thanks to Alagna, who lifted things with his persuasive presence whenever he got the chance, and to a fine supporting cast led by Marco Vratogna’s sinister Scarpia.
Will explain back story to fictional kingdom Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
- 5 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Cumberbacklash: Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange riles Marvel fans
Best horror films of all time
Benedict Cumberbatch imagines 'explosive' Sherlock sex scene in graphic detail
Downton Abbey season 5 episode 6 - review: Thomas and Lady Edith show sad signs of the times
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything