Puccini’s “Tosca”, as told by Metlicovitz

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, illustrazioni scene della

Libretto of Puccini's "Tosca" for the first performance at Teatro Costanzi in Rome, on January 14th 1900

A great painter and set designer from Trieste, Leopoldo Metlicovitz (1869-1944), illustrated twelve postcards on the occasion of the first performance of Puccini’s “Tosca” at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome, on January 14th 1900.

In 1891, Metlicovitz had joined the lithographic workshop of music publisher Ricordi – whose director, Giulio Ricordi, was responsible for the discovery of Giacomo Puccini’s genius. He worked under artistic director Adolfo Hohenstein, until he took on the position when Hohenstein retired.

Metlicovitz’s watercolors represent key scenes from Puccini’s opera, starring painter Mario Cavaradossi and his lover Floria Tosca.

Set in Rome between the Basilica of Sant’Andrea della Valle and Castel Sant’Angelo, the three-acts melodrama takes place on June 14th 1800, the day of the Battle of Marengo. Cavaradossi saves a Bonapartist friend of his, Angelotti, from the clutches of the head of the papal police, Baron Scarpia. The latter weaves a wicked plan to pit the two lovers – Cavaradossi and Tosca – against each other, catch the rebel, and have the painter shot.

Tosca will still have the strength to take revenge, killing Scarpia, before taking her own life, jumping from the battlements of Castel Sant’Angelo.

A dramatic story that inspired wonderful music and beautiful art.

March 30, 2016