In an opera, everything is larger than life: the sets are outrageous, the costumes opulent, and the waistlines bulging. But there are some productions in which art imitates real life.
Because the protagonist of Puccini’s Tosca is an opera diva, singers stepping into the role automatically share a commonality with the woman they’re portraying. Soprano Adrienne Pieczonka, who tackles the title role in the San Francisco Opera Company’s filmed version, points out that’s where the similarities end.
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“She lives much grander. I’m…more of a regular gal, riding my bicycle to rehearsal sometimes,” Pieczonka quipped in an interview for the Canadian Opera Company. “Tosca would never do that.” Of course, Tosca is also a murderess who offers to sleep with a lecherous police officer to save her husband’s life, but then again every decent opera contains at least one Jerry Springer-worthy scandal.