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Sir David McVicar’s ravishing production is set in 1800 Rome, where painter Cavaradossi helps the escaped political prisoner Angelotti hide from the police while his jealous lover, opera diva Floria Tosca, suspects him of being unfaithful. The sadistic chief of police Baron Scarpia, who is hunting the fugitive, longs for Tosca and vows to bend the singer to his will after arousing her jealousy. Scarpia suspects Cavaradossi of aiding the fugitive and has the artist arrested and tortured. A frightened Tosca reveals the political prisoner’s whereabouts, but when Cavaradossi cries out in defiance of tyranny, he is carried away to be executed. In exchange for her lover’s freedom, Tosca promises her devotion to Scarpia, then kills him. Tosca informs Cavaradossi that he is free now, but before departing the city he must go through a mock execution, which ends tragically. Emmanuel Villaume conducts. Isabel Leonard hosts.
Premieres Friday, June 15 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).
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Since its premiere in 1972, GREAT PERFORMANCES has presented an international roster of renowned artists and performing art companies of all genres. From new productions of timeless classics to innovative performances by emerging artists, GREAT PERFORMANCES is proud to carry on its legacy of bringing the best of the performing arts to an American public television audience. To date, the series has been awarded 67 Emmy Awards and four George Foster Peabody Awards.