The great diva Maria Callas was born to play the diva Floria Tosca, and her interpretation of the role is dramatically incomparable. During her Act 2 confrontation with Gobbi's brilliantly malevolent Scarpia -- the heart of the opera -- Callas is completely convincing as she goes seamlessly from contempt to pleading to murderous satisfaction.
And in the final scene, as Tosca first coaches Cavaradossi to act out his supposedly fake execution by firing squad, and then realizes that Scarpia has doublecrossed her and her lover is really dead, still raises chills after many hearings over the years. Gobbi's Scarpia, by turns obsequious, brazen, lustful and shocked, is the perfect adversary.
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Arte Nova Classics.Check out Tosca, Act 1 Scene 5: "Non la sospiri, la nostra casetta" (Tosca, Cavaradossi) by Milano/Coro del Teatro alla Scala, Milano Maria Callas/Giuseppe di Stefano/Victor de Sabata/Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala on Amazon Music. Stream ad-free or .