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John Bell relocates opera to Nazi-occupied 1940s Rome.

Yes, it's opera. Yes, there are bits that you probably won't understand. Yes, you will have to spend almost your entire inheritance just to get in the door. BUT. It's directed by John Bell. It's set in Nazi-occupied Rome and there's music in it that will grab you by the scruff of the neck, frog-march you to a clifftop and toss you off the precipice into a vast, shining sea of Opera Appreciation.

Cavaradossi, a painter, is giving a church a spruce up when an escaped prisoner busts in looking for sanctuary and aid. Cavaradossi helps Angelotti, but it places him squarely in the sights of the Fascist police chief Scarpia. Scarpia takes Cavaradossi prisoner and makes Tosca, his lover, an ultimatum. He will spare Cavaradossi's life in exchange for Tosca's affection. If she remains loyal to Cavaradossi, however, he will be put to death. Decisions, decisions.

Opera isn't known for being the most inviting of mediums, but if you've always wanted to know what the bellowing and viking helmets is about, you could do much worse than a John Bell-led tour of 1940s Italy.

Published on March 08, 2017 by Matt Abotomey

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