La Scala will open season with Netrebko’s unrevised Tosca

La Scala will open season with Netrebko’s unrevised Tosca


norman lebrecht

May 28, 2019

The theatre plans to show Puccini’s original version that was booed off in 1900.

Davide Livermore directs, Riccardo Chailly conducts. December 7. Be there is you can.

Another season highlight: Claude Debussy’s ‘Pelleas et Melisande’ conducted by the thoroughly cleansed Daniele Gatti.





  • We privatize your value says:

    Netrebko (Russian), well and good, but where is the new Tebaldi (Italian)?

  • Ned Keene says:

    Floria Tosca is the perfect repertoire for her – she has the heft for it, as well as the delicacy. But most of all, her ability to bring extreme personalities to life on stage – something she learnt at the Mariinsky.

    Puccini had faith in his original version, and only tinkered with it because Ricordi wanted changes. It will be interesting to see how it holds up to public scrutiny now. There’s certainly precedent – the original version of Tabarro is tauter than the later revision… and goes out of a belting Top-C for the soprano 🙂 (the revision just has a stage direciton ‘she screams’, but no notes) Perhaps we will get a Netrebko Trittico soon? She’s one of the few sopranos who could pull off all three roles.

  • olivia nordstadt says:

    Wasn’t it BUTTERFLY that was booed off the stage at its premiere at Scala and a revised version premiered later. It was my impression that TOSCA was a big success both at its world premiere in Rome and its subsequent first performance at La Scala. BTW, what precisely is the difference between the original version and the revised version?

    • Karl says:

      I also think it was Butterfly, not Tosca that was unsuccessful at the premiere.

    • David Hilton says:

      Yes, Mr Lebrecht seems to be very wide of the mark in his claim that Tosca was “booed off” at its initial premiere. There is no historical foundation for that claim.

  • Jack says:

    “Thoroughly cleansed”? I guess you’re of the he-should-be-banished-forever-to-the-outer-darkness-and-never-be-allowed-near-a-podium-again school. I’m not.

    • olivia nordstadt says:

      He’s not the only one who has been “thoroughly cleansed.” It would seem that, largely through the efforts of his ex-wife, that M. Dutoit’s career is flourishing in both Europe and Asia.

    • Alan O'Connor says:

      Accusations are all that are needed. Proof is irrelevant to the metoo movement.

      • Ned Keene says:

        The legal case centred on actor Geoffrey Rush, in Australia proved that chancers on the make can get their fingers burnt – He was awarded $850,000 Australian dollars in damages (lost present and future earnings) to be paid by the Dirty Digger’s fishwrap rag, ‘The Sydney Daily Telegraph’ – with the likelihood of a great deal more to be awarded. The Guardian’s hack was so moritified she nearly swallowed her dentures.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        In the case of Gatti: he went through a disciplinary process at his place of employment and he accepted the outcome. Hence he agreed the case was proved (to the burden-of-proof required in a civil case).

        • Barry Guerrero says:

          Poor logic – that’s not necessarily true. He may have excepted the ‘outcome’ because he was equally sick of the whole affair. I would have walked.

  • Eric says:

    THis says it all.

  • david hilton says:

    I would have thought that the first sentence would have been amended by now as there is simply no basis for the claim that Tosca was unsuccessful at its premiere, much less that it was “booed off”. This simply never happened. Many of the numbers were strongly-received and even encored at the premiere. The wikipedia summary seems accurate: “The performance, while not quite the triumph that Puccini had hoped for, was generally successful, with numerous encores.” (citing the leading Puccini biographer Mary-Jane Phillips-Matz.

  • Edo says:

    Tosca was premiered in Rome in 1900 and was not booed…there is only 1 version of Tosca…

  • David H Spence says:

    I think I recall that Tosca at its world premiere was not at all any resounding success, but it did not get really booed either, at least not really noticeably so. Its first audience was most likely a bit lukewarm to it, in other words.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      I understood it was reasonably popular with audiences when it opened, but less so with the critics.

      That is probably still true now.

  • RagnarDanneskjoeld says:

    Apparently the very first version of Tosca contained 40 additional bars of music: