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Tosca can refer to a play by Victorien Sardou (1887), or to the famous opera by Giacomo Puccini (1900), based on the play. This entry refers specifically to Puccini's the opera. For information on the play, see the entry on La Tosca

Tosca [1] is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) [2] to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica [3] and Giuseppe Giacosa [4].

The original text

The opera is based on a 1887 French melodramatic play La Tosca [5], set in Rome in 1800, and written by French playwright Victorien Sardou (1831-1908) [6]. The opera premiered at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome on 14 January 1900.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1941: Presented by African Theatres at the Empire Theatre, directed by John Connell.

1945: Presented by African Consolidated Theatres, conducted by John Connell.

1962: Presented in the Little Theatre, conducted by Geoffrey Miller (September).

1963: Presented by the University of Cape Town Opera Company in the Cape Town City Hall, conducted by David Tidboald.

1963: Presented by PACT Opera.

1968: Presented by CAPAB Opera in collaboration with UCT; presented by NAPAC Opera in collaboration with UCT.

1969: Presented by PACOFS Opera.

1970: Presented by PACT Opera; presented by CAPAB Opera in collaboration with UCT.

1971: Staged by PACT in the Aula in Pretoria and the Civic Theatre in Johannesburg, with the PACT Orchestra conducted by Leo Quayle, directed by Neels Hansen, with Marie Collier/Marcella Reale (Floria Tosca), Tito Gobbi (Baron Scarpia), Giovanni Gibin (Mario Cavaradossi), Kenneth Francis (Cesare Angelotti), Jaco van der Merwe (A Sacristan), George Kok (Spoletta), Ian Donald (Sciarrone), Peter Dijkstra (Gaoler) and the PACT Chorus, with choir master Neil Chapman. Decor by Anthony Farmer and costumes by Patricia Slavin.

1973: Presented by NAPAC Opera.

1975: Presented by PACOFS Opera, with Nellie du Toit as Tosca and Gé Korsten as Mario Cavaradossi, produced by Conrad Haikes, conducted by Bryan Balkwill.

1976: Presented by CAPAB Opera.

1979: Presented by CAPAB Opera.

1991: Presented by CAPAB Opera (30 May – 14 June)

1995: Presented by CAPAB Opera (16–31 May)

1998: Presented by Spier (14 February – 6 March)

2007: Presented by Cape Town Opera (10–23 May)



PACT theatre programme for the opera Tosca, 1971.

Wayne Muller. 2018. A reception history of opera in Cape Town: Tracing the development of a distinctly South African operatic aesthetic (1985–2015). Unpublished PhD thesis.

Sjoerd Alkema. 2012. "Conductors of the Cape Town Municipal Orchestra, 1914-1965: a historical perspective". University of Cape Town. Unpublished PhD thesis.

Alexandra Xenia Sabina Mossolow. 2003. The career of South African soprano Nellie du Toit, born 1929. Unpublished Masters thesis. University of Stellenbosch.

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