The Osuna Palace in Aranjuez is a neoclassical building that was built
in 1751 for Italian artist Carlo Maria Michelangelo Nicola Broschi. He
was better known under his stage name Farinelli. The palace was built by
the architect Giacomo Bonavia who also created the royal palace ‘Palacio
Real de Aranjuez’. After Farinelli’s banishment from the Spanish court the building became the property of the Crown for twenty years. Then it was aquired byt the IX duke of Osuna. It remained in the hands of the dukes of Osuna until Mariano Téllez-Girón, XII Duke of Osuna, who doomed to ruin, had to sell it.
In May 2018 there was a huge fire at the palace. The intense fire
caused the roof to collapse. Eight fire crews were trying to prevent
the flames spreading to neighbouring properties. The palace itself was
The staging was something you’d expect from the Met, and the singers themselves were stunningly talented. Props to all of them for handling such emotional and dramatic roles with grace. Scarpia, played by Argentinian-American baritone Gustavo Feulien, especially stood out to me-he really made the audience despise him, espcially during the Te Deum and all of Act II.
Although he was a great actor, I was a bit skeptical of Mario (Marco Pannucio)at first voice-wise(his voice was a bit lighter), but he grew on me during Recondita Armonia and his rendition of E Lucevan Le Stelle and his death scene brought me to tears.
And finally, Tosca herself. Portrayed by Elizabeth Baldwin, she was the classic soprano in every way, and her stage presence was spectacular, especially during her and Cavaradossi’s scenes in Act I, Vissi D’Arte and the stabbing scene. She showed hatred toward Scarpia without being over the top, and her voice was pitch-perfect for the role. It had a sweet and tender tone to it during high notes and a tinge of darkness in the lower register. Vissi D’arte, which is my favorite aria of all time, was absolutely heart-wrenching, and the entirety of Act III was simply brilliant.
Overall, this company outdid themselves this year. They’ve come so far from their other productions I’ve seen, and they certainly did my favorite opera justice.