Tosca's role needs fire

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By Melissa Riedel-Espinoza

The popularity of Giacomo Puccini’s opera, “Tosca” is almost unparalleled.  
Most opera lovers have seen it multiple times and opera greats such as Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi and Placido Domingo performed the leading roles.
It has a reputation for being an accident waiting to happen because of the intense action onstage, but the Santa Fe Opera’s production Saturday was accident-free and the audience seemed to enjoy Puccini’s masterpiece.
Yannis Thavoris, scene and costume designer, created a perfect backdrop for this work. Every detail is exquisite, from the candlesticks to the paintings — one of which isn’t merely on the stage — it is the stage. Attention to detail is necessary for a piece of this magnitude and Thavoris made an opulent set with incredible visual impact for this production.
Baron Scarpia is the quintessential operatic villain and Raymond Aceto is fantastic as this completely unredeemable character.
Aceto’s voice is enjoyably dark and he uses it well. His presence is striking. It is difficult to look at other characters while Aceto is onstage. Every expression on his face is perfect and it’s easy to forget that he’s acting because of his precise timing.

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