Preview | GP at the Met: Tosca - About the Opera

Premieres Sunday, August 2 at 12 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)


Season 12 of Great Performances at the Met continues with a primetime broadcast of a new production of Puccini’s classic Tosca, starring Sonya Yoncheva as the title prima donna alongside Vittorio Grigolo as her revolutionary artist lover Cavaradossi and Željko Lučić as chief of police Scarpia.

Sir David McVicar’s ravishing production is set in 1800 Rome, where painter Cavaradossi helps the escaped political prisoner Angelotti hide from the police while his jealous lover, opera diva Floria Tosca, suspects him of being unfaithful. The sadistic chief of police Baron Scarpia, who is hunting the fugitive, longs for Tosca and vows to bend the singer to his will after arousing her jealousy. Scarpia suspects Cavaradossi of aiding the fugitive and has the artist arrested and tortured. A frightened Tosca reveals the political prisoner’s whereabouts, but when Cavaradossi cries out in defiance of tyranny, he is carried away to be executed. In exchange for her lover’s freedom, Tosca promises her devotion to Scarpia, then kills him. Tosca informs Cavaradossi that he is free now, but before departing the city he must go through a mock execution, which ends tragically. Emmanuel Villaume conducts. Isabel Leonard hosts.

Notable Talent:

  • Sonya Yoncheva – Tosca
  • Vittorio Grigolo – Cavaradossi
  • Željko Lučić – Scarpia
  • Patrick Carfizzi – A Sacristan
  • Christian Zaremba – Angelotti

Run time: 2.5 hours

Production Credits:

  • Sir David McVicar – Production
  • John Macfarlane – Set and Costume Designer
  • David Finn – Lighting Designer
  • Leah Hausman – Movement Director

For the Met, Gary Halvorson directs the telecast. David Frost is music producer. Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are supervising producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are producers. Peter Gelb is executive producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.


Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. Major funding for the Met Opera presentation is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. This Great Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, Ellen and James S. Marcus and public television viewers.

About the Met Print

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA is America’s leading performing arts organization and a vibrant home for the world’s most creative and talented artists, including singers, conductors, composers, orchestra musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers, and dancers. The company presents more than 200 performances each season of a wide variety of operas, ranging from early masterpieces to contemporary works. In recent years, the Met has launched many initiatives designed to make opera more accessible, most prominently the Live in HD series of cinema transmissions, which dramatically expands the Met audience by allowing select performances to be seen in more than 2,000 theaters in more than 70 countries around the world.

About WNET Print

WNET is America’s flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET’s groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! And Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history game. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Theater Close-Up, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender identity, First Person. Through multi-platform initiatives Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America and Peril and Promise: The Challenge of Climate Change, WNET showcases the human stories around these issues and promising solutions. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere: