Parlando: The COC Blog

Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2011/2012 / comments (0) / permalink


The Tosca Jewels

[This is a guest post by Gianmarco Segato, retail and editorial co-ordinator at the COC. Gianmarco is also the co-host of the COC Podcasts]

Maria Callas was undoubtedly one of the greatest interpreters of the role of Floria Tosca, the fiery Roman opera diva. Her 1953 recording of the opera (which can be purchased online at the Opera Shop) is considered by many to be the definitive version on record, and there is video footage of her in the role at Covent Garden in 1964.

For her first Metropolitan Opera appearance as Tosca on Nov. 15, 1956, Callas commissioned a parure, a French word for "adornment," which in the 17th century came to refer to a set of three or more matching pieces of jewelry. Callas’s set included a tiara, necklace and pair of earrings designed for her by Milan’s Atelier Marangoni using the finest Swarovski crystals. The jewels were so brilliant in fact, that for a televised performance of the opera, Callas was asked to only wear the earrings and not the overpoweringly sparkly tiara and necklace! Swarovski made stage jewels for Callas between 1947 and 1965, during which time the singer wore Swarovski crystal pieces in La Gioconda, I Puritani, La Traviata and Norma, among many other operas. The Tosca set is made of nearly 200 crystals and is worth about $85,000. Here is Callas wearing her “Tosca jewels”:


Posted by Gianmarco Segato / in 2011/2012 / comments (2) / permalink


10 Versions of Vissi D'Arte

"Vissi d'arte" (translation: I have lived for art) is one of opera's most iconic arias for soprano.

Forced to submit to someone she loathes in order to save her lover from execution, Tosca questions why, when she has devoted her life to art and love, God has repaid her with suffering. 

Here are 10 different interpretations by 10 different sopranos, including Adrianne Pieczonka who will sing the role with us:

Adrianne Pieczonka

Listen via her website:

Montserrat Caballe


Maria Callas


Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2011/2012 / comments (1) / permalink

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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001



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