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     Mancinelli: ERO E LEANDRO    Table of Contents      Paderewski: MANRU

The Mapleson Cylinders - Program Notes

- Libretti
- Puccini: TOSCA [Includes RealAudio Selections]


Puccini: TOSCA [ Click for RealAudio Selections ]

Puccini's Tosca reached the Metropolitan Opera on February 4, 1901, only a year after its premiere in Rome. The cast featured Milka Ternina in the title role, with Giulio Cremonini as Cavaradossi and Antonio Scotti as Scarpia; Mancinelli conducted. Three performances this season, three the next, and four in 1903-04 made up Ternina's Met career in the role, which she (with Fernando De Lucia, Scotti, and Mancinelli) also created for Covent Garden in London. In 1901-02, when Mapleson recorded--alas, too faintly--a fragment from the second of her three performances, Ternina's tenor partner was Emilio De Marchi, the Cavaradossi of the world premiere in Rome in 1900. The following season, illness kept Ternina away from the Met, and Emma Eames assumed the role for four performances, at the last of which Mapleson recorded a justly celebrated series of cylinders; her partners were De Marchi and the inevitable Scotti (who was to portray Scarpia in all but ten of the Met's Toscas for more than three decades, retiring the part in December 1931 after singing it 154 times in New York and sixty-three on tour).

Band 1

Act I: Te Deum excerpt: "[prezio]sa. Ah! di quegli occhi"...to end of act

Antonio Scotti (b), Scarpia

Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orchestra--

Luigi Mancinelli

January 3, 1903

[Snake; Glackens 78: "Jan 3."]

Band 2

Act I: Te Deum excerpt: "[con] spasimo d'amor" ...to end of act

Antonio Scotti (b), Scarpia

Metropolitan Opera & Chorus--Phillippe

Flon (?)

January 3, February 1, or February 17, 1902 (?)

[The presumed container for this cylinder now holds the Aida excerpt on Side 5/Band 6, and is not dated. As all Tosca performances in the 1902-03 season except the one represented by Band 1 preceded the first of the year, and as no Mapleson recordings have confirmed dates before January 1, Band 2 is probably from the preceding season--possibly from the same performance as Band 7. In any case, Scotti sang Scarpia at all Met Tosca performances of this period; Flon conducted in 1901-02, Mancinelli in the preceding and following seasons. At the end of this cylinder, one of the Mapleson children makes an appearance, with a bit of "Au clair de la lune"; see Side 12/Band 12(f).]

Baron Scarpia, the Roman police chief, has a plan to force the actress Floria Tosca to make love to him, by trapping her lover, the painter and Bonapartist, Mario Cavaradossi. As the church of S. Andrea Della Valle fills for a Te Deum celebrating a supposed victory over Napoleon, Scarpia exults in the prospect before him.

[original]

SCARPIA

A doppia mira tendo il voler,
nè il capo del ribella
è la più prezio [ Band 1 begins →sa ]!
Ah, di quegli occhi vittoriosi
veder la fiamma illanguidir
con [ Band 2 begins → ] spasimo d'amor...
fra le mie braccia illanguidir d'amor.
L'uno al calpestro,
l'altra fra le mie braccia...

CHORUS
Te Deum laudamus:
te Dominum confitemur!

SCARPIA ( Startled by the sound of the chant, he collects himself and makes the sign of the cross. )
Tosca, mi fai dimenticare Iddio!

SCARPIA and CHORUS
Te aeternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur!

[translation]

SCARPIA

At a double target my desire takes aim,
nor is the rebel's head
the more precious of them!
Ah, to see the flame of those
triumphant eyes glow languid
with the agony of love...
in my arms grow languid with love.
One to the noose,
the other in my arms...

CHORUS
Te Deum laudamus:
te Dominum confitemur! ( Startled by the sound of the chant, he collects himself and makes the sign of the cross. )
Tosca, you make me forget God!

SCARPIA and CHORUS
Te aeternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur!

raster Band 3   [Click to Listen]

Act II: Torture Scene excerpts:

(a) "Ah! mostro, lo strazi, l'uccidi"..."Ma fatelo tacere!"

(b) "[Nel pozzo] nel giardino"..."Basta. Roberti"

Emma Eames (s), Tosca

Emilio De Marchi (t), Cavaradossi

Antonio Scotti (b), Scarpia

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra--Luigi Mancinelli

January 3, 1903

[Slip; snake; Glackens 50.]

In Scarpia's apartment in the Palazzo Farnese. Tosca hears the screams of Mario, who is being tortured in an adjacent room to make him reveal the hiding place of the fugitive Bonapartist Angelotti. In the brief fragment at the end of the band (actually recorded by Mapleson at the beginning of the cylinder containing the next band). Tosca, unable to bear the sounds of Mario's agony, tells Scarpia what he wants to know, and the torturer. Roberti, is called off.

[Begin Page 47]

[original]

TOSCA

(a)
Ah! mostro!
Lo strazi, l'uccidi,
ah! l'uccidi!

SCARPIA
Lo strazia quel vostro silenzio
assai più

TOSCA
Tu ridi all'orrida pena?

SCARPIA
Mai Tosca alla scena
più tragica fu!
Aprite le porte
che n'oda i lamenti!

THE VOICE OF CAVARADOSSI
Vi sfido!

SCARPIA
Più forte, più forte!

THE VOICE OF CAVARADOSSI
Vi sfido!

SCARPIA ( to Tosca )
Parlate!

TOSCA
Che dire?

SCARPIA
Su, via.

TOSCA
Ah! non so nulla!
ah! dovrei mentir?

SCARPIA
Dite dov'è Angelotti? Simultaneous singing begins
Dite dov'è Angelotti?

TOSCA
No! No! Simultaneous singing endsSimultaneous singing begins

SCARPIA
Parlate su, via,
dove celato sta?
Su, via parlate ov'è?

TOSCA
Ah! Più non posso!
Ah! che orror! Simultaneous singing ends
Ah! cessate il martir!
è troppo soffrir!
Ah! non posso più,
ah! non posso più!

THE VOICE OF CAVARADOSSI
Ahimè!

TOSCA
Mario, consenti
ch'io parli?

THE VOICE OF CAVARADOSSI
No! No!

TOSCA
Ascolta, non posso più

THE VOICE OF CAVARADOSSI
Stolta, che sai?
Che puoi dir!

SCARPIA
Ma fatelo tacere!

TOSCA
(b)
[Nel pozzo]...nel giardino...

SCARPIA
Là è Angelotti?

TOSCA
Si...

SCARPIA ( loudly, towards the torture-chamber )
Basta, Roberti

[translation]

TOSCA

Ah, monster!
You're torturing him, you re killing him,
ah, vou're killing him!

SCARPIA
Your silence is torturing him
still more!

TOSCA
You laugh at the horrible pain?

SCARPIA
Tosca on stage
was never more tragic!
Open the doors
so we can hear his screams!

THE VOICE OF CAVARADOSSI
I defy you!

SCARPIA
Harder! Harder!

THE VOICE OF CAVARADOSSI
I defy you!

SCARPIA ( to Tosca )
Speak!

TOSCA
What should I say?

SCARPIA
Come, speak!

TOSCA
Ah! I know nothing!
Ah! Do you want me to lie?

SCARPIA
Tell me where Angelotti is! Simultaneous singing begins
Tell me where Angelotti is!

TOSCA
No! No! Simultaneous singing endsSimultaneous singing begins

SCARPIA
Speak up quickly,
where is he hidden?
Speak up, where is he?

TOSCA
Ah, I can bear no more!
Ah, what horror! Simultaneous singing ends
Ah, stop this torture!
It is too much to bear!
Ah, I can bear no more,
ah, I can bear no more!

THE VOICE OF CAVARADOSSI
Alas!

TOSCA
Mario, will you
let me speak?

THE VOICE OF CAVARADOSSI
No! No!

TOSCA
Listen, I can bear no more.

THE VOICE OF CAVARADOSSI
Fool, what do you know?
What can you say?

SCARPIA
Make him shut up!

TOSCA
In the well...in the garden

SCARPIA
Angelotti is there?

TOSCA
Yes...

SCARPIA ( loudly, towards the torture-chamber )
Enough, Roberti.

Band 4

Act II: Torture Scene excerpt: "Vittoria! Vittoria!" ..."Volete che cerchiamo insieme il mo[do di salvarlo?]"

Emma Eames (s), Tosca

Emilic De Marchi (t), Cavaradossi

Antonio Scotti (b), Scarpia

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra--Luigi Mancinelli

January 3, 1903

[Slip; Glackens 61.]

Cavaradossi has been brought into the room, and Scarpia's agent Sciarrone has just reported that, instead of being defeated at the battle of Marengo, Napoleon has won. Mario rejoices at the news, and is hauled away to prison. Scarpia prepares to bargain Mario's life against Tosca's body.

[original]

CAVARADOSSI

Vittoria! Vittoria!!
L'alba vindice appar
che fa gli empi tremar!
Libertà sorge,
crollan tirannidi!

TOSCA
Mario, taci,
pietà di me! Simultaneous singing begins

CAVARADOSSI
Del sofferto martir
me vedrai qui gioir;
il tuo cor trema,
o Scarpia, carnefice!
carnefice! carnefice!

SCARPIA
Braveggia, urla!
T'affretta a palesarmi
il fondo dell'alma ria!
Va! Moribondo,
il calpestro t'aspetta!
Va, va!

TOSCA
Pietà! taci!
non l'ascoltate!
Pietà! Pietà! Simultaneous singing ends
Pietà di me!

SCARPIA
Portatemelo via!

TOSCA
Mario...con te...

SCARPIA
Va, moribondo!

TOSCA
No, no!

SCARPIA
Va, va!

TOSCA
Ah! Mario! Mario!
Con te... con te...

SCARPIA
Voi no! ( The door closes: Scarpia and Tosca are alone. )

TOSCA
Salvatelo!

SCARPIA
Io...? Voi! ( He goes to the table. )
La povera mia cena fu interrotta
Così accasciata?
Via, mia bella signora,
sedete qui.
Volete che cerchiamo insieme
il mo[do di salvarlo?]

[translation]

CAVARADOSSI

Victory! Victory!
The avenging dawn appears
that makes the wicked tremble!
Liberty arises,
tyrants tumble!

TOSCA
Mario, be silent,
have pity on me! Simultaneous singing begins

CAVARADOSSI
Now you see me rejoice
in my own suffering...
your own heart trembles,
Scarpia, you hangman!
hangman! hangman!

SCARPIA
Boast and shout!
Hasten to reveal
the depths of your evil soul!
Go! You're already dead,
the scaffold awaits you!
Go, go!

TOSCA
Pity! Be silent!
Don't listen to him!
Pity! Pity! Simultaneous singing ends
Pity on me!

SCARPIA
Take him away!

TOSCA
Mario...with you...

SCARPIA
Go, you're already dead!

TOSCA
No, no!

SCARPIA
Go, go!

TOSCA
Ah! Mario! Mario!
with you, with you!

SCARPIA
Not you! ( The door closes: Scarpia and Tosca are alone. )

TOSCA
Save him!

SCARPIA
I...? Rather you!

[Begin Page 48]
( He goes to the table. )
My poor supper was interrupted.
So downcast?
Come, my lovely lady,
sit down here.
Would you like us together to look
for a way to save him?

raster Band 5   [Click to Listen]

Act II: Vissi d'arte excerpt: "[Sem]pre con fè sincera"...to end of aria

Emma Eames (s), Tosca

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra--Luigi Mancinelli

January 3, 1903 (?)

[Slip and Glackens 57 are undated. The playback speed is reasonably close to the firmly dated tracks from this performance (not all at identical speeds themselves), and the aural perspective is similar; certainly the singer is Eames.]

When the full horror of Scarpia's proposition dawns on her, Tosca prays to the virgin.

[original]

TOSCA

[Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore,
non feci mai male ad anima vita!
Con man furtiva
quante miserie conobbi, aiutai.
Sem]pre con fè sincera
la mia preghiera
ai santi tabernacoli salì
Sempre con fè sincera,
diedi fiora agl'altar.
Nell'ora del dolore,
perchè, perchè, Signore,
perche me ne rimuneri così?
Diedi gioielli
della Madonna al manto,
e diedi il canto
agli astri, al ciel,
che ne ridean più belli.
Nell'ora del dolor,
perchè, perchè, Signor,
ah, perchè me ne rimuneri così?

[translation]

TOSCA

I lived for art, I lived for love,
and never did I harm a living being!
With a discreet hand
I aided whatever unfortunates I found.
Always, with pure faith,
my prayers rose
to the holy tabernacles.
Always, with pure faith,
I gave flowers for the altars.
In this hour of pain,
why, why, o Lord,
why dost Thou repay me thus?
I gave jewels
for the Madonna's mantle,
and gave my singing
to the stars, the heavens,
which shone more brightly from it.
In this hour of pain.
why, why, o Lord,
why dost Thou repay me thus?

Band 6

Act III: Final Scene excerpt: "Come è bello mio Mario!"...to end of opera

Emma Eames (s), Tosca

Jacques Bars (t), Spoletta

Bernard Bégué (b), Sciarrone

Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orchestra--

Luigi Mancinelli

January 3, 1903

[Slip; Glackens 70.]

Band 7

Act III: Final Scene excerpt: "Come è bello mio Mario!"..."Colla mia!"

Milka Ternina (s), Tosca

Jacques Bars (t), Spoletta

Lodovico Viviani (b), Sciarrone

Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orchestra--

Phillippe Flon

February 1, 1902

[Snake; Glackens 56: "Feb 1."]

The desperate Tosca has agreed to Scarpia's bargain and then killed him, unaware that the simulated execution of Mario he has ordered "to preserve appearances" will in fact be a real one. Both these cylinders cover the same material, the opera's final pages. On the terrace of the Castel Sant' Angelo, Tosca watches as the firing squad shoots and Mario falls. In the meantime Scarpia's agents have discovered his body, and they come looking for Tosca. (In Band 6, the sound of the shots is not heard, for they evidently lifted Mapleson's recording head from the grooves altogether, and the opera's final page is marred by two groove gouges that have been edited out of the tape. Paradoxically, the shots track better in the otherwise badly recorded Band 7.)

[original]

TOSCA

Come è bello il mio Mario! ( The firing squad shoots. )
Là! muori!
Ecco un artista!
O Mario, non ti muovere...
S'avviano...taci!
Vanno...scendono...scendono...
Ancora non ti muovere... ( She listens: the soldiers have gone. )
Presto, su! Mario! Mario!
Su, presto! Andiam!
Su, Su! Mario! Mario! Ah!
Morto...! morto...! morto...!
O Mario...morto...? tu...? così?
Finire così? finire così? Simultaneous singing begins
Tu, morto...morto? Mario...
Mario...povera Floria tua!
Mario! Mario!

SPOLETTA, SCIARRONE, SOLDIERS ( approaching, variously )
Ah! Vi dico, pugnalato!
Scarpia?
Scarpia!
Ah!
La donna è Tosca!
Che non sfugga! Simultaneous singing ends
Attenti agli sbocchi delle scale!
Attenti agli sbocchi delle scale! ( Spoletta and Sciarrone appear at the top of the stairs. )

SCIARRONE
È lei!

SPOLETTA
Ah! Tosca, pagherai ben cara
la sua vita!

TOSCA
Colla mia! [larr; Band 7 ends ]
O Scarpia, avanti a Dio! ( She throws herself over the parapet. ) [← Band 6 ends ]

[translation]

TOSCA

How handsome my Mario is! ( The firing squad shoots. )
There! Die!
What an actor!
O Mario, don't move ...
They're going now ... be silent!
They're going ... going down ...
Don't move yet... ( She listens: the soldiers have gone. )
Quick, get up! Mario! Mario!
Get up, quickly! Let's go!
Get up, get up! Mario! Mario! Ah!
Dead...! dead...! dead...!
O Mario...dead...! You...! Like this!
To end like this? To end like this? Simultaneous singing begins
You, dead...dead? Mario...
Mario...your poor Floria!
Mario! Mario!

SPOLETTA, SCIARRONE, SOLDIERS ( approaching variously )
Ah! I tell you, stabbed!
Scarpia?
Scarpia!
Ah!
The woman is Tosca!
Don't let her get away! Simultaneous singing ends
Guard the foot of the stairs!
Guard the foot of the stairs!

SCIARRONE
There she is!

SPOLETTA
Ah, Tosca, you will pay most dearly
for his life!

TOSCA
With my own!
O Scarpia, we'll meet before God! ( She throws herself over the parapet. ) [← Band 6 ends ]


     Mancinelli: ERO E LEANDRO    Table of Contents      Paderewski: MANRU