Tosca - A Student's Perspective

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity this year to play the part of Shepherd Boy in Tosca. I have sung in Tosca before but as part of the choir, so the experience has been very different. The part is rather unusual as you do not go onstage unless you stay behind to bow at the end. I shared the role with another boy from Cardinal Vaughan, with whom I had some great banter. Standing onstage with Angela Gheorghiu was exceptionally special! It was also fun to see the scene each night where Tosca commits suicide. Each soprano did it differently – some fell backwards dramatically as per tradition, others turned around and daintily hopped bunny rabbit style (including Angela) so as not to damage their precious vocal chords. Overall, I had lots of late nights, but it was an exceptional experience!

Duncan Tarboton, Year 10

We are very privileged to have been able to sing in the first act of Tosca at the Royal Opera House amongst some of the most celebrated opera singers and musical directors in the business. It gave us all great excitement and pride to be singing on stage in front of thousands of people at one of the most prestigious venues in London. I’ve been lucky enough to sing in Tosca with different casts at the Opera House twice now, and it was just as exciting the second time. We attended many rehearsals before having our costumes fitted where we were all eager to know whether we were “Upper Class” or “Bourgeois”. All this, prior to setting foot on stage for our first performance of eleven. Over the course of the 6 weeks we spent rehearsing and performing the opera, we were treated to hot food in the canteen, we met many new people, and we were able to get to know the Opera House a bit better behind the scenes. I thoroughly enjoyed being involved in Tosca and I’m very grateful to have been given the chance to take part.

Joseph Waymouth, Year 9.

Mahler 3 - LA Phil, Gustavo Dudamel