Gregory Dahl as Scarpia; Photo by ©Yves Renaud

A splendid new co-production of Puccini’s Tosca by Opéra de Montréal and the Cincinatti Opera broods on the terrible power of art, eros, and the state.

Compassion is the yin to power’s yang. Compassion cannot enact the relative freedom and justice of the “good” state without sword, cannon, or intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The paradox of civilization is that the power required to achieve, maintain, and protect it requires physical coercion, inculcated virtue, and the fictions of law, money, state, religion, and human rights. Compassion is the yin to power’s yang. Compassion cannot enact the relative freedom and justice of the “good” state without sword, cannon, or intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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Source: Opera stories from La Scena