Callas, Tosca … and YouTube

There are some astonishing finds on YouTube, amongst all the trivial dross. Someone — no doubt breaking all sorts of copyright law, but in what a cause! — has posted the whole of the astonishing 1964 television film that was made of Maria Callas and Tito Gobbi in the second act of Tosca at Covent Garden, in seven parts. The first two parts 1, 2, are followed by the torture scene 3, 4, then 5 , followed by Vissi d’arte, and finally the last ten minutes of the act.

The style is indeed from a different era … yet the visceral impact remains however many times you see these legendary performances (past their vocal prime though, by all accounts, Callas and Gobbi were). Words fail me. Except to say that, if you have never seen this film, you must and now can. (Start with Vissi d’arte, then backtrack to watch the whole in sequence.)

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