Summary of Giacomo Puccini. Yearning


A musical drama in three acts

Libretto by L. Illik and D. Giacosa


Floria Tosca, the famous singer

Mario Cavaradossi, artist

Baron Scarpia, Chief of Police

Cesare Angelotti


Spoletta, a police agent

Scaryone, gendarme












Cardinal, city prosecutor, hangman, scribe, officer, sergeant, soldiers, sobors, townspeople, people.

Venue: Rome.

Time: June, 1800 year.


The political prisoner Angelotti who fled the fortress took refuge in the church. Here, in the chapel of his sister Marquise Attavanti, a dress for escape is hidden. The artist Kavaradossi

writes in the church the image of the Madonna. Her features are clearly reminiscent of the face of the marquise, which can often be seen praying in the chapel. This coincidence causes the wrath of the sacristan. The artist himself, on the contrary, sees in the image of the Madonna the features of his beloved – the singer Floria Tosca. Left alone, Cavaradossi with astonishment finds out in the man who left the chapel, Angelotti, his former friend. The fugitive turns to the artist with a plea for help. Approaching Tosca causes Angelotti to hide again. Unusual behavior of Cavaradossi causes Tosca jealous suspicions, which reinforces the marked similarity of the Madonna with the Marquise. Only fervent assurances of love at the time soothe Tosca. After her departure, the artist invites his friend to hide in the villa; in case of approaching danger, he will hide in the secret niche of the well. A cannon shot is heard from the fortress – a sign that the escape was discovered – and Kavaradossi hurries to transport the fugitive himself to a safe haven. The church is filled with choristers, servants and people:
the news came of the victory over the troops of Napoleon. The solemn divine service begins. Among the crowd there are unexpectedly the figures of the Chief of Police Scarpia and his assistants, who are searching for the escaped prisoner. Discovered in the chapel, a fan with the initials of the marquise Attavanti and an empty basket of food suggest Scarpia on the trail. This fan, the likeness of the Madonna and the Marquis, helps Scarpia rekindle the jealousy of Tosca who has returned to the church. When she is indignantly sent to Villa Cavaradossi, Scarpia sends two detectives next to her.

The holiday continues. In the Palazzo Farnese, Scarpia waits for reports. Embraced by a lust of love, he sends Tosca through a subordinate invitation to come to him. Agent Spoletta reports that the search of the villa did not yield any results. Scarpia orders the arrest of the arrested artist, who must tell me where the fugitive is hiding. However, Kavaradossi courageously rejects attempts to force him to confess. Convicted of torture, he manages to remind Toska of the need to remain silent. Insinuating speeches Scarpia tries to find out a secret from her, but in vain. Only the screams of the victim deprive Tosca of composure, and she reveals the location of Angelotti. The policemen bring in the unconscious Cavaradossi. Hardly having come to himself, he addresses the question to Tosca – whether she kept her promise. Tosca answers in the affirmative. But the words of the order of Scarpia, sending the detectives to the well, reveal the truth to him. In anger, the artist curses his beloved. At this moment, Spoletta brings news that the victory was imaginary and the army of Napoleon is approaching Rome. The resurrected Cavaradossi rushes to the police chief, but he is seized and taken away. Scarpia offers Tosca a shameful deal. He will save Kavaradossi life and freedom, if Tosca will be given to him. Anguish with indignation rejects these infamous claims. Then Scarpia threatens to bring the death penalty into execution immediately, and Tosca is forced to yield. Scarpia promises her that the shooting will be carried out with blank shots and gives instructions to Spolette. At the insistence of Tosca Scarpia writes for her a cover letter to the fortress. At that moment, Tosca quietly hides the knife lying on the table behind her. And when the triumphant Scarpia wants to embrace her, she thrusts the blade into him. With a letter in his hand Tosca rushes to the languishing in the dungeon of Cavaradossi.

In the twilight twilight looms the platform of the fortress tower – the place of execution of prisoners. This leads Cavaradossi, who had an hour before the execution. In the last moments of his life he writes a farewell letter to his beloved. Sadness suddenly appears. She tells him about the imminent shooting and death of Scarpia. Soldiers line up before the convict. Confident of a happy ending, he calmly rises before the gunpoints aiming. The volley rattled. Mario is falling. Yearning rushes to him and too late to make sure of Scarpia’s treachery. The artist is dead. Now the mortal danger threatens herself. It is surrounded by the pursuers, who learned about the murder of Scarpia. In order not to fall into the hands of executioners, Tosca runs to the edge of the platform and rushes down from the parapet.

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Summary of Giacomo Puccini. Yearning