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Published on 12 Oct 2007
From the Bel Canto Opera production of TOSCA: Rome, 1944. The great diva Floria Tosca comes to see her lover, Mario Cavaradossi at the church where he is painting an altarpiece. She becomes consumed with jealousy, suspecting her lover of having an affair with the woman he portrayed in his painting.
CAVARADOSSI But I must get to work now TOSCA You dismiss me? CAVARADOSSI I've a deadline...I must. TOSCA I'll go...I'll go! But who is that fair-haired woman, my dear. CAVARADOSSI That's Magdalene.. You like her? TOSCA She's much too pretty! CAVARADOSSI Praises from a rival TOSCA Rival? Those eyes are blue. I know I've seen her somewhere CAVARADOSSI Blue eyes are very common TOSCA A moment... I know her It's the Marquesa! CAVARADOSSI Brava!... TOSCA You see her? You know her? She comes here. You're lovers. CAVARADOSSI We've never spoken. TOSCA Those footsteps...the whispering voices. You were with her just this morning! CAVARADOSSI What nonsense. TOSCA You have betrayed me For her! For her! CAVARADOSSI I've seen her often, she comes here to worship. Never has she noticed the artist who has sketched her. TOSCA Swear it! CAVARADOSSI Honest. TOSCA Look how she stares at Tosca. CAVARADOSSI Please leave now. TOSCA She glares and taunts and mocks me. CAVARADOSSI How silly. TOSCA Why pale blue eyes? CAVARADOSSI Of all the eyes I've gazed into before None have made my heart soar more than Tosca's, Eyes that impassion the soul, darker than midnight, aglow with emotion; Eyes soft with tender devotion, like the eyes of the saints above. In all the world, never was there a prize to compare with these dark eyes of love. TOSCA Ah, words of consolation. How could I not believe them? But...can't you paint her eyes black? CAVARADOSSI Forever jealous. TOSCA Yes, I know, I confess it is so...but that's my nature. CAVARADOSSI Jealous goddess. TOSCA Surely, darling you'll forgive me. CAVARADOSSI Jealousy suits you. TOSCA Theres no curse that's worse than jealousy. Can't you see how it's torturing me? CAVARADOSSI Darling Tosca, I adore every fault. Every flaw I find endearing. I'll forgive whatever you do, I am madly in love with you. TOSCA Swear to me our love's enduring. Jealous souls need reassuring! CAVARADOSSI Precious Tosca, you and you alone are everything I long for. Words fail, and all I can do is repeat and repeat 'I love you' TOSCA Heavens! All that repeating! Your engine's overheating! CAVARADOSSI Well then, leave me! TOSCA I'll go if you keep at your work until evening And you must promise that no other woman will come here to distract you ...especially blue-eyed, blondes... or Tosca kills you! CAVARADOSSI I tremble. A murderess. Leave! TOSCA Why do you rush me? CAVARADOSSI I'm frightened. TOSCA Stop. You're teasing CAVARADOSSI Not in front of Our Lady! TOSCA She won't be looking. (they kiss) But can't you paint her eyes black!)