Soprano Carmen Giannattasio is making her San Francisco Opera debut with Tosca this month – a brand new production of the opera, and her first in role, which she’s dreamed of singing for quite a while. The Puccini classic, set in 1800 Rome, tells of the lovers Tosca and Cavaradossi, and the sadistic police chief Baron Scarpia.

You can find out more about the production at the San Francisco Opera website.

“When I was young, of course, I was aspiring to sing this role, to achieve the position to be able to sing this role,” Giannattasio says. “Now I feel really mature in terms of artistry, I mean, command of stage, technique, and I am a more mature woman. So all the package now is ready to sing this role. And it was worth to wait for.” She says her approach comes from her reading of the score, the libretto, as well as the original theatrical piece by Sardou. Sometimes Tosca begins too seriously, she says. “They are a couple of fresh lovers, I would say. She’s an artist, she’s a singer, a very famous singer, I would say like the Beyoncé of nowadays. And she is having her concert that night, and she’s just making plans with her lover, and saying ‘Look, tonight I’m working, I’m having a concert, but afterward, lets have a glass of wine, let’s meet up in your villa,’ and he also is an artist, being also a painter, so perfect couple, you know?” Divas aren’t like divas in their private life, she says, so she begins by being a little more girlish than she might otherwise, so there’s a place to get to dramatically. “And I wanted to make it fresher, in order to then increase the drama, what is happening in act two and act three, which is very meaty stuff. It’s all about Murder and Revenge and sorrow – it’s like a storm of feelings in a very short time. Because the whole plot is like in not even one day.”