Italian opera captures the humanity of women like no other genre. Romantic and feminist notions of women are all thrown out the window depicting, instead, three-dimensional beings with their good, their bad and their ugly on full display. Tosca is one such protagonist – possessive, jealous, temperamental, loyal, devoted and highly vindictive. Criminal, even. This protagonist is no dainty little wallflower waiting for a white knight to rescue her nor a virtue signalling, opting to run to the State whenever there is a problem, SJW. Tosca is real.
If Tosca existed today she would not run to the HR department/lawyers whining of being groped by her boss. She would kick his balls in, shove a stapler in his mouth and not give a second thought to her dime a dozen admin job. She understood her worth and her power, an egalitarian who was not afraid to protect herself and her own using the very terms dictated by her oppressor. At any cost. Tosca is what feminism has miserably failed at.
This magnificent opera climaxes in Act II “ E qual via scegliete?” (Which route have you chosen?) where Tosca comes to her own choosing to protect her honour.
Evil, lascivious Scarpia blackmailing and threatening Tosca.
Murderous Tosca choosing her honour over consequences.
Muori dannato! Muori, Muori!
È morto! Or gli perdono!
E avanti a lui tremava tutta Roma.
There is a life lesson in this libretto that should not be ignored, real women fight back. Tosca is the real feminism.
Annabelle @ The Art of Flag-waving