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TOSCA: A TALE OF LOVE AND TORTURE

Australia, 2000 (MIFF 2000, Australian Showcase)

Director: Trevor Graham

From the director of Mabo—Life of an Island Man, the producer of Picnic at langing Rock and based on the famous opera by Puccini, Tosca: A Tale of Love and Torture is a documentary like no other. It is 1999 and Opera Australia need a hit at the box office. They decide to stage Puccini's masterwork—about a passionate young diva caught in the political turmoil of 19th century Rome—as a lavish production to lure the patrons. However, with a tight budget, rehearsal time is cut to the bone and cast and crew are given just three weeks to prepare before le curtain is raised. Granted unrestricted access to film behind the scenes from day one of rehearsals to opening night at the Sydney Opera House, director Trevor Graham has fashioned an intriguing film. With backstage dramas and tension building—not everyone is sure they will make it—this documentary will apeal to music lovers and anyone who enjoys real life drama. The production of Tosca stars Joan Carden as Floria Tosca and is conducted by Roderick Brydon.

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