View of soprano Leontyne Price in Puccini’s opera, “Tosca.” Stamped on back: “NBC photo.” Handwritten on back: “Miss Price in Act II.”

  • Courtesy of the E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts, Detroit Public Library
How to write a Puccini opera

Step 1 - Attention-grabbing, one-measure introductory motif. Bring back when you need to wrench the audience back into the action.
Step 2 - introduce romantic, but abusive male lead
Step 3 - introduce innocent goddess female lead
Step 4 - high C’s mean we’re in love!
Step 5 - give woman a dagger (or tuberculosis, you know, your choice)
Step 6 - ???
Step 7 - everyone’s dead and you’re rich!

Theater Tales

“So there was this big-deal diva doing the lead in Tosca, and she was a total bitch to the crew. And you do NOT be a bitch to the crew. Because one night, when she had her big throw-herself-off-the-building moment, there was supposed to be a mattress.”

“And there wasn’t a mattress?”

“No, better: they had a trampoline.”


Giacomo Puccini (1858 – 1924) was an Italian composer whose operas are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire. Puccini was “the greatest composer of Italian opera after Verdi”. Whilst his early work was rooted in traditional late-19th century romantic Italian opera, he successfully developed his work in the ‘realistic’ verismo style, of which he became one of the leading exponents.



World Team Trophy - Two-time and reigning World Champion Evgenia Medvedeva scored 12 points with her first place in the Ladies Free Skating. The two-time European Champion put out a mesmerizing performance of her program to “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, reeling off seven triples including two triple-triple combinations, level-four spins and footwork. The 17-year-old achieved a new record score of 160.46 points.