La Tosca

English’s Docs Beginner La Tosca

La Tosca

An opera by Puccini


Once upon a time, there were two soldiers, Cavaradossi and Angellotti. They were loyal friends. They fought for Italy. But the French army had taken over their village. Cavaradossi and Angellotti and other soldiers went into hiding. But Cavaradossi and Angellotti had a very important message. They had valuable information. A powerful man, Captain Scarpia, was looking for them.  He sent soldiers to ask everyone, “Where are Cavaradossi and Angellotti?” 

The whole village was looking for the men. They were desperate. They could not go home.  “There is only one person I trust: my love, Tosca. She is loyal to me. Let’s go to Tosca’s house. She can hide us,” said Cavaradossi. 

That night, Cavaradossi tapped on Tosca’s door. Tosca was beautiful, with long black hair and green eyes.  Tosca ran to Cavaradossi and kissed him. They were so happy to hold each other. But it was dangerous. Quickly, she said, “Hide in here.” She hid Angellotti in the well. She hid Cavaradossi in her closet.

At that moment, there was a knock at the door. Captain Scarpia arrived. He was a cruel, hardened man. Scarpia went to Tosca and said, “Where is your fiance? Tell me where he is. If you don’t, I’ll burn down your house.”

Tosca refused. “Go away. I don’t know where the men are,” she said. But Scarpia raised a burning stick. He was serious. He would burn down the house…and Angellotti would burn, too! 

“Stop, please,” she cried at the last minute. “I did see one man. He was by the well. I think he is the man you are looking for.” 

Scarpia and the men went to the well. They captured Angellotti. The men tortured him. Poor Angellotti cried out in misery. “Please, stop,” said Tosca. But Scarpia continued the torture.

Finally, poor Angellotti confessed everything. He was in terrible pain. “Men, put him out of his misery,” ordered Scarpia.

There was a loud BOOM! Scarpia’s men executed Angellotti. They had the information they wanted. 

Scarpia searched Tosca’s closet. He found Cavaradossi. He was furious with Tosca. He said,  “You gave the police information? How could you? Now, my friend is dead!” 

Scarpia interrupted, “You are dead, too… but you will die slowly and painfully.” 

Scarpia took Cavaradossi to the other room. The men tortured him. Tosca heard the cries of her love. Cavaradossi screamed in pain. Tosca was devastated. She cried, “Stop! It’s cruel. Please stop.” 

Scarpia saw that Tosca was very beautiful. He offered Tosca a deal. “Sleep with me and I won’t torture him.” 

“No! Never,” said Tosca. She was an honorable, loyal woman. 

“If not, you’ll hear his cries for a long time,” said Scarpia. He had an evil smile. Tosca was disgusted. It was a terrible offer, but Tosca had no choice. She agreed.

Scarpia quickly wrote a note. He turned to Tosca and said, “This note will stop the execution. Give it to the executioner.” He gave her the note. Then he said to her, “But first, give me my payment.” Then, he ordered the men to go in the other room. Scarpia closed the door. Tosca was desperate. It was her only opportunity for revenge. Tosca found a knife. Scarpia approached her. She took the knife and plunged it in his heart.  Scarpia’s evil smile disappeared. He fell down dead. 

Tosca ran from the room. The execution was beginning. She gave the executioner the note. “It says you must stop the execution.” But the note did not say that. It said to continue the execution and kill Cavaradossi. The evil Scarpia had lied! 

BOOM! There was a loud shot. Cavaradossi fell dead. Poor Tosca cried “NO!” and ran to him. She cried and cried. At that moment, she heard, “There she is! Stop her!” 

The men had entered the house. They saw Scarpia’s dead body. She ran from the men, but it was impossible. She would be executed anyway. She ran to a high wall, and jumped. Then, she could be with Cavaradossi in death.