Postcard #4. A scene reenacted from Tosca

Sally from Chapel Hill requested her postcard be a scene reenacted from Tosca at the Castel Sant’Angelo. Now I am not an opera fan and knew nothing of the story, but it just so happened that my aunt and uncle came to visit whilst I was in Rome and as luck would have it, they are both classical singers.

My auntie Jane didn’t really know the story either, but uncle David did, and with fire and venom in his eyes, he took to strangling his wife in front of the battlements of the Castel Sant’Angelo. Unfortunately the Castel was closed when we paid it a visit, but I actually like the view of the Castel behind them whilst they reenacted this passionate opera. I still don’t quite know the whole story, but the important bit was, he was a scorned, unrequited lover, she loved another and when the evil dude killed her lover, she threw herself off the Castel to her death. Pretty standard stuff for an opera I’d say.

I’m not sure the maddened strangling whilst singing actually took place here in the story, but it sure was a lot of fun and they both really got into their parts. What is a terrible shame when you see the photos is that there is no sound, as both of them sang the whole way through the photo shoot.

I chose to take an Art Nouveau approach to the postcard as the original posters for the opera, when it first ran at the turn of the century, were by Alphonse Mucha. I painted the postcard with watercolours on the lovely Fabriano watercolour paper of course, and did some gold leaf for the type. I hope Sally likes it, this was probably one of the most time consuming and entertaining postcards of the lot.


  1. Jane Wilde says:

    My classical voice hasn’t been the same since the rather too-well-acted strangling scene!

    • Dominique says:

      He certainly did take to his role with great vim and vigour!! You poor thing. Well worth it though. Funniest moment of the whole trip.

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