OF the six talks comprising this series, four
(the present talk being the last), have been given by Sir John Russell , their intention being to show the development of the countryside and the condition of rural England today. Today's talk covers the sheep and cattle-rearing hills of the West. Something will be said of the numbers and varieties of the animals bred and of their possible value. Of particular interest to many country listeners will be Sir John's
?omments in conclusion on the growing difficulties of the English Farmer's position.
Relayed from the Royal Opera
House, Covent Garden
PUCCINI'S Opera is founded on the drama by Sardou. and is one of the most grimly tragic stories in the whole realm of Opera, a tale of love and jealousy and black-hearted treachery. Tosea is a famous singer in the story, and she and the painter. Cavaradossi, love one another. But Scarpia. Chief of Police, also loves the singer and it is he who brings about the final tragedy by getting the painter into his power. The painter had befriended Angelotti, who was escaping from prison, and that is made the excuse for Scarpia first to subject him to torture and finally to have him shot. Tosca stabs her unwelcome suitor, and after her lover's execution, throws herself from the battlements of the castle, so that the tragedy is as complete and sombre as could well be devised.
When the second Act begins, Cavaradossi is in prison, and Scarpia has summoned Tosca to tell her so. When she comes, he opens a door through which she can hear the agonized screams of her lover under torture. If Tosca will reveal the secret of Angelotti's hiding place, so he tells her, the torture shall cease. Tosca tells him and then Scarpia, having learned what he wished to know, announces that Cavaradossi will be shot. Only if Tosea will yield herself to him, can her lover's life be saved, and the execution turned into a mock one with blank cartridges instead of ball. She demands a passport for herself and Cavaradossi to leave in safety, and when Scarpia has written it, he steps forward to take her in his arms. She stabs him, and, setting a cruciBx beside his body, hastens to set her lover free.
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