My life would not quite be the same without Puccini's Tosca. Today she turns 114. This opera has thrilled me since I was an early teen and continues to captivate me today. It is Verismo at its most gripping.
I've posted many images and videos of whom I consider to be the definitive exponents of Puccini's popular heroine many times before, Tebaldi and Callas, so this time I figured I'd show another great Tosca from days gone by, Zinka Milanov. I love this studio portrait from the Metropolitan Opera, it's simply gorgeous and captures the great diva in her prime.
You can view a rare RAI Television broadcast from 1956 of Milanov singing the Vissi d'Arte here. While caught near the end of her career, you can still witness the presence of one of the greatest Tosca's from the mid-Twentieth Century.