Ainhoa Arteta as Tosca for Opera Australia…and as herself at the Institutio Cervantes, Sydney

Tosca (Ainhoa Arteta) retreats in fear and disgust while Scarpia (Lucio Gallo) advances on her. Image credit: Prudence Upton

I was in a cynical and grumpy mood. It was a wet and windy Wednesday evening, I had spent my day at work and then become lost and stuck in Sydney’s endless roadworks and lack of parking. I had blisters on my feet and I was running late. I had taken a free ticket to see the powerhouse Spanish soprano Ainhoa Arteta in a public interview with Victor Ugarte at the Institutio Cervantes, Sydney’s main Spanish language learning centre.

While I was curious to see and hear Arteta up close, I felt so much more mundane than I had the previous Friday, when I had zipped my Golf into SOH’s ample underground parking space and strutted up the stairs in my heels to see Arteta star in John Bell and Christian Badea’s wonderfully dark production of Tosca for Opera Australia. That evening, what is probably my favourite opera had swept me away on a tide of emotional intensity, and the glittering lights on the harbour and the fancy champagne had seemed almost magical.

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