In most recordings of Tosca, it is the singer in the title role who takes top billing. Here, though, it is absurdly over-promoted tenor Andrea Bocelli whose name takes pride of place. It is a pity, for his performance as Cavaradossi is the least satisfactory part of the performance: harsh, unvaried of tone and totally unmusical in its phrasing.
Certainly the Tosca herself, Fiorenza Cedolins, deserves a more ingratiating partner, for her singing has the thrill and dramatic excitement of a real, instinctive stage performer, who is heard at her best in the second-act confrontation with Carlo Guelfi's underpowered but still dramatically convincing Scarpia.
Zubin Mehta's conducting is perfectly serviceable; the crudeness of Bocelli's singing, though, makes the performance unrecommendable, and a booklet synopsis that gives titles to each scene - "On the run", "Scarpia the sadist", "The bitterness of past happiness" - doesn't inspire much confidence, either.