The execution looms
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Puccini's Tosca: a beginner's guide
14. The execution looms
Act III opens with church bells and an atmosphere of gloom. Cavaradossi is told that he has an hour left to live. The only thing on his mind is Tosca, so he writes a letter to her and sings one of Puccini's greatest romantic arias, 'E lucevan le stelle'. No sooner has he finished than Tosca herself blusters in with the signed document, explaining that his execution is a fake.