John Wegner

1999 Tosca Critiques


John Wegner - “Scarpia” in Tosca - Melbourne Nov./Dec. 1999

Tosca - Opera Australia, State Theatre, Melbourne - November, 1999

Producer     John Copley
Conductor   Roderick Brydon

Tosca           Joan Carden
Scarpia        John Wegner
Cavaradossi Gregory Tomlinson

Herald Sun, November 17, 1999

....John Wegner is truly the most evil Scarpia yet encountered. Puccini sculpted a role that is full of subtexts, and these were hinted at rather than broadcast by Wegner.
His oily and fumbling seduction of Tosca was a delight and his hypocritical religious devotion was craftily shaded. ---- Michael Easton

Sunday Herald Sun - November 21, 1999

....Some Scarpias are coarse brutes, but Wegner’s chief of police was an aristocratic sadist who desired Tosca - but only as a trophy.
Honey-toned and physically violent, Wegner was dangerously attractive. --- Andrew Scott

Opera~Opera, December 1999

....John Wegner sang splendidly as Scarpia. You could not fault his suggestiveness and deviousnes

s when arousing Tosca’s jealousy in the church scene and the attack-retreat treatment of his prey in Act 2 was as cogent an insight into the character and Puccini’s view of his evil as you could hope for.
....Unlike many Scarpias, Wegner can strip to the waist because he has a fine physique. You were left in no doubt that this villain was the creature of his own sexual passion but you could understand why he would be so - a Don Giovanni with a strong sadistic streak but by no means physically repellent: the personification of the cruel, handsome bastard of the traditional romance novel, albeit one psychologically disfigured by strong currents of perversity.
----- Clive O’Connell