"Tosca combines Puccini's glorious musical inspiration with the melodramatic vitality of one of the great Hitchcock films," says Met Music Director James Levine, who conducts this new production. The opera tells the story of three people-a famous opera singer, a free-thinking painter, and a sadistic chief of police-caught in a net of love and politics. Soprano Karita Mattila, recently seen in last season's presentation of Salome, sings the title role for the first time outside her native Finland. Luc Bondy, acclaimed for his imaginative theater and opera productions, directs. The cast also includes Marcelo Alvarez as Cavaradossi and George Gagnidze as Scarpia.