Just the one chapter today, it's enough to keep going with.
Readers who know Tosca will recognize that the take I give on Scarpia is 100% accurate. If anything I'm being kind about it. Baritones often wind up playing the villain. I mean, the tenor's generally the hero, the soprano is most often the heroine, so it's left to the lower voices to take on the bad-guy roles. And as operatic villains go, Scarpia's right up there with the blackest of 'em. It really is a spectacular role, and Nick's invention of his "back-story" fits in well with the character.
There's lots more to come, both about Asmedogh and Tosca-not to mention one other opera, this one without a real villain, that takes on a lot of importance later on.