Giacomo Puccini's opera 'Tosca' might be described as a thriller with political overtones. Set in Rome in 1800 at a time when the Police Chief Scarpia is conducting a reign of terror, it shows its hero and heroine, the singer Floria Tosca and the painter Mario Cavaradossi, caught up in and eventually destroyed by the operations of Scarpia's corrupt regime. The aria Come è lunga l'attesa! is sung by Tosca in the 3rd act at the very end of the opera: Cavaradossi is led away, and Tosca watches with increasing impatience as the execution is prepared. The men fire, Cavaradossi falls, and Tosca exclaims ‘Ecco un artista!’ (‘What an actor!’). When the soldiers are leaving she hurries towards Cavaradossi and telling him not yet to move, to wait till the soldiers are away. She is not aware of that Scarpia betrayed her: the bullets were real and Cavaradossi has died.