Tulsa Opera delivers a thrilling and passionate Tosca

Tulsa Opera’s production of Puccini’s “Tosca” is May 5 and 7. Photo provided.

Puccini’sTosca, the top pick of the Tulsa Opera audience’s wish list, will be delivered in a thrilling and passionate production May 5 and 7. In this masterpiece of operatic melodrama, two men – mortal enemies – Mario Cavaradossi and Baron Scarpia, compete for the same woman, the diva Floria Tosca.  

Tosca is one of the most lethal of operas. None of the central characters make it to the end alive, hero or villain. Puccini takes an overtly theatrical tale and makes it astonishingly moving. At its core, Tosca is a tale of romance over politics; featuring a heroic painter, a despicable ruler and an opera superstar, Tosca herself.

The sensuous singer Floria Tosca and her artist lover Cavaradossi conspire to conquer the malicious forces determined to wedge them apart. Moving through the shadows in Rome’s churches and castles, they plot to undo the wicked intentions of their nemesis, the lecherous police sergeant, Scarpia, in Puccini’s masterful love story, rich with captivating arias and orchestral drama.

Tosca must decide what she is willing to sacrifice to save her lover, and to save her honor. With such classic arias as Vissi d’arte, Puccini’s tragic Tosca classically rounds out Tulsa Opera’s main stage season. 

Presenting legendary sopranos is one of the cornerstones of Tulsa Opera’s history. Puccini’s beloved masterpiece will be performed by an international all-star cast led by Russian soprano Evelina Dobračeva as Tosca, hot on the heels of her American debut with Cincinnati Opera. 

And in its tradition of presenting great tenors, Tulsa Opera brings you Finnish tenor, Christian Juslin for his American debut as Cavaradossi. Juslin got his start at Stockholm’s Folkoperan as Alfredo in La Traviata and went on to Macduff in Macbeth and Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly.

Rounding out the leads as the heartless Scarpia is the remarkable Weston Hurt of whose voice Opera News wrote, “a gorgeous baritone, which is golden, weighty and clear…his performance was faultless -  stylistically on the money, dramatically committed, and displaying a vocalism that was perfectly even from the top to the bottom of his range."

Making his American debut in the orchestra pit is the brilliant young Italian conductor and composer Francesco Cilluffo, dubbed “the conductor of the future” by La Stampa.

Tosca features classic opera scenic design by the late French designer Jean-Pierre Ponnelle.

The Tulsa Opera production of Tosca is May 5 and 7 at Chapman Music Hall in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $25 to $118 and are available online at Tulsapac.com, by phone at (918) 596-7111 or at the TulsaPAC box office at 101 E. Third St. in downtown Tulsa.

The opera will be sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.

Copyright 2017 The Gayly – April 17, 2017 @ 1:40 p.m.