The story of a hot-blooded diva with more than a slight mean streak. A chief of police who's even meaner than she is. A political prisoner. And a painter who is to die for.
An Opera in Three Acts
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
after Victorien Sardou
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
There will be two 20-minute intermissions
April 13, 2024 | 7:00pm
with Maestro Steven White | 6:00pm
Church of the Redeemer
5603 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21210
Act I. During the time of the Napoleonic Wars in Rome, Cesare Angelotti, an escaped political prisoner, takes refuge in the church of San'Andrea della Valle. There, he meets the painter Mario Cavaradossi who is working on a portrait of Angelotti's sister, the Marchese Attavanti, as Mary Magdalene. As he paints he amuses himself by comparing his subject's beauty to that of his lover, the tempestuous diva Floria Tosca ("Recondita armonia"). When Angelotti recognizes the artist as a fellow revolutionary and ass for his help, Cavaradossi agrees, but decides to hide his involvement from Tosca, who he expects to visit him in the church. Tosca's jealousy is aroused at Cavaradossi's delay in opening the door, and at the subject of his painting, but he assures her of his love ("Non la sospiri la nostra casetta"). The two revolutionaries leave for a hiding place at Cavaradossi's villa as a cannon shot announces Angelotti's escape. The church becomes a center of activity as the Sacristan announces that Baron Scarpia, the Chief of Police, will hold a gla celebrating the government's victory. Scarpia and his men search the church, and suspecting that Tosca and Cavaradossi are implicated in Angelotti's escape, the Baron preys on Tosca's jealousy by suggesting that her lover has been unfaithful with the Marchese. Knowing that Tosca will immediately confront Cavaradossi, he orders his mean to follow her. As the Te Deum is sung, Scarpia plans to hang Angelotti, and seduce Tosca.
Act II. In Scarpia's apartment in the Farnese Palace, the Baron anticipates the enjoyment of Tosca's favors ("Ha più forte sapore"). The spy Spoletta has arrested Cavaradossi, but has not found Angelotti. When Tosca is summoned to the Palace after singing in the victory gala, Scarpia's questioning and Cavaradossi's screams as he is tortured unnerve her, ad she reveals where Angelotti has hidden. Cavaradossi is enraged, but shouts defiance as news is brought that Napoleon has won the Battle of Margengo, a major defeat for Scarpia's side. He is dragged off to prison. Scarpia then makes his offer — Tosca's body for her lover's life. In despair, Tosca laments that her devotion to God and her art cannot save her from this fate ("Vissi d'arte"). Scarpia explains that he will order a mock execution, and prepares a safe-conduct pass for Tosca and Cavaradossi. Tosca stabs him, places candles at his head and a crucifix on his chest, and leaves.
Act III. At the Castel Sant'Angelo just before dawn, Cavaradossi writes a last letter to Tosca ("E lucevan le stelle"). She arrives with the safe conduct pass, tells him that she has killed Scarpia, and that the two of them can look forward to a happy future together after the fake execution. But after the shots have been fired, Tosca realizes that the bullets were real; Scarpia, whose body has been discovered, has exacted revenge from beyond the grave. She evades the guards and leaps from the battlements to her death, crying that she and Scarpia will meet before God.
Calliah Grace O'Brien
Wigs & Make Up
Costumes courtesy of Tri-Cities Opera Company, Inc.
Engagement of this event's opera performers is through the generosity of the Loretta Lee Ver Valen Endowment Fund for Leading Operatic Artists
Support for Maryland Opera also comes
from these generous organizations:
The Baltimore Opera Company Foundation Fund
The S. James Campbell Fund
The Kenneth S. Battye Charitable Trust
The PNC Foundation - Grow Up Great
The Philip A. Zaffere Foundation
The Maryland State Arts Council