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TOSCA

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 | 7:00
pm
Pre-Performance lecture
with Maestro Steven White | 6:00pm


Church of the Redeemer
5603 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21210

 

SYNOPSIS

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.

 

CAST

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Dominic Armstrong
Cavaradossi

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Andrew Manea
Scarpia

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Samual Keeler
Spoletta

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Kevin Paton-Cole
Angelotti/Jailer

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Doug Byerly
Sacristan

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Bill Gohl
Archbishop of Rome

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Steven White
Conductor

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James Harp
Director

ORCHESTRA

Violin 1

Violin 2

Viola

Cello

Flute

Clarinet

Bassoon

Trumpet

French Horn

Trombone

Timpani/Percussion 1

Piano

Organ

José Cueto

Celeste Blase

Christof Huebner

Kirsten Walsh

Sarah Nichols

Cheryl Hill

Terry Ewell

Tim White

Michael Hall

James Martin

Barry Dove

James Harp

Bert Landman

CHORUS

Mercy Calhoun-Dion

William Clark

Hakeem Henderson

Henry Hubbard

Peter Juengst

Will Kuethe

Isabel Marcus

Amanda Staub

Hannah Wardell

Emma Webster

CHILDREN'S CHORUS

Calliah Grace O'Brien

Rosalie Koren

Camile Sergeon

Anna Wang

James Harp

Kimberly Christie

Aaron Sherber

Chuck Atwell

Jason Buckwalter

April Forrer

Christopher Fotis

PRODUCTION STAFF

Director

Assistant Director

Stage Manager

Set/Lighting Designer

Production Coordinator

Costumer

Wigs & Make Up

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Church of the Redeemer

St. Mark's Lutheran Church

Costumes courtesy of Tri-Cities Opera Company, Inc.

Goh's Kung Fu

Columbia Pawtisserie

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

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