Seattle Opera - Tosca

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Seattle Opera.

Tosca

Jan. 10 - 24, 2015

Overview

By Giacomo Puccini

SHE LIVES FOR ART. SHE DIES FOR LOVE. A fiery prima donna struggles to free her true love from the clutches of a wicked police chief in Puccini’s sure-fire favorite. Passionate arias and truly terrific musical moments pepper a rousing score, bringing Tosca’s emotional extremes into sharp relief as the story rushes toward its thrilling conclusion. The crackling melodrama grabs hold from the get-go, making Tosca ideal for both newcomers and aficionados alike.

In Italian with English subtitles | at McCaw Hall
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours 50 minutes with 2 intermissions

Audio described performance for visually impaired patrons available on Sunday, January 11. Description begins 10 minutes prior to the beginning of the matinee.

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Synopsis

Long Story Short
“Sleep with me, or your boyfriend dies!” sings wicked police chief. What will Tosca do?

Who's Who?
Floria Tosca, a singer, is a devout Catholic, a compassionate, warm-hearted individual, and a passionate, jealous lover.
Mario Cavaradossi, a painter, loves life, liberty, and Floria Tosca (and maybe a striking blonde as well).
Baron Scarpia is a lecherous, power-mad chief of police.
Cesare Angelotti was once the consul of the short-lived Roman Republic; now he’s a political prisoner newly escaped from Scarpia’s jail.
Spoletta is Scarpia’s sadistic lackey.
Sciarrone is another of Scarpia’s evil henchmen.
The Sacristan works in the church of Sant’Andrea della Valle.
The Jailer works at the Castel Sant’Angelo.
The Shepherd likes to take his sheep out to graze along the Tiber and sing sad songs in the very early morning.

Where and When?
Rome, June 17 and 18, 1800

What's Going On?
ACT I
Cesare Angelotti, an escaped political prisoner, enters the church of Sant’Andrea della Valle and hides within a chapel. An artist and revolutionary, Mario Cavaradossi, comes in to work on his portrait of the Madonna, inspired by the Marchesa Attavanti. While an old Sacristan performs his morning duties, Cavaradossi compares the blonde Madonna he is painting to the raven beauty of his lover, the singer Floria Tosca. When the Sacristan leaves, Angelotti emerges from hiding and asks for Cavaradossi’s help. They are interrupted by the entrance of Tosca, who has come to see her lover. Cavaradossi, who keeps Tosca from seeing Angelotti, has to quiet her jealous fears about the woman in his portrait of the Madonna before she will leave. The two men hear a cannon shot—a signal that Angelotti’s escape has been discovered. They flee to hide Angelotti at Cavaradossi’s villa.

The Sacristan and the acolytes enter, excited about the army’s supposed victory over Napoleon. Scarpia, chief of police, enters, having tracked Angelotti to the church. Tosca returns to find her lover gone. Scarpia sows seeds of jealousy in Tosca, suggesting that her lover is having an affair with the Marchesa. Tosca, crazed with jealousy, rushes out to find the painter. Scarpia sends his minions to follow her, hoping that Tosca will lead them to Cavaradossi and Angelotti. As a joyful crowd fills the church to celebrate Napoleon’s supposed defeat, Scarpia, ignoring the celebration, dwells on his lust for Tosca.

ACT II
Scarpia, in his headquarters in the Farnese Palace, sends for Tosca. Spoletta arrives with Cavaradossi, and Scarpia interrogates the painter about Angelotti’s whereabouts. He gets nowhere, and sends him off to the torture chamber adjacent to his office. Tosca appears, and her actions reveal to Scarpia that she knows something about Angelotti. He makes her listen to Cavaradossi’s torture. She can’t bear it, and tells Scarpia where Angelotti is hiding. Scarpia cruelly lets Cavaradossi know that Tosca has talked. A message comes that Napoleon has won, and Cavaradossi indulges in a cry of victory and defiance. Cavaradossi is dragged to prison, and Tosca is left to bargain with Scarpia for her lover’s life. Scarpia suggests that Tosca yield herself to him in exchange for the painter’s freedom. Tosca fights off Scarpia and prays to God for help. But, eventually, she agrees to Scarpia’s demands in exchange for a mock execution and a safe conduct pass for her and Cavaradossi. After he has written the pass, Tosca stabs Scarpia and rejoices in his death.

ACT III
Before dawn, on the roof of the Castel Sant’Angelo, Cavaradossi writes of his love for Tosca. Tosca arrives at the prison with the safe conduct letter and tells Cavaradossi how she killed Scarpia. She then instructs him to feign death before the execution squad. The soldiers come; they shoot; Cavaradossi falls. Tosca waits until the soldiers leave, rushes to Cavaradossi and finds that Scarpia has thwarted her. The bullets were real and Cavaradossi is dead. The police arrive to arrest Tosca for Scarpia’s murder. She mounts the parapet and cries, “Scarpia, we will meet before God” and plunges to her death.

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Spotlight Guide

Discover more about Tosca; it's history, its composer, and its inspiration.

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Cast

Ausrine Stundyte

Floria Tosca

At Seattle Opera in 2014/15: Tosca, Tosca

Hometown: Vilnius, Lithuania
Seattle Opera Debut: Cio-Cio-San, Madama Butterfly ('12)
Recently:  Tosca, Tosca (São Paulo); Chrysothemis, Elektra (Antwerp, Belgium); Cio-Cio-San, Madama Butterfly (Savonlinna, Finland) 
Upcoming:Judith, Bluebeard's Castle (Berlin); Leonore, Fidelio (Vienna); Venus, Tannhäuser (Antwerp)


Last updated: October 2014

Ausrine Stundyte

Floria Tosca

Jan. 10, 14, 17 & 21

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Floria Tosca

At Seattle Opera in 2014/15: Tosca, Tosca
At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Abigaille, Nabucco; Elisabetta, Mary Stuart
Seattle Opera Debut: Leonora, Il trovatore (’10) 
Seattle Opera Artist of the Year: Serena, Porgy and Bess ('11)
Seattle Opera Young Artist: 2000/01

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Recently: Lady Macbeth, Macbeth (Theater St. Gallen); Norma, Norma (Florida Grand Opera); Abigaille, Nabucco (Opera Leipzig)
Upcoming: Chimène, Le Cid (St. Galler Festpiele); Lady Macbeth, Macbeth (Welsh National Opera)

Last updated: February 2016

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Mary Elizabeth Williams

Floria Tosca

Jan. 11 & 23

Marcy Stonikas

Floria Tosca

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Mother, Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: Elmhurst, IL
Seattle Opera Young Artist 2009/10, 2010/11
Seattle Opera Debut: Second Lady, The Magic Flute (’10)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Prima Donna/Ariadne, Ariadne auf Naxos (’15); Tosca, Tosca (’15); Magda Sorel, The Consul (’14)
Recently: Donna Anna, Don Giovanni (Opera Santa Barbara); Turandot, Turandot (Cincinnati Opera); Beethoven’s Ninth (West Australian Symphony Orchestra)
Upcoming: Gerhilde, Die Walküre and Third Norn, Götterdämmerung (Washington National Opera)

Last updated: December 2015 

Marcy Stonikas

Floria Tosca

Jan. 24

Stefano Secco

Mario Cavaradossi

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Alfredo, La traviata

Hometown: Milan, Italy
Seattle Opera Debut: Pinkerton, Madama Butterfly (’12)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Mario Cavaradossi, Tosca (’15)
Recently: Nemorino, L'elisir d'amore (Vienna Staatsoper); Cavaradossi, Tosca, (Teatro La Fenice); Verdi Requiem(Berlin Radio Orchestra)
Upcoming: Pinkerton, Madama Butterfly (Los Angeles Opera); Edgardo, Lucia di Lammermoor (National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing); Percy, Anna Bolena (Canadian Opera Company)

Last updated: December 2015

Stefano Secco

Mario Cavaradossi

Jan. 10, 14, 17, 21 & 23

Adam Diegel

Mario Cavaradossi

At Seattle Opera in 2014/15: Mario Cavaradossi, Tosca

Hometown: Memphis, TN
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Pinkerton, Madama Butterfly (Metropolitan Opera); Ismaele, Nabucco (Opera Philadelphia); Don Jose, Carmen (English National Opera)
Upcoming: Pinkerton, Madama Butterfly (Perth International Arts Festival); Cavaradossi, Tosca (Orlando Philharmonic)


Last updated: October 2014

Adam Diegel

Mario Cavaradossi

Seattle Opera Debut
Jan. 11 & 23

Greer Grimsley

Baron Scarpia

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: The Dutchman, The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut: Telramund, Lohengrin (’94) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Scarpia, Tosca (’15); Wotan, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’05, ’09,’13); Don Pizarro, Fidelio (’12)

Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Recently: Jochanaan, Salome (New National Theatre Tokyo); Scarpia, Tosca (San Diego Opera); The Dutchman, The Flying Dutchman (Ravinia Festival)
Upcoming: Sweeney Todd, Sweeney Todd (Glimmerglass Opera); Wotan, Die Walküre (New National Theatre Tokyo); Jochanaan, Salome (The Metropolitan Opera)

Last updated: April 2016

Greer Grimsley

Baron Scarpia

Jan. 10, 14, 17, 21 & 24

Philip Horst

Baron Scarpia

At Seattle Opera in 2014/15: Baron Scarpia, Tosca

Hometown: Lansing, MI
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Lieutenant Horstmayer, Silent Night (Wexford Festival Opera); Gamekeeper, Rusalka (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Pizarro, Fidelio (English National Opera)
Upcoming: Tortsheiner, Enemies, A Love Story (Palm Beach Opera); Panthée, Les Troyens (San Francisco Opera); Kothner, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (San Francisco Opera)

Last updated: October 2014

Philip Horst

Baron Scarpia

Seattle Opera Debut
Jan. 11 & 23

Aubrey Allicock

Cesare Angelotti

At Seattle Opera 2015/16: Figaro, The Marriage of Figaro

Bass-Baritone (Tucson, AZ)
Seattle Opera Debut: Cesare Angelotti, Tosca (15)
Recently: Uncle Joe/Rangwan, Koanga (Wexford Festival Opera); Argante, Rinaldo (Glyndebourne Festival Opera); Mamoud, The Death of Klinghoffer (Metropolitan Opera)
Upcoming: Cadmus, Semele (Opera Omaha); Iron Mullah, Shalimar the Clown (world premiere by J. Perla at Opera Theatre of St. Louis); Soloist, El niño (Stichting Omroep Muziek, Amsterdam)

Last Updated: January 2016

Aubrey Allicock

Cesare Angelotti

Seattle Opera Debut
Jan. 10, 11, 14, 17, 21, 23 & 24

Peter Strummer

A Sacristan

At Seattle Opera in 2014/15: Sacristan, Tosca

Hometown: Vienna, Austria
Seattle Opera Debut: Sacristan, Tosca (’08)
Recently: Don Pasquale, Don Pasquale (Manitoba Opera); Bartolo, Il barbiere di Siviglia (Nashville Opera); Dulcamara, L’elisir d’amore (Austin Lyric Opera)
Upcoming: Sulpice, La fille du régiment (Palm Beach Opera)

Last updated: October 2014

Peter Strummer

A Sacristan

Jan. 10, 11, 14, 17, 21, 23 & 24

Alasdair Elliott

Spoletta

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Don Curzio, The Marriage of Figaro

Tenor (Hamilton, Scotland)
Seattle Opera Debut: Spoletta, Tosca (’15)
Recently: Bardolfo, Falstaff (Royal Opera Covent Garden); Red Whiskers, Billy Budd (Glyndebourne Festival); First Jew, Salome (Netherlands Opera)
Upcoming: Balthazar Zorn, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Glyndebourne Festival); various roles, The Nose and Innkeeper, Der Rosenkavalier (Royal Opera Covent Garden)

Last Updated: January 2016

Alasdair Elliott

Spoletta

Seattle Opera Debut
Jan. 10, 11, 14, 17, 21, 23 & 24

Barry Johnson

Sciarrone

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Baron Douphol, La traviata 

Hometown: Douglas, AZ
Seattle Opera Debut: Marco, Gianni Schicchi (’90)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Sciarrone, Tosca ('15); Lackey, Ariadne auf Naxos ('15); Marullo, Rigoletto (’14) 
Recently: Sharpless, Madama Butterfly (Rogue Opera); Frank, Die Fledermaus (Tacoma Opera); Dr. Dulcamara, L’elisir d’amore (Vashon Opera)
Upcoming:Carmina Burana (Tacoma City Ballet)


Last Updated: February 2016

Barry Johnson

Sciarrone

Jan. 10, 11, 14, 17, 21, 23 & 24

Craig Grayson

Jailer

At Seattle Opera 2014/15: Jailer, Tosca

Hometown: Englewood, NJ
Seattle Opera Debut: Sergeant, La bohème (’07)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Chaplain, Amelia (’10); Sergeant, La bohème (’13)
Seattle Opera Chorus Member since 2003
Recently: Sarastro, Die Zauberflöte; Osmin, Die Entführung aus dem Serail; Sulpice, La fille du régiment (Tacoma Opera)
Upcoming: Byrd Ensemble (St. Mark’s Cathedral); Semele (Seattle Opera Chorus) 

Last updated: October 2014

Craig Grayson

Jailer

Jan. 10, 11, 14, 17, 21, 23 & 24

Cast

Creative Team

Julian Kovatchev

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2014/15: Tosca

Hometown: Sofia, Bulgaria
Seattle Opera Debut: Madama Butterfly (’12)
Recently: Roméo et Juliette (Seoul Arts Center); Aida (Arena di Verona); Norma (Teatro Lirico di Cagliari) 
Upcoming: Tosca (Semperoper Dresden), Symphonic Concerts (Orchestra dell'Arena di Verona); Symphonic Concerts (Daegu Symphony Orchestra)

Last updated: October 2014

Julian Kovatchev

Conductor

José María Condemi

Stage Director

At Seattle Opera in 2014/15: Tosca, Tosca

Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Seattle Opera Debut: La bohème (’07)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Orphée et Eurydice (’12); Il trovatore (’09)
Recently: Un ballo in maschera (San Francisco Opera); Aida (Houston Grand Opera); The Elixir of Love (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis)
Upcoming: A Streetcar Named Desire (Kentucky Opera); Frida (Michigan Opera Theater); Il trovatore (Cincinnati Opera)


Last updated: October 2014

José María Condemi

Stage Director

Joyce Degenfelder

Hair and Makeup Designer

Hair and Makeup Designer (Los Angeles, CA)

Joyce Degenfelder’s association with Seattle Opera began in 1992 with The Ballad of Baby Doe. In 2003, Degenfelder made her Seattle Opera design debut with Parsifal, and ever since she has designed makeup and wigs for all of Seattle Opera’s productions. In addition to her work with Seattle Opera, she is also wig master for Seattle Repertory Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and ACT Theater. Her work has been seen around the country including Seattle Children’s Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Alaska Repertory Theatre, and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.

Read our interview with Joyce Degenfelder HERE.

Last Updated: October 2015

Joyce Degenfelder

Hair and Makeup Designer

Jonathan Dean

English Captions

Hometown: Okemos, MI
Seattle Opera Debut: Le nozze di Figaro ('97)
In-House Dramaturg for Seattle Opera
Previously at Seattle Opera:
English Captions Titlist (from Carmen '95 to Carmen '04); pre-performance lecturer (from Lohengrin '04 through Amelia '10); creator of the children’s operas Theft of the Gold and Siegfried and the Ring of Fire

Jonathan Dean

English Captions

Creative Team

Orchestra

ORCHESTRA

Violin I
Cordula Merks, Concertmaster
Simon James. Asst. Concertmaster
Mariel Bailey
Blayne Barnes
Brittany Boulding Breedon
Ayako Gamo
Tim Garland
Leonid Keylin
Mae Lin
Mikhail Shmidt,
Clark Story
Jeannie Wells Yablonsky

Violin II
Michael Miropolsky, Principal
Kathleen Boyer, Asst. Principal
Kelly Farris
Gennady Filiminov
Evan Anderson
Natasha Bazhanov
Stephen Bryant
Sande Gillette
Kimberly Houglum
Andrew Yeung

Viola
Arie Schachter, Principal
Mara Gearman, Asst. Principal
Tim Hale
Vince Comer
Penelope Crane
Wesley Dyring
Allison Farkas
Rachael Swerdlow

Cello
Eric Han, Principal
Terri Benshoof, Asst. Principal
Bruce Bailey
Walter Gray
Vivian Gu
Hélène Ferret-Kaufman
Chuck Jacot
Joy Payton-Stevens

Double Bass
Jordan Anderson, Principal
Jonathan Burnstein, Asst. Principal
Jennifer Godfrey
Todd Gowers
Todd Larsen
Masaru Podgorny

Flute
Judy Kriewall, Principal
Robin Peery
Zart Dombourian-Eby

Piccolo
Zart Dombourian-Eby, Principal
Robin Peery

Oboe
Mary Lynch , Principal
Shannon Spicciati

English Horn
Stefan Farkas, Principal

Clarinet
Ben Lulich, Principal
Laura DeLuca
Eric Jacobs

Bass Clarinet
Eric Jacobs, Principal

Bassoon
Seth Krimsky, Principal
Eddie Burns

Contrabassoon
Michael Gamburg

French Horn
Mark Robbins, Principal
Rodger Burnett, , Asst. Principal
Jon Karschney
Mathew Berliner

Trumpet
David Gordon, Principal
Anthony DiLorenzo
James Ross

Trombone
Ko-ichiro Yamamoto, Principal
David Ritt
Steve Fissel

Cimbasso
Chris Olka

Timpani
Michael Crusoe, Principal

Percussion
Michael Werner, Principal
Michael Clark
Matt Kocmieroski

Harp
Valerie Gordon, Principal

Keyboards
John Keene, Principal
Philip Kelsey

Personnel Manager
Scott Wilson

Assistant Personnel Manager
Keith Higgins

 

Rotating member of the string section are listed alphabetically.
The Orchestra is composed of members of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

 

Orchestra

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Ann P. Wyckoff
Lenore M. Hanauer
Richard R. and Constance Albrecht

Photos © Elise Bakketun