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Seattle Opera.

Tosca

Overview

All this action played out against beautiful painterly sets from Italy’s Ercole Sormani. The audience buzz at the first intermission was positively electric. Tosca has just about everything: great tunes, desperate lovers, loads of action, and a bad guy you love to hate.”

The Seattle Times


Music by Giacomo Puccini; Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa & Luigi Illica

Don’t mess with the diva! A fiery prima donna struggles to free her true love from the clutches of a ruthless police chief in Puccini’s surefire favorite. Filled with iconic arias and impressive musical moments, the rousing score brings Tosca’s emotional extremes into sharp relief as the story rushes towards its thrilling conclusion. The crackling melodrama grabs hold from the get-go, making Tosca ideal for anyone who loves drama and music.

Two international headliners alternate in the title role. The “superb” (Sidney Morning Herald) Saioa Hernández “won La Scala hearts [in] an instant love affair between soprano and audience” (Bachtrack). And the “splendid” (Das Opernglas) Armenian soprano Karine Babajanyan, whose “voice is strong and appealingly colored, sings with confidence and intelligence” (OPERA).

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Tosca, Seattle Opera, 2015 © Elise Bakketun

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Tosca, Seattle Opera, 2015 © Elise Bakketun

Tosca is currently available to purchase as part of a season ticket package. Individual opera tickets go on sale May 27. Remind Me

In Italian with English Subtitles | at McCaw Hall
Performance Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes, including two intermissions


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Synopsis

ACT I
Afternoon, June 17, 1800. Church of Sant’Andrea della Valle, Rome. Cesare Angelotti, an escaped political prisoner, enters the church and hides in his family chapel. A painter, Mario Cavaradossi, comes in to work on his portrait of the Madonna, inspired by a woman he observed praying in church the day before—the Marchesa Attavanti, Angelotti’s sister. While the old Sacristan performs his 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 has to prevent Tosca from seeing Angelotti, quiets her jealous fears. 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 late-breaking news of Napoleon’s defeat. 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 rushes out to find the painter. Scarpia sends his minions to follow her, hoping that Tosca will lead them to Cavaradossi and Angelotti. He anticipates punishing the rebels and enjoying Tosca for himself. A joyful crowd fills the church to celebrate Napoleon’s defeat.

ACT II
Scarpia, at dinner in his headquarters in the Farnese Palace, sends for Tosca. When his men bring in Cavaradossi, 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 Scarpia makes her listen to Cavaradossi’s torture. She can’t bear it and tells Scarpia where Angelotti is hiding. Scarpia’s men rush off to capture Angelotti. A message arrives, correcting the earlier news: Napoleon has won, not lost, at Marengo. Cavaradossi, weakened by torture, explodes with a defiant cry of victory. His words are treason, and Scarpia has him dragged off to prison.

Tosca is left to bargain with Scarpia for her lover’s life. Scarpia suggests that he will exchange Cavaradossi’s life for a moment of Tosca’s love. Tosca fights him off and prays to God for help. She yields to Scarpia’s demands in exchange for a mock execution and a safe conduct pass for her and Cavaradossi. As he is writing the pass, Tosca’s eyes light upon a dinner knife, and she plans an alternative solution to her dilemma.

ACT III
Before dawn, atop the Castel Sant’Angelo, Cavaradossi remembers a night of bliss in his garden with Tosca. Tosca arrives at the prison with the safe conduct letter and tells Cavaradossi how she dealt with Scarpia. She explains to him that they must proceed with the farce of a fake execution, and she instructs him on how to fall and how to pretend to die.. But when the soldiers come for the firing squad, Scarpia has the last laugh. Tosca takes her quarrel with Scarpia before a higher judge.

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Cast

Saioa Hernández

Floria Tosca

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Floria Tosca, Tosca

Hometown: Madrid, Spain
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: La Gioconda, La Gioconda (Gran Teatre del Liceu)
Upcoming: Tosca, Tosca (Berliner Deutsche Oper); Aida, Aida (Berliner Deutsche Oper); Tosca, Tosca (Teatro alla Scala)

Last Updated: December 2019

Saioa Hernández

Floria Tosca

Seattle Opera Debut
May 8, 14, 16, 19, & 22

Karine Babajanyan

Floria Tosca

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Floria Tosca, Tosca

Hometown: Yerevan, Armenia
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Cio Cio San, Madame Butterfly (Puccini Festival, Torre del Lago); Tosca, Tosca (Deutsche Oper Berlin); Minnie, La Fanciulla del Weist (Leipzig Opera House)
Upcoming: Tosca, Tosca (Leipzig Opera House); Iris, Iris (Concert Hall Berlin); Minnie, La Fanciulla del Weist (Korea National Opera

Last Updated: December 2019

Karine Babajanyan

Floria Tosca

Seattle Opera Debut
May 9, 12, 15, & 23

Marco Berti

Cavaradossi

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Cavaradossi, Tosca

Hometown: Como, Italy
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Otello, Otello (Teatro La Fenice); Manrico, Il trovatore (Carlo Felice Genova); Dick Johnson, La Fanciulla del West (NCPA Beijing)
Upcoming: Calaf, Turandot (Metropolitan Opera); Pollion, Norma (Tokyo, tournée with Teatro Massimo di Palermo); Samson, Samson et Dalila (Bilbao, ABAO OLBE)

Last Updated: December 2019

 

Marco Berti

Cavaradossi

Seattle Opera Debut
May 8, 14, 16, 19, & 22

Robert Watson

Cavaradossi

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Cavardossi, Tosca

Hometown: Kansas City, MO
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Hoffmann, Tales of Hoffmann (Deutsche Oper Berlin); Don Carlo, Don Carlo (Dallas Opera); Bacchus, Ariadne auf Naxos (Opera Orchestre National Montpellier)
Upcoming: Der Mahler, Lulu (The Metropolitan Opera); Rodolfo, La bohème (Opera Leipzig); Don Jose, Carmen (Deutsche Oper Berlin)

Last Updated: December 2019

 

Robert Watson

Cavaradossi

Seattle Opera Debut
May 9, 12, 15, & 23

Lucio Gallo

Baron Scarpia

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Baron Scarpia, Tosca

Hometown: Taranto, Italy
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Don Pizarro, Fidelio (Teatro Comunale di Bologna); Scarpia, Tosca (Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona); Michele, Il tabarro (Metropolitan Opera)
Upcoming: Sir John Falstaff, Falstaff (Staasoper Berlin); Gianni Schicchi, Gianni Schicchi (Opéra de Monte-Carlo); Simon Mago, Nero (Bregenzer Festpiele)

Last Updated: December 2019

Lucio Gallo

Baron Scarpia

Seattle Opera Debut
May 8, 14, 16, 19, & 22

Michael Chioldi

Baron Scarpia

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Baron Scarpia, Tosca

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Miller, Luisa Miller (Gran Teatre del Liceu); Giorgio Germont, La traviata (Washington National Opera); Rigoletto, Rigoletto (Austin Opera)
Upcoming: Tonio, Pagliacci (Portland Opera); Sharpless, Madama Butterfly (Atlanta Opera); Eugene Onegin, Eugene Onegin (Palm Beach Opera)

Last Updated: December 2019

Michael Chioldi

Baron Scarpia

Seattle Opera Debut
May 9, 12, 15, & 23

Cast

Creative Team

Kazem Abdullah

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Tosca

Hometown: Indiana
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: String Serenades (New World Symphony); Asberyana: A Musical Celebration of Poet John Ashbery (The Menil Collection); Chautauqua Music Festival (Chautauqua)
Upcoming: The Champion (Michigan Opera Theater); Troupe Vertigo: Cirque Dances (Minnesota Orchestra); An African American Requiem (Oregon Symphony)

Last Updated: December 2019

Kazem Abdullah

Conductor

Seattle Opera Debut

Dan Wallace Miller

Director

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Three Singing Sisters
At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Tosca

Hometown: Seattle, WA
Seattle Opera Debut: The Combat (’17)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Il trovatore ('19)
Recently: Director, Carmen (Kentucky Opera); Director, Apprentice Artists Scenes Program (Central City Opera); Director, Il trovatore (Seattle Opera); Associate Director, Silent Night (Washington National Opera); Director, The Magic Flute (Pacific MusicWorks)
Upcoming: Director, Don Giovanni (Opera Naples)

Last updated: December 2019

Dan Wallace Miller

Director

Connie Yun

Lighting Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Tosca

Hometown: East Lansing, MI
Seattle Opera Debut: Die Fledermaus (’06)
Previously at Seattle Opera: The Turn of the Screw ('18); Beatrice and Benedict (’18); An American Dream (’17 and ’15); As One (’16)
Recently: La Traviata (Madison Opera); La Finta Giardiniera (Portland Opera); Black Beauty (Seattle Children’s Theatre)
Upcoming: Salome (Hawaii Opera Theatre); Three Decembers (Portland Opera); Witch (A Contemporary Theatre)

Last updated: December 2019

Connie Yun

Lighting Designer

John Keene

Chorusmaster

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Rigoletto, Cinderella, Eugene Onegin, La bohème
At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Pagliacci & Cavalleria rusticana, The Elixir of Love, Don Giovanni, Tosca

Hometown: Lancaster, PA
Seattle Opera Debut: Chorusmaster, Fidelio (’12)
Previously at Seattle Opera: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs ('19), Carmen ('19), Rigoletto ('19)
Recently: Pianist, Three Singing Sisters (Seattle Opera); Chorusmaster, Cinderella (Seattle Opera)
Upcoming: Chorusmaster, Eugene Onegin, La bohème (Seattle Opera); Judge, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

Last updated: November 2019

John Keene

Chorusmaster

Creative Team

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Main Image © Elise Bakketun | Photos: © Elise Bakketun