Stage Door News
Toronto: The Canadian Opera Company presents Puccini’s “Tosca” May 5-27
Friday, March 24, 2023
The Canadian Opera Company’s 2022/2023 mainstage programming concludes with a gorgeous production of the Puccini masterpiece, bringing together big emotions, huge voices, and a riveting storyline. The edge-of-your-seat thriller takes audiences on a dramatic rollercoaster that unfolds over the course of just 24 hours in the story, as the celebrated singer Tosca is faced with a terrible ultimatum: submit to the desires of the corrupt police chief Scarpia, or watch her beloved Cavaradossi die. Tosca runs for eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on May 5, 7, 11, 13, 19, 21, 23, and 27, 2023.
Two acclaimed sopranos star as the opera’s tempestuous and tragic lead character. Sinéad Campbell-Wallace of Ireland, who The Guardian has lauded for her “blaz[ing]” voice, full of “great lyrical warmth,” makes her COC debut, while Keri Alkema reprises the role from the COC’s 2017 production of Tosca, having last dazzled Toronto audiences in Rusalka (2019), with her “appealing [vocal] brew of dark and creamy colors” (The New York Times).
Italian tenor Stefano La Colla makes another COC debut as Cavaradossi; La Colla has been praised for his vocal “strength and flexibility” (Chicago Classical Review) and, in performing the role of the lovelorn painter was praised by The New York Times for his “firm, bright voice and ringing high notes.” British baritone Roland Wood returns to Toronto, bringing “great dramatic fire” (The Guardian) to the villainous Scarpia.
Canadian-Irish tenor Michael Colvin, known for his “superb” performances (San Francisco Classical Voice), is Spoletta, alongside Canadian-British bass-baritone Giles Tomkins as Sciarrone, two of Scarpia’s accomplices. American bass-baritone Christian Pursell makes his COC debut as Angelotti, an escaped political prisoner, while Italian bass Donato Di Stefano and Ensemble Studio bass-baritone Alex Halliday join the cast as a Sacristan and Jailer, respectively.
Award-winning opera director Paul Curran returns to the COC, alongside assistant director Marilyn Gronsdal, at the helm of a production The Globe and Mail has called “a night at the cinematic opera” for its fast-paced action and “beautiful musical construction.” Sets and costumes from designer Kevin Knight immediately transport audiences to 19th-century Rome, a period of political turbulence that mirrors the drama unfolding onstage. Meanwhile, atmospheric lighting from designer David Martin Jacques sets the tone for the thrilling tale of lust, murder, and revenge.
Puccini's rich, romantic score is a stunning accomplishment in dramatic musical storytelling with show-stopping arias and gripping duets that make it one of the most performed operas of all time. In the heart-wrenching “E lucevan le stelle” (“And the stars were shining brightly”), listeners are fully immersed in Cavaradossi’s inner turmoil, while the famous soprano showpiece “Vissi d’arte” (“I lived for art”) is a spellbinding moment of perfect beauty that is often performed in recital worldwide. Italian conductor Giuliano Carella makes his COC debut at the podium, conducting the acclaimed COC Orchestra, and Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst leads the COC Chorus through the opera’s powerful choral moments that include the extraordinary Act 1 closer, “Te Deum.”
Tosca is sung in Italian and presented by the COC with English SURTITLES™.
Single tickets for Tosca range from $35 – $250 for adults, with Grand Ring seats available at $290 and $350, and $22 tickets available for guests between the ages of 16 and 29 through the COC’s Opera Under 30 program. Tickets can be purchased online at coc.ca or by calling the Four Seasons Centre Box Office at 416-363-8231. For more information on booking student groups, standing room, and rush tickets, as well as other specially priced tickets available to young people under the age of 15, please visit coc.ca.
Photo: Adrianne Pieczonka as Tosca and Markus Marquardt as Scarpia at the COC. © 2017 Michael Cooper.