Tosca

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Opens

October 09, 2019

Puccini’s
Tosca

Town Hall Theater Performances:
October 9 @ 7:30pm
October 11 @ 7:30pm
October 13 @ 2:00pm

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Tosca on Tour Performances:
October 17 @ 7:00pm
 Hubbard Hall for Arts & Education, Cambridge, NY

October 19  @ 3:00pm
Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, Stowe

October 20 @ 7:00pm
Pentangle Arts,
Town Hall Theatre, Woodstock

 

Events

Tosca

An Opera in Three Acts

Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Luigi Illica & Giuseppe Giacosa

Sung in Italian with English supertitles. 

Floria Tosca: Suzanne Kantorski
Cavaradossi: James Flora
Scarpia: Rubin Casas

Tosca directed by Douglas Anderson
with full orchestra at Town Hall Theater

conducted by Guest Conductor Jeffrey Rink

 Tickets on sale for members at noon on July 22
Call 802-382-9222 or stop by the Town Hall Theater Box Office Noon-5:00pm, Monday-Saturday, 68 S. Pleasant St., Middlebury

Tickets on sale to the general public at noon on July 29
townhalltheater.org

October 9 – WEDNESDAY

6:30 pm – Pre-performance talk
By J. Scott Morrison
Memorial Baptist Church

7:30 pm – Tosca Opening Night and Post-Performance Reception & Talk-Back
Town Hall Theater, Middlebury

October 11 – FRIDAY

6:30 pm – Pre-performance talk 
By Douglas Anderson
Memorial Baptist Church

7:30 pm – Tosca
Town Hall Theater, Middlebury

October 13 – SUNDAY

1:00 pm – Pre-performance talk 
By Maestro Jeffrey Rink
Memorial Baptist Church

2:00 pm – Tosca
Town Hall Theater, Middlebury

_____________________________

 

Tosca
on Tour

with piano and string quartet
conducted by Guest Conductor Jeffrey Rink:

October 17 – THURSDAY

7:00 pm, Hubbard Hall for Arts & Education, Cambridge, NY

October 19 – SATURDAY

3:00 pm, Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, Stowe

October 20 – SUNDAY

7:00 pm, Pentangle Arts,
Town Hall Theatre, Woodstock

The Cast

Tosca 

An Opera in Three Acts

Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Luigi Illica & Giuseppe Giacosa

Sung in Italian with English supertitles. 

Please visit the STAFF page to see bios for the creative and production staff.

Floria Tosca Suzanne Kantorski
Mario Cavaradossi James Flora
Baron Scarpia Rubin Casas
Sacristan,
Ensemble Bass
Erik Kroncke
Angelotti,
Ensemble Bass
Kian Freitas
Shepherd Boy,
Ensemble Soprano
Shannon Seymour-Michl
Shepherd Boy,
Ensemble Soprano
Allison Devery Steinmetz
Spoletto,
Ensemble Tenor
Cameron Steinmetz
Sciarrone, Jailer,
Ensemble Bass
Jack DesBois
Cavaradossi cover Joshua Collier
Supernumerary:
Priest, Soldier, Executioner
Christopher Ross
 

 

Suzanne Kantorski (Tosca) is an award-winning performer who has appeared in leading operatic roles, as a concert soloist, interpreter of new music compositions, as well as on television programs, and in feature films worldwide. With a passion for new music and site-specific opera, she is also a member of an innovative performance art ensemble, Quintus 4, based out of Montreal. Ms. Kantorski is a collegiate educator, music researcher, lecturer, and writer and holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, and the Schulich School of McGill University. She has been a featured guest for discussions and performances about opera, new music, and film on nationally syndicated radio programs such as NPR’s “Sound Check” with John Schaefer, WQXR with Brian Wise, and VPR’s “Saturday Afternoon at the Opera.” This season’s opera appearances include: Nedda in Pagliacci with Opera Orlando and Savannah Opera as as well as Stravinsky’s Pucinella, and in December she will make her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Franca in A Light in the Piazza. 

Website: www.suzannekantorski.org

 

 

American tenor James Flora, hailed for his “resonant, impeccably-trained voice and fearlessness to his singing,” has received acclaim in repertoire ranging from Verdi and Wagner to works by Carlisle Floyd and Daron Hagen where he sang Louis Sullivan from Hagen’s Shining Brow at Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece Fallingwater. He made his Pittsburgh Opera debut as Fenton in Falstaff, and has since returned for seven productions. James has performed leading roles in opera companies across the United States, including Alfredo, Tamino, Pinkerton, Rodolfo, Don José, appearing with companies including Washington Concert Opera, Arizona Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Company of Middlebury, Opera Columbus and others. He is equally at home on the symphonic stage, singing with Pittsburgh Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, Erie Chamber Orchestra, and Buffalo Philharmonic, and recently debuted with the La Voz Humana: Lenguajes Múltiples festival in Cuba with Maestro Leo Brouwer. This is James’ debut as Cavaradossi with OCM, where he has previously performed numerous roles.

Website: www.jamesfloratenor.com

 

 

Rubin Casas, Bass-Baritone, made his OCM debut as Banquo in Macbeth in 2016 and returns as Barone Scarpia in Tosca. This season, the Pasadena, Texas native sang Haydn’s Mariazeller Masse for Mid America Productions at Carnegie Hall. He returns to the Metropolitan Opera to cover The Bonze in Madame Butterfly and will sing the Hermit in Der Freischütz with Heartbeat Opera. Future engagements include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Idaho Falls Symphony and Zaccaria in Nabucco in Erfurt, Germany. Casas “provided rumbling bravura” as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni at Cedar Rapids Opera Theater. He “delivered the chaplain Raimondo’s proclamations deeply and fully” in Lucia di Lammermoor at Opera in the Heights and was “darkly compelling” as the same character at Opera New Jersey. He was a “strong and imposing Bishop Ruiz” in Florentine Opera’s Grammy Award winning world premiere of Rio de Sangre, also commercially released on Albany Records. Of his Carnegie Hall debut with the Opera Orchestra of New York, Opera News declared him “promising vocal material” as Ashby in La Fanciulla del West. Casas has sung with Tacoma Opera, Shreveport Opera, Virginia Opera, Spokane Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera, Opera Las Vegas, New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. He is an alumnus of Yale University.

Website: www.rubincasas.com

 

 

Erik Kroncke has appeared with OCM in several productions since 2012, and has been described as “engaging… a bass of astounding depth and warm timbre… an important voice and artist…” Erik has performed Philip II (Don Carlo), Enrico VIII (Anna Bolena), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Ramphis (Aida), Mephistopheles (Faust), and Gremin (Eugene Onegin) with Sarasota Opera, Opera San José, Chautauqua Opera, New Jersey Verismo Opera, and Austin Lyric Opera. He has awards from the Gerda Lissner competition (2010), the Liederkranz competition (2008), and the Friedrich Schorr Vocal Competition (2002, 2003). Symphonic and oratorio performances include Sarasota Opera Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony, Korean Philharmonic, and the American Classical Orchestra, as well as appearances in “The Three Basses” concerts. Recently, Erik sang the bass solo in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the National Chorale at Lincoln Center, and the role of Tackleton in the North American premier of Zandonai’s Il Grillo del Focolare with Teatro Grattacielo. He also sang the roles of the King in Aida with Opera Theater of the Rockies and Commendatore in Don Giovanni with Opera St. Petersburg. He premiered Michael Close’s Songs about Animals with the Longmont Symphony.

Website: www.erikkroncke.com

 

 

Kian Freitas is gaining acclaim for his voice that “soars 
easily over the orchestra,” commanding stage presence, and insightful interpretations in both opera and concert. His repertoire embraces the romantic Italian repertoire including Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Monterone and Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Ferrando in Il trovatore, Schaunard in La bohème, Angelotti in Tosca, Lo zio Bonzo in Madama Butterfly; French opera as Escamillo
in Carmen and Le Bailli in Werther; the Mozart canon in the title role of Le nozze di Figaro, Masetto, Leporello, and Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte; and 20th-century American works as Olin Blitch in Susannah and Grandpa Moss in The Tender Land. During the 2016–17 season, Mr. Freitas joined Opera San José to both cover and perform Raimondo
in Lucia di Lammermoor and made his debut with the South Dakota Symphony as Leporello in Don Giovanni. He has appeared with OCM in Il trittico (2017) and L’Elisir d’Amore (2017 and 2018 tour).

Website: www.kianfreitasbassbaritone.com

 

 

Shannon Seymour-Michl (Shepard Boy, Ensemble Soprano) made her debut with OCM in this season’s Cendrillon and is thrilled to return for her solo debut in Tosca. Shannon’s coloratura soprano has been praised for its “beautiful clarity, technique, and soaring, fluid lines.” Her performance as Mabel in Unadilla Theatre’s 2019 production of The Pirates of Penzance was acclaimed as “vocally brilliant, with precise delivery, and the demeanor of a perfect leading lady” (Times Argus). Shannon has also performed in Paris, Athens, Boston, and New York and has sung roles ranging from Patience (Patience), Musetta (La Bohème), Silverpeal (The Impresario), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), and Baby Doe (The Ballad of Baby Doe). She now resides in Vermont where she frequently appears as a concert soloist. She holds degrees from Mount Holyoke College, The National Conservatory of Greece, and The Boston Conservatory. When not singing, she enjoys skiing with her husband and her young son.

 

 

Described as, “brilliant, nuanced, and lyrically expressive” (Times Argus), Allison Devery Steinmetz is thrilled to return to The Opera Company of Middlebury. She spans her vocal artistry in classical, musical theater, and contemporary music. Notable performances include Nora in the world premiere of Paul Siskind’s The Sailorboy and the Falcon along side mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, Aello in the Canadian debut of Marc Blitzstein’s The Harpies and Amaranth in Steven Serpa’s Thyrsis & Amaranth in Nova ScotiaAdditionally, she has played leading roles in productions including The TelephoneThe Marriage of FigaroLa clemenza di Tito, A Fleeting Animal, The Mikado, CandideThe FantasticksThe King and IGuys & Dolls, and Into the Woods and is a highly sought after concert soloist, having performed with notable groups from New York City and Montreal, and throughout the state of Vermont. Allison received her training from the University of Montreal and the Crane School of Music.

 

 

Cameron Steinmetz is a native of Norwood, Massachusetts and an alumnus of Green Mountain College. Past roles include Luiz in The Gondoliers, the Steward in Into the Woods, Matt in The Fantasticks, Galahad in Spamalot!, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Jamie in The Last 5 Years and Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore. Other soloist performances include Handel’s Messiah with the Rutland Area Chorus, and in Mozart’s Requiem, Coronation Mass and “Vesperae solennes de confessore” with the Vermont Collegiate Choral Consortium. Currently in his 9th season with the Opera Company of Middlebury, he previously performed in the chorus starting with Massenet’s Thaïs and was seen as the Young Collector in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire and in the Ensemble of L’Elisir d’Amore. Montpelier resident Steinmetz is the tenor of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra’s educational quartet, Ah! Cappella, a member of Counterpoint Chorus and is the Director of the Monteverdi Music School in Montpelier, where he lives with his wife Allison.

 

 

Jack DesBois (Sciarrone, Jailer, Ensemble Bass) is an actor and singer from northeast Massachusetts currently based in Middlebury, VT. Credits include Bach’s St John Passion (Jesus) and Handel’s Esther (Haman) with Middlebury Bach Festival; Macbeth (Assassin, Chorus) and Eugene Onegin (Gillot, Chorus) with OCM; Ragtime (Tateh) and Into The Woods (Wolf) with Middlebury College. Jack is a teaching artist with Town Hall Theater, including Young Company productions Taming Of The Shrew (Gremio), The Glass Menagerie (Jim), School For Scandal (Backbite), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon). He also teaches for Courageous Stage’s “Shakespeare, It’s Elementary” program, producing Shakespeare plays with elementary school language arts classes. Jack’s original solo repertoire includes V Is The Valley, a conversation with Vermont’s folk song heritage, and The Western Star, an epic poem celebrating Epiphany. Jack earned his BA Music from Middlebury College and is an MLitt Shakespeare & Performance candidate at Mary Baldwin University.

Website: www.jackdesbois.com

 

 

Joshua Collier was hailed as “a great Italian tenor on the make” by Classical Scene for his June 2016 role debut as Roméo in Roméo et Juliette and lauded by the classical Voice of North Carolina for his “exceptionally pleasing tone and excellent command of [his] high range.” He is equally comfortable with new music, opera, operetta, musical theater, and oratorio. During the 2018 season, Mr. Collier was an advanced studio artist with Sarasota Opera where he performed in Madama Butterfly and The Dialogues of the Carmelites, and appeared as Ibarra in Boston’s Opera Brittenica’s production of the Filipino opera, Noli Me Tangere, as well as his role debut of Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème with Vermont Lyric Theatre. Mr. Collier founded the Bostonian opera company, Opera Brittenica, championing the works of Benjamin Britten, in 2013, and is currently is the Artistic Director of BARN OPERA based in Brandon, Vermont.

Website: www.jrctenor.com

 

 

Christopher Ross (Supernumerary) writes for the Addison Independent. He has appeared as a supernumerary in two previous OCM productions, Turandot (2015) and Il Trittico (2017). Recent community theater roles include Mike (Good People, 2017) and Charlie Whitmore (Church and State, 2018), and he directed The Crucible in 2017.

 

The Story

Tosca 

An Opera in Three Acts

Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Luigi Illica & Giuseppe Giacosa

Sung in Italian with English supertitles. 

 

Cast of characters

Floria Tosca – soprano –  Rome’s most famous opera singer

Mario Cavaradossi – tenor – a painter, Tosca’s lover

Baron Scarpia – baritone – Chief of the Roman police

Cesare Angelotti  – bass – a political prisoner

A Sacristan – baritone

Spoletta – tenor – a police agent

Sciarrone – bass – Baron Scarpia’s orderly

A Jailer – bass

 

Synopsis:

ACT I

Cesare Angelotti, former leader of the Napoleon resistance and now a political prisoner, has just escaped from the prison at Castel Sant’Angelo and is seeking refuge in a nearby church. As Angelotti hides in his family’s chapel, a sacristan enters followed by the painter Mario Cavaradossi, who begins to work on a portrait of Mary Magdalene. Angelotti comes out of hiding and asks for his friend Cavaradossi’s assistance but hides again as the voice of the painter’s lover, the famous opera singer Floria Tosca, is heard. She enters demanding to know why the door to the church was locked and suspects Cavaradossi of being with another woman. He reassures her of his fidelity, and the lovers agree to meet later that evening.

A cannon shot is heard announcing Angelotti’s escape, and the friends flee. The sacristan gathers the choir boys, telling them they must rehearse for a special performance for which Tosca will be the soloist celebrating Napoleon’s defeat. At that moment, the Roman Chief of Police, Baron Scarpia, arrives searching for Angelotti. Scarpia, suspecting Cavaradossi’s complicity in Angelotti’s escape, convinces Tosca that Cavaradossi has run off with another woman. Scarpia knows that Tosca’s jealousy will lead him to Cavaradossi, and thus to Angelotti. As the Te Deum hymn builds in intensity, he vows to ensnare them all.

ACT II

Scarpia receives word of Cavaradossi’s arrest. He summons Tosca from her concert in the courtyard below, and she is shocked to see the captured Cavaradossi. Scarpia tries to extract Angelotti’s hiding place from Tosca, but she pleads ignorance. Yet as Scarpia raises the stakes, torturing Cavaradossi, she capitulates, revealing the secret and asking Scarpia for Cavaradossi’s freedom in return. Delirious from torture, Cavaradossi hears Scarpia order his men to Angelotti’s hiding place, curses Tosca, and cries defiance as news emerges that Napoleon was actually victorious.

Tosca pleads for her lover’s life, and Scarpia makes her an offer: if she will submit to his lust, he will save Cavaradossi’s life. In despair, she pleads for mercy but realizes she must agree to the bargain. Scarpia tells Tosca there will be a mock execution, but circuitously orders his henchman to make preparations for a real one. At Tosca’s request, he then writes a safe-conduct pass for her and Cavaradossi. Tosca, having discovered a dagger among the tributes and bribes that Scarpia has received, stabs him, takes the safe-conduct pass and goes to find Cavaradossi.

ACT III 

Waiting for his execution, Cavaradossi bribes the jailer so that he can write a farewell letter to Tosca, recalling the intensity of their love and mourning that he will never see her again. Tosca runs in, explaining that she has murdered Scarpia but they will escape—the execution will be faked and with their safe-conduct pass they can flee together. The lovers ecstatically plan for the future but are interrupted by the arrival of the firing squad. After the shots, Tosca bids Cavaradossi to wait until the soldiers are gone and then asks him to escape with her. She is horrified to discover that the execution was real after all, and distant shouts announce Scarpia’s murder. As the soldiers rush in to seize Tosca, she curses Scarpia’s betrayal, climbs to the fortress parapet, and leaps to her death.

The Music

Tosca 

An Opera in Three Acts

Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Luigi Illica & Giuseppe Giacosa

Sung in Italian with English supertitles. 

 

Suggested recordings by J. Scott Morrison

CD: My favorite, although it is now 60+ years old, with Callas, di Stefano, Gobbi, conducted by de Sabata

http://www.amazon.com/Tosca-G-Puccini/dp/B0002VEQIE/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1377031252&sr=1-3&keywords=tosca+callas

Another newer CD is the one with Pavarotti, Freni, Milnes

http://www.amazon.com/Puccini-Pavarotti-Rescigno-National-Philharmonic/dp/B0000041PR/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1377031383&sr=1-1&keywords=tosca+puccini

 

DVD:  Best current DVD is the one with Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, and Bryn Terfel

http://www.amazon.com/Puccini-Tosca-Royal-Opera-House/dp/B008K7RGA2/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1377031535&sr=1-1&keywords=tosca+puccini

 

YouTube:

‘Vissi d’arte’: American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pryZos2oOk

 

‘E lucevan le stelle’: Pavarotti in Rome, 1990

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEWX9RDdcpE