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Connecticut Lyric Opera Announces New Production Of Puccini's TOSCA

Thrilling opera of passion and revenge to be presented in New Britain, New London, Hartford and Middletown.

Connecticut Lyric Opera Announces New Production Of Puccini's TOSCA

The glorious music of Tosca, Giacomo Puccini's classic opera of passion, and revenge, will receive a thrilling production by Connecticut Lyric Opera (CLO) in partnership with the Connecticut Virtuosi Orchestra. Under the direction of Adrian Sylveen, Puccini's masterpiece will tour the state with performances at four locations in central and southeast Connecticut. This professional production will feature CLO's beloved core company members, who boast impressive international profiles. The performance schedule is as follows:

Thursday, November 3 at 7:30pm - Trinity-On-Main Arts Center, 69 Main Street, New Britain (suggested donation $25-$35)

Sunday, November 6 at 5pm - The Garde Arts Center, 325 State Street, New London ($35-$45)

Friday, November 11 at 7:30pm - The Bushnell's Belding Theater, 166 Capitol Avenue in Hartford ($43-$92)

Saturday, November 19 at 7:30pm - Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center at Middletown High School, 200 LaRosa Lane, Middletown ($35 in advance; $40 at door)

Tickets for all performances can be purchased by visiting CTLyricOpera.org or TheVirtuosi.org, as well as the various venue websites. Please check with your venue of choice for COVID safety protocols, if any.

In a church in Rome under the watchful eye of a sacristan (Stefan Szkafarowsky), the artist Cavaradossi (Daniel Juarez) is creating a new painting inspired by the beautiful Marchesa Angelotti. Unbeknownst to the painter, the Marchesa's brother, a political prisoner, is hiding in a chapel within the church. When the tempestuous diva Tosca (Jurate Svedaite) arrives, she is immediately consumed with jealousy over the woman in Cavaradossi's painting and suspects infidelity. In his quest to find the fugitive, the sadistic police inspector Scarpia (Steven Fredericks) weaponizes Tosca's passions to lure the painter, the prisoner, and the diva into a devastating trap. This timeless opera features iconic arias, duets, and, of course, the sumptuous melodies that are synonymous with Puccini.

The opera will be performed in Italian with English supertitles.Tosca is sponsored by American Savings Foundation, the Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts, CT Humanities, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Tomz Corporation, Community Foundation of New Britain, Polish American Foundation of Connecticut, Farmington Bank Community Foundation, Trinity-on-Main, Carpineto Grandi Vini de Toscano, New Britain Herald, Bodenwein & Loomis Palmer Funds - Bank of America, Hoffman Fund, Moore Foundation, Parker Fund, and Sloper Fund.

About the Artists.

Jurate Svedaite (soprano, Flordia Tosca) possesses a vocal artistry and stage presence capable of "transfixing audiences with moments of opera magic," Lithuanian soprano, Jūratė Švedaitė, has performed throughout Europe and the United States with the Lithuanian National Chamber Orchestra, the European Baroque Festival Opera, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Kaunas Chamber Orchestra, Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, the Lithuanian National Ensemble "Lietuva," and Mystic River Chorale, among others, in venues as varied as Carnegie Hall, the Lithuanian Philharmonic, and Foxwood's Resort and Casino. Her previous operatic leads include appearances in La Traviata, La Bohème, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, Faust, Eugene Onegin, Pagliacci, Carmen, L'Elisir d'Amore, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Gianni Schicchi, Susanhah and Amahl and the Night Visitors. Other credits include Monteverdi's and Vivaldi's Magnificats; Bach's Mass in B minor, Christmas Oratorio, Coffe and Peasant Cantatas as well as numerous sacred cantatas; Mozart's Requiem, Exsultate Jubilate, Solemn Vespers and Missa Brevis; Pergolessi's Stabat Mater, Brahm's Ein Deutsches Requiem and Faure's Requiem. The granddaughter of one of Lithuania's most revered composers and arrangers of traditional music, Jonas Švedas, she began performing at an early age and made her recording debut at the age of twelve; also at that time, she hosted several programs for children on national television. Ms. Švedaitė later attended the Lithuanian Music Academy where she earned Bachelors and Masters and Degrees in Opera Performance and Vocal Instruction. She now resides in SE Connecticut where she is on the faculty of Connecticut College and Thames Valley Music School.

Daniel Juarez (tenor, Mario Cavaradossi) is becoming well known to New England opera audiences, having appeared in the past few seasons with Connecticut Lyric Opera, MetroWest Opera, Western Connecticut State University Opera Studio, and in various recital and concert venues throughout the region. Mr. Juárez also has been featured as the tenor soloist in a number of oratorio and concert performances, including Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Requiem and Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, J.S. Bach's Magnificat, Ariel Ramirez' Misa Criolla, Schütz' Sieben Worte Jesu Christi am Kreuz. Of a performance of Rossini's Stabat Mater the New Canaan News said: "The most spectacular of the arias was "Cujus Animam," which takes the tenor soloist to a stratospheric high d-flat. Dan Juárez made it look easy. He has a full dramatic sound, somewhat dark, but flexible, undaunted by Rossini's demands that took him all over his range." Mr. Juárez is a graduate of the Yale University School of Music. He is a former Minnesota Opera Studio Artist and former finalist in the Southwest Region Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.

Steven Fredericks (bass/baritone, Baron Scarpa) represents the complete package of an artistically satisfying performer. Hailed for his "robust" singing with "great emotional depth" he has made his mark with some of opera's most celebrated roles. Capable in title roles like Massenet's Don Quichotte and Wagner's Dutchman, he is no stranger to supporting roles, offering memorable portrayals in Otello, Aida and Madama Butterfly. Notably, Fredericks created the role of Signorelli in the world premier of Louis Gioia's Un Racconto Fiorentino at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. He also contributed to the premiere of Lee Hoiby's The Tempest at the Dallas Opera singing the role of Antonio, the ambitious evil brother. Other recent performances include the bass soloist in Handel's Messiah at Carnegie Hall, La Wally with Teatro Grattacielo-Marsan, Tannhäuser with The Baltimore Opera, and Il Trovatore with Maestro Anton Coppola. Fredericks frequently appears with Maestro Vincent La Selva and the New York Grand Opera in Central Park, New York City. Internationally, he has performed with The Chuvash State Theatre (Russia) and Paris/Saone-et-Loire (France) where he also appeared as the bass soloist in the Beethoven 9th symphony. Recently, he has performed in Nabucco, in Boito's Mefistofele with the Taconic Opera, and in Les Contes d'Hoffmann with The Connecticut Lyric Opera. Upcoming appearances include Aida and Otello with The New York Grand Opera celebrating the 200 birth year of Giuseppe Verdi. Mr. Fredericks graduated from Indiana University with a degree in vocal performance and continued his studies at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.

Stefan Szkafarowsky (bass, Sacristan) is known for his beautiful bass voice and his impeccable vocal technique. Mr. Szkafarowsky has sung not only at the Met, but at many well-known opera houses in the United States and abroad, including such venues as the LA Opera, Virginia Opera, Seattle Opera, Dallas, Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Colorado, Florida Grand Opera, Sao Paulo Opera in Brazil, Teatro Lirico in Cagliari, Italy, Savonlinna Music Festival in Finland and the Lviv Opera in Ukraine. The main bass roles that he has performed have been from world-renowned operas such as Aida, Macbeth, Nabucco, Don Carlos, The Marriage of Figaro, The Barber of Seville, Eugene Onegin, Rusalka, Boris Godunov, The Magic Flute, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, La Boheme, Lucia di Lammermoor and Aleko. Mr. Szkafarowsky has had the great honor to share the stage with wonderful artists as Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Paul Plishka, Sherill Milnes, Maria Ciara, Piero Cappuccilli and many of today's fantastic artists.

Adrian Sylveen, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR and CONDUCTOR, Adrian Sylveen enjoys a performing career in the United States and Europe. He serves as Artistic Director of the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Connecticut Lyric Opera, and the Classical Orchestra of Pila in Poland. An active soloist as well as conductor, he has performed concerts and recitals in Poland, Switzerland, Germany, former Soviet Union, and the United States. Sylveen graduated with distinction from the Paderewski Music Academy in Poznan, Poland, and holds Master and post-Master degrees from the Yale University School of Music. He is the recipient of prizes and awards from international competitions and has participated in several international festivals such as Weimar and Lancut. Maestro Sylveen has received several prestigious scholarships and awards, including the "Primus Inter Pares" Award given by the President of the Republic of Poland.

About Connecticut Lyric Opera

Connecticut Lyric Opera (CLO) is the state's leading opera company - performing to thousands across Connecticut in Hartford, Middletown, New Britain, and New London. CLO has earned the reputation as an innovative company that is renowned for its world-class singers, phenomenal concert-quality orchestra, and programming choices that go beyond the well-loved standards of the repertoire to include lesser-performed yet equally compelling works.

Last year, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded CLO with a $50,000 grant as part of its Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocation. CLO is one of nine arts organizations in Connecticut, and one of only 27 opera companies nationwide, to receive this grant.

Together with its musical partner, the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, CLO created the Greve Opera Academy and Music Festival in Italy (2015) and the Summer Opera Institute in Farmington. Singers from CLO's celebrated Young Artist Program have gone on to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, the Salzburg Festival and other major companies. More information at ctlyricopera.org.

About Connecticut Virtuosi

Established in 1997, the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra is Connecticut's premier professional chamber orchestra, based in the Greater New Britain area, and dedicated to presenting both traditional and contemporary works to the public. As artists, the Virtuosi strive to be cultural leaders and teachers and to inspire our audiences to recognize the beauty and quality of classical music in any form.

The Orchestra, led by founder and artistic director Adrian Sylveen, currently presents approximately ten critically acclaimed concert and opera programs each season. Virtuosi also presents eight school concerts for the New Britain Department Education. Altogether, the group performs thirty times a season in New Britain, Hartford, New London, Middletown, New York, and Waterbury. Virtuosi also presented occasional concerts in Mystic, Meriden, New York City, and Pennsylvania. The organization consists of approximately 27 professional musicians representing many nationalities. Learn more at thevirtuosi.org



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