Opera Columbus Kicks Off 40th Season With The Return Of Puccini's TOSCA

Set in Rome in 1800, the story pits the main character, Rome's diva Floria Tosca, and her lover Mario Cavaradossi against a corrupt police chief, Baron Scarpia.

By: Nov. 15, 2021
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Opera Columbus Kicks Off 40th Season With The Return Of Puccini's TOSCA

War, chaos and corruption set the tone for the Giacomo Puccini's iconic opera as Opera Columbus kicks off its 40th season with Tosca, the very first opera it presented upon the company's premiere in 1981.

Set in Rome in 1800, the story pits the main character, Rome's diva Floria Tosca, and her lover Mario Cavaradossi against a corrupt police chief, Baron Scarpia. Sensational OPERA America Women Conductor Grantee Tiffany Chang, returning Opera Columbus favorite director Eve Summer and costume designer Neil Fortin recreate a lavish, original production, inspired by the look of Bridgerton, and full of intrigue, suspense, and musical melodrama.

For two performances only, Opera Columbus presents Tosca on Saturday, Dec 18 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec 19 at 2:00 p.m. at the Southern Theatre.

Michelle Johnson makes her role debut as Floria Tosca -- a role coveted for its vast dramatic arc and show-stopping aria, 'Vissi d'arte' -- after a moving Aida in Columbus in 2018. New York Metropolitan Opera favorite Adam Diegel makes his Opera Columbus debut as passionate Cavaradossi. Brian Major, renowned for his villain characters, inhabits the role Scarpia. Additional cast includes local favorite Michael Kirkman as Spoletta, Hidenori Inoue as Angelotti, and Robert Kerr as the Sacristan/Jailer. The Tosca production will use an original set constructed by Opera Omaha and Boston Lyric Opera.

Puccini's Tosca, with Italian libretto (text) by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, premiered in Rome in January of 1900. The work was based on Victorien Sardou's 1887 French-language dramatic play, La Tosca. Tosca premiered at a time of unrest in Rome, and its first performance was delayed for a day for fear of disturbances. Despite initially indifferent reviews from the critics, the opera was an immediate success with the public.

"We couldn't think of a better way to kick off our 40th season than revisiting one of the premiere operas of all time, Tosca" said Julia Noulin-Mérat, General Director & CEO of Opera Columbus. "We've added some fun updates, including Neil Fortin's incredible costume design and we are excited to welcome the sensational conductor Tiffany Chang to Columbus. This Tosca will be dramatically different from our 1981 presentation, including an immersive soundscape that will transport you to Rome with its unique church bells."

Tosca will be sung in Italian with English surtitles. The production is not recommended for patrons under the age of 13.