Palm Beach Opera Opens Season With Puccini's TOSCA
Appearing on the Palm Beach Opera stage for the second time, "Tosca" tells the story of a sensuous singer Tosca and her artist lover Cavaradossi, who conspire to conquer the malicious forces determined to wedge them apart. Set in The Shadows of Rome's churches and castles, Puccini's masterful love story is a tragic tale of a romance complicated by dirty politics and betrayal, rich with captivating arias and orchestral drama.
Palm Beach Opera is thrilled to welcome back Chief Conductor David Stern and Stage Director Fenlon Lamb. Last season, Stern conducted both "Madama Butterfly" and "The Pirates of Penzance," and this season will conduct "Candide" and "Tosca." Lamb was last with Palm Beach Opera for the critically-acclaimed production of "Don Pasquale" in 2016, and rejoins Palm Beach Opera for the fifth season as the Stage Director of "Tosca," designed by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle.
Keri Alkema, whose lirico-spinto soprano voice has been praised by The New York Times as "an appealing brew of dark and creamy colors," will portray the title role of "Tosca" on Jan. 26 and 28. On Jan. 27, Alexandra Loutsion will perform the role, returning to the Palm Beach Opera stage after a successful performance last year as Cio-Cio San in "Madama Butterfly."
The lead tenor role of Cavaradossi is shared by Riccardo Massi (Jan. 26 and 28), who recently performed the same role at Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, and Adam Diegel (Jan. 27), who along with Loutsion, performed in Palm Beach Opera's "Madama Butterfly" as Pinkerton in 2017.
Audience favorite baritone Michael Chioldi also returns to Palm Beach Opera in the role of Scarpia, with previous appearances including the company's productions of "Rigoletto," "Macbeth," and "La Traviata."
Performing the role of Sacristan, Thomas Hammons returns to the company for another Puccini production, previously appearing in Palm Beach Opera's 2015 production of "La Bohème." Palm Beach Opera's Benenson Young Artist Joshua Conyers will sing the role of Sciarrone, and the children's chorus will be performed by members of the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches.
Puccini's orchestration features an organ for the well-known aria "Te Deum," and Palm Beach Opera's orchestra will be utilizing the Kravis Center's unique digital organ in the production. The Marshall & Ogletree George W. Mergens Memorial Organ is a custom-designed organ capable of reproducing thousands of digitally-recorded pipe organs from around the world, presenting audiences with all-encompassing sound.
"Tosca" will be sung in Italian with supertitles projected above the stage. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 26 and 27, and at 2 p.m. on Jan. 28.
Palm Beach Opera gratefully acknowledges the members of its Co-Producer Society for making this performance of "Tosca" possible. The Executive Producer for Palm Beach Opera's first production of the season is Mrs. Ronnie Isenberg. Producers of the production are Bloomberg Philanthropies and Mrs. Ari Rifkin as Chief Conductor Sponsor. Double Co-Producers are Mr. and Mrs. Dennis K. Williams, and Mr. and Mrs. Howard Lester. Single Co-Producers include Mr. and Mrs. Amin Khoury, Drs. Henry and Marsha Laufer, Mr. Nathan Leventhal, and Mrs. Lois Pope. Associate Producers are Dr. Elizabeth Bowden, Mr. and Mrs. John Domenico, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fromer, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Goldner, Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Hardwick, and Mr. and Mrs. John Pohanka. Assistant Co-Producers are Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Bent, Mr. and Mrs. Scott Laurant, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis J. Parker, and Mr. and Mrs. James Takats.
Palm Beach Opera is dedicated to producing live opera at an international standard of excellence and to enriching the life of the communities it serves with a diverse offering of educational programs. Founded in 1961, the fully professional Palm Beach Opera presents mainstage performances at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach and is a proud member of OPERA America and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.
Photo Credit: Palm Beach Opera