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Washington National Opera Presents TOSCA


Puccini's story of the strong-willed diva returns to the Kennedy Center stage in WNO's Tosca, from May 11 25, 2019. Tickets start at $35.

Two casts feature Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist (DCYA) alumna Keri Alkema and WNO newcomer Latonia Moore in the title role. Praised as brilliant, mesmerizing (Globe & Mail, Toronto) with incisive musicality (New York Times), Alkema has performed around the world since her days as a DCYA with WNO. Moore made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the title role of Aida on short notice in 2012, prompting the New York Times to mark a notable debut of a richly talented singer who brought palpable emotion to her portrayal. Both sopranos will return to WNO in the 2019 2020 season Alkema as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Moore as Serena in Porgy & Bess.

Alan Held, who most recently appeared with WNO in the Ring Cycle, will reprise his 2011 role of Scarpia, the spiteful police chief. Riccardo Massi portrays Cavaradossi, the artist and Tosca's lover; Massi has performed the role at the Royal Opera House in London, at the Hamburg State Opera, and at Opera Australia. On May 12 and 19, American tenor Robert Watson takes the stage as Cavaradossi opposite Latonia Moore.

Rounding out the cast is David Cangelosi, who most recently appeared on the Opera House stage alongside Alan Held in the 2016 WNO production of the Ring Cycle, as the conniving Spoletta. DCYA alums Wei Wu who wowed audiences last season in The Barber of Seville returns to WNO as Sacristan, and baritone Michael Hewitt sings the role of Angelotti. Current DCYA baritone Samson McCrady, who has been heard this season in The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me and Faust, sings the role of Sciarrone.

WNO's Tosca is led by the rising Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci, who currently serves as principal conductor of Op ra Royal de Wallonie in Belgium, and who made her U.S. debut at the Glimmerglass Festival. Scappucci has led productions around the world, including at the prestigious Vienna State Opera, as well as at the opera houses of Zurich, Los Angeles, and Rome. She triumphantly returns to D.C. four years after her WNO debut in La Cenerentola. Tosca is directed by D.C. native Ethan McSweeny, a frequent leader in WNO's American Opera Institute who is also known for his acclaimed productions of Shakespeare and classical theater, both in the U.S. and internationally.

This sumptuous period production of the beloved operatic cornerstone made its debut at the Seattle Opera. Since the opera's original premiere in 1900 in Rome, Tosca's character has become a symbol of the ideal opera diva a role only for artists of the highest technical ability. Set in 1800 in Italy amid the invasion of Napoleon's army, Tosca tells the epic story of Floria Tosca's fight to save her lover, Cavaradossi, from the cruel police chief Baron Scarpia. Tosca's pursuit of love leads her towards an epic death that has become a staple of operatic culture.

Written by Victorien Sardou for the French actress Sarah Bernhardt in 1887, Puccini was immediately inspired to set music to the heart wrenching story and collaborated with Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa to translate the five-act dramatic play into a musical work. Last performed by WNO in 2011, the opera features the timeless arias Vissi d'arte and E lucevan le stelle. Puccini wrote Tosca as a through-composed work and weaved Wagnerian leitmotifs throughout the score, identifying characters, objects, and big ideas.

The creative team is spearheaded by Costume Designer Lena Rivkina and Lighting Designer Gary Marder, who previously designed the lighting for WNO's Madame Butterfly in 2017.

All performances are sung in Italian with English surtitles. The opera's running time is approximately two hours, plus two 25-minute intermissions, and runs for eight performances. Visit WNO's website for more information.

Washington National Opera's 2019 2020 season begins with Verdi's Otello (October 26-November 16, 2019) and Mozart's final opera The Magic Flute (November 2-23, 2019) with a guided rehearsal and a special family look-in. Tickets for the 2019-2020 season are available starting June 4, 2019.

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