Tosca 2015

New Productionlytic opeas of chicago

Music by Giacomo Puccini

Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa & Luigi Illica

Conductor: Dmitri Jurowski

Stage director: John Caird

At the Lyric Opera of Chicago

Stunning, lush and so romantic new production of the popular Tosca delights the opening night audience.

“Living for Art, Dying for Love? –Tosca

Anchored by the amazing vocals of Brian Jagde’s strong tenor and Tatiana Serjan’s lilting soprano, John Caird’s new production of new production of Tosca look terrific with the multi-location set by Bunny Christie and sound lush and enchanting from conductor Dmitri Jurowski’s orchestra. This Tosca has a Russian flavor, as Serjan and Jurowski both native Russians.

01_Brian_Jagde_TOSCA_LYR150121_017_cTodd_Rosenberg

As painter Mario Cavaradossi (the golden voiced Brian Jagde)  work in a church in Rome in 1800, he has liaisons with his lover Floria Tosca (the enchanting Tatiana Serjan), who is jealous due to Mario painting Mary Magdalene to look like another local woman. But Mario is uneasy because he is helping his friend Angelotti (bass-baritone Richard Ollarsara) escape from political prison for being a Republican. Mario hides Angelotti in a well on his estate.

ltric opera

Police chief Scarpia  (the commandingly evil tenor Evgeny Nikitin) uses Tosca in his search for the political prisoner. He plays on Tosca’s jealousy but she resists him as she stays loyal to her lover Mario. Scarpia  enjoys his plan to execute the traitors to the state and seduce Tosca. But Cavaradossi, after his arrest, denies any knowledge of Angelotti’s whereabouts. Scarpia summons Tosca to the prison where he manipulates her by torturing Mario and letting his cries of agony be heard by her. Eventually, she tells him of Angelotti’s location.

08_Te_Deum_scene_TOSCA_MSB_6249_cMichael_Brosilow

Briefly, Mario and Tosca are reunited by he denounces her for betraying the Republican. When Tosca pleads to Scarpia for mercy for Mario, he exacts a price – that Tosca give into to Scarpia’s advances. She reluctantly agrees.  But since Sacrpia has ordered Mario’s hanging, he devises a mock shooting to cover his allowing Mario to live. But Tosca demands a safe-passage note from Scarpia for her and Mario. He writes it out and she stabs him to death just as he tries to embrace her.

13_Tatiana_Serjan_TOSCA_LYR150121_498_cTodd_Rosenberg

This swiftly paced and glowingly powerful and deeply romantic new production is a glorious example of Puccini’s emotional music. Add the tremendous vocals by Tatiana Serjan with her wonderful acting chops with the powerful deeply felt emotions from Brian Jagde’s Cararaducci and this stunning production enchanted and moved the opening night audience into screams of joy and vigorous applause. Powerful acting by the villain Scarpia(that earned him a “boo”) was spot on by Evgeny Nikitin to complement the ferocious performances by Jadge and Serjan. The Lyric Opera as another splendid production for both opera patrons and newbies to the art form. This is splendid opera. Don’t miss it.

16_Brian_Jagde_Tatiana_Serjan_TOSCA_LYR150121_652_cTodd_Rosenberg

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: January 24, 2015

For more info checkout the Tosca page at theatreinchicago.com

At the Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL‎,  www.lyricopera.org, /(312) 801-3362, tickets $20 -$369, running time is  2hours, 40 minutes with 2 intermissions, through March 14, 2015

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