Tag Archives: Tosca

Lyric offers reason for hope

With the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2019-20 season cut short by a pandemic that has brought normal life to a standstill, any ray of hope is both welcome and needed. The company has offered exactly that, mapping out a 2020-21 lineup full of Italian classics, talent and hidden treasures. Kicking things off in mid-September is a spectacular double bill of one-act operas: Mascagni’s “Cavalleria rusticana” and Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci.” A powerhouse pairing of searing dramas, the production will be conducted by Carlo Rizzi and will feature the Lyric debut of baritone Ambrogio Maestri as Alfio in Cavalleria and Tonio in Pagliacci. …

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Lyric’s “Tosca” showcases stellar new tenor

  What a wonderful day of music at Lyric Opera for its production of “Tosca” on March 8 at the Civic Opera House! It was such a gas because I went fully expecting to be satisfied with the afternoon’s performance by the singing of who I think is the best baritone in the world — and that was plenty. I got that all right, but there was something more — something I was totally unprepared for. A tenor. Not just a professional singer with a decent voice, mind you, but a singer with an outstanding, powerful sound — especially in …

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‘Tosca’ Preview

Puccini’s “Tosca” (1900) marks the third successive opera (after “Manon Lescaut” – 1893, and “La bohème” – 1896) that the composer worked with a subject that had achieved considerable popularity–in this case, the wildly successful 1887 play, “La Tosca,” by Victorien Sardou, written for Sarah Bernhardt. After the dismal failure of “Edgar” in 1889, which almost ended Puccini’s career, he had been told by a number of people that the main problem with the opera was not the music but the idiotic libretto by Ferdinando Fontana. Fortunately for Puccini, his publisher, Giulio Ricordi, also believed this and continued to support …

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