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Bitter - Sweet Premiere of Tosca at the SF Opera

Patricia Racette as Tosca

Puccini's masterpiece Tosca has always been famous in the operatic circle, and it remains so till this very day. On November 15, Angela Gheorghiu premiered in SF Opera's production of Tosca, but only sang the first act. Unfortunately, she suffered an intestines flu, and the doctor said that she was dehydrated. David Gockley, general director at the War Memorial Opera House, came out during the intermission in between the first act and the second act and announced that Ms. Gheorghiu will not continue singing, and that she is now rushed to the hospital. Melody Moore, Angela Gheorghiu's cover, sang the rest of the performance. We all hope that Ms. Gheorghiu gets better soon.

Angela Gheorghiu and Massimo Giordano as Floria and Mario
The stunning cast includes Angela Gheorghiu as the diva Floria Tosca burning with hatred, love and jealousy; Massimo Giordano as the lustful and rebellious Mario Cavaradossi; Roberto Frontali as the cruel but determined Baron Scarpia; and Christian Van Horn as Angelotti.

The second stunning cast includes Patricia Racette as Floria Tosca, Brian Jadge as Mario Cavaradossi, Mark Delavan as Baron Scarpia, and Ryan Kuster as Angelotti.

Angela Gheorghiu as Floria Tosca
Even though Angela Gheorghiu felt ill and had to leave before finishing the performance, the first act was still great. Ms. Gheorghiu's voice was quite small but she still projected and her voice remained glamourous. Ms. Gheorghiu's cover, Melody Moore, managed the role well. Her voice was much louder than Gheorghiu's.

Massimo Giordano as Mario Cavaradossi
Massimo Giordano was a great Mario. His high notes and charismatic stage presence made him the perfect Mario for our Floria, Angela Gheorghiu. What one expects more, I believe, is more rebelliousness in the character. Mario Cavaradossi and Cesare Angelotti are both liberals. They are rebelling against the government. Mario Cavaradossi has to have more devotedness in his actions, as well as the music. Mr. Giordano managed the music extremely well, but I didn't see enough excitement in him when Cavaradossi found out that Bonaparte was the victor.

Roberto Frontali as Baron Scarpia              
Last, but not least, Roberto Frontali as Baron Scarpia. Mr. Frontali's deep and rich baritone projected across the whole stage, making him the true Scarpia.     The one thing I would have not minded was more laughter. For some unfathomable reason, Scarpia seems to be a character who's sinisterness shows through not only in his actions but also in his laughter.

You can read the plot of the story here.


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