TOSCA
by Giacomo Puccini

Friday, January 26, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 2:00 PM

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The sensuous singer Floria Tosca and her artist lover Cavaradossi conspire to conquer the malicious forces determined to wedge them apart. Moving through the shadows in Rome’s churches and castles, they plot to undo the wicked intentions of their nemesis, the lecherous police sergeant, Scarpia, in Puccini’s masterful love story, rich with captivating arias and orchestral drama.

Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.


DAVID STERN – CONDUCTOR

FENLON LAMB – STAGE DIRECTOR

KERI ALKEMA – TOSCA (1/26 & 1/28)

ALEXANDRA LOUTSION – TOSCA (1/27)

RICCARDO MASSI – CAVARADOSSI (1/26 & 1/28)

ADAM DIEGEL – CAVARADOSSI (1/27)

MICHAEL CHIOLDI – SCARPIA 

THOMAS HAMMONS – SACRISTAN

Biographical information below.


 DAVID STERN – CONDUCTOR

Palm Beach Opera Chief Conductor David Stern’s musical leadership is spread across three continents. He is the founder and director of the Paris-based opera company and period-instrument ensemble, Opera Fuoco, as well as artistic advisor and principal conductor of the Shanghai Baroque Festival and music director of opera at the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado.
Stern is known for his extensive range of repertoire. In his time as music director of the Israel and the St. Gallen Opera houses, he championed 18th century opera and eclectic works such as Simone Mayr’s Medea, Berg’s Wozzeck, Britten’s Turn of the Screw and Weill’s Mahagonny. He has premiered four new operas since 2010 – Gil Shohat’s The Child Dreams at the Israel Opera, Nicolas Bacri’s Così fanciulli, commissioned by Opera Fuoco and performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Ben Moore’s Enemies, A Love Story in Palm Beach and Jan Sandström’s The Rococo Machine in Drottningholm, Sweden in June 2016.
Stern has enjoyed collaborations with many international stage directors. Stern is a frequent guest around the globe with symphonic and chamber orchestras. He is regularly invited to the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Shanghai and Guangzhou Symphonies, the China Philharmonic, the New Russian Symphony, the National Orchestra of Mexico, and has had recent appearances with the Vienna Symphony and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.
Since launching the Aix Festival Academy in 1998, David Stern has been committed to developing young voices. He created Opera Fuoco in 2003 as a platform to train young French singers in repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to John Cage, combining both an opera studio offering regular master classes and an opera company producing and co-producing larger concertante and staged productions. As artistic advisor of the Shanghai Baroque Festival, he involves singers from the Shanghai Conservatory and the Opera Fuoco Studio, and he works regularly with the Young Artist Programs in Palm Beach and Crested Butte, Colorado.
Stern received his Bachelor of Arts from Yale and his Masters of Music from the Juilliard School. He resides in Paris with his wife and two daughters.

 FENLON LAMB – STAGE DIRECTOR

Opera News called Fenlon Lamb “moving and convincing” and Seen and Heard International complemented her “well-honed theatrical sensibility.” Ms. Lamb brings these qualities of experience and perspective as an outstanding singing actress to her work as a stage director.
Ms. Lamb is the Director of Opera at UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance where she has directed Die Zauberflöte,The Turn of the Screw and Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi along with Cendrillon and Little Women. Currently, she is also the Director of Opera and Vocal Programming at Bar Harbor Music Festival. She has designed and directed engaging productions of Carmen, L’Elisir d’Amore, Madama Butterfly, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Le nozze di Figaro, La Bohème, La Cenerentola and Don Giovanni while she continues to program innovative recitals and pops concerts each festival season.
Most recently, Ms. Lamb directed the oratorio To Be Certain of the Dawn (Stephen Paulus) with the Lexington Philharmonic. She and her artistic partner, Jeff Ridenour, created a unique production of The Juliet Letters with the Resident Artists of Lyric Opera Kansas City. Fenlon debuted with Finger Lakes Opera this past summer directing a production of La Traviata and she made her company debut with Opera Santa Barbara directing a double-bill of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. Ms. Lamb returned to Palm Beach Opera for her fourth season to direct a “delightful, energetic” Don Pasquale. She also made her debut at Dayton Opera directing The Pearl Fishers, joined Mobile Opera for Werther with Gran Wilson in the title role and returned to Arizona Opera as stage director for a “grand and gripping” Rigoletto.
In recent seasons, Ms. Lamb directed the young artists of the Crested Butte Music Festival in a production of Don Pasquale and directed a new production of Hansel and Gretel for Nightingale Opera Theatre that was hailed as “fresh and alluring from curtain to curtain.” For Palm Beach Opera’s 2013 International season she directed a “fizzing and delightful” Il Barbiere di Siviglia “displaying theatrical ingenuity and artistic taste.”. Ms. Lamb also directed Our Town and Alcina with the young artists of that company to critical acclaim. She returned to Opera Carolina as Stage Director for Der Fliegende Holländer with Greer Grimsley in a production lauded for its “intriguing visuals, startling set contexts and projections…balancing operatic polish, romantic beauty and feminist critique.” Ms. Lamb directed Cendrillon at UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, a production that was called “splendid” and “the most spectacular visual production.” She directed a new production of Werther with Nightingale Opera Theatre, made her directorial debut at Arizona Opera for Lucia di Lammermoor and made her company debut with Orlando Philharmonic directing Le nozze di Figaro.

 KERI ALKEMA – TOSCA (1/26 & 1/28)

In the 2016-2017 season, American soprano Keri Alkema makes a number of important debuts as Tosca: her London debut at the English National Opera, her German debut at Oper Frankfurt, and a return to the Canadian Opera Company.
Next season, she sings Magda in La rondine and La clemenza di Tito (both at Théâtre du Capitole), Tosca (Palm Beach Opera), Simon Boccanegra (Opéra de Dijon), and Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena (Canadian Opera Company).
Recent performances for the soprano include Amelia/Un ballo in maschera (Théâtre du Capitole with Daniel Oren); Cio-Cio-San/Madama Butterfly (Teatro Municipal de Santiago); Donna Elvira/Don Giovanni (Santa Fe Opera); Elisabetta di Valois/Don Carlo (Austin Lyric Opera); Giovanna Seymour/Anna Bolena & Eboli/Don Carlo (Opéra National de Bordeaux); Vitellia/La clemenza di Tito (Canadian Opera Company with Johannes Debus); Title role/Anna Bolena (Minnesota Opera); Amaltea/Mosè in Egitto (New York City Opera);  Mimì/La bohème (Glyndebourne); Donna Elvira/Don Giovanni (St. Paul Chamber Orchestra with Roberto Abbado, New York City Opera); Fiordiligi/Così fan tutte (Atlanta Opera); Amelia Grimaldi/Simon Boccanegra and Desdemona/Otello (Teatro Municipal de Santiago); Adalgisa/Norma (Opera North (UK), Caramoor Festival); Mahler’s Das klagende Lied (Cincinnati May & Ravinia Festivals under James Conlon).

 ALEXANDRA LOUTSION – TOSCA (1/27)

Hailed as “powerful and projecting” (Pittsburgh Post Gazette) as well as a “promising young soprano,” (Los Angeles Times) Alexandra Loutsion continues to be recognized for her passionate performances and vocal versatility as a rising star on the operatic and concert stage.
In the 2016-2017 season, Alexandra Loutsion made role debuts in the title role of Turandot (Pittsburgh Opera), at Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly (Palm Beach Opera), and as the Foreign Princess in Rusalka (Arizona Opera).
In 2015-2016, Ms. Loutsion made her Arizona Opera debut as Florencia Grimaldi in Florencia en el Amazonas. She was heard with the Santa Fe Symphony in Verdi’s Messa da requiem, made her Wolf Trap Opera debut as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly and debuted with North Carolina Opera as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni.
Ms. Loutsion spent two summers as an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera, covering the roles of Leonore in Fidelio, the title role in Puccini’s Tosca, Anna in Rossini’s Maometto II, and was heard as Maddalena di Coigny in scenes from Giordano’s Andrea Chénier. She sang Anna Kennedy in Maria Stuarda with Washington Concert Opera and was heard as soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Loutsion concluded her tenure as a Resident Artist with Pittsburgh Opera where she sang Armida in Rinaldo, Gertrude and the Witch in Hänsel und Gretel, and Annina in La Traviata.  As an Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera, Ms. Loutsion was heard in the title role in Madama Butterfly, Melissa in Amadigi di Gaula, Minerva in Orpheus in the Underworld, La Dame Elegante in Les Mamelles de Tirésias, and Frasquita in Carmen.
Ms. Loutsion was a winner of the Metropolitan National Council District Auditions and Long Beach Mozart Competition, and a finalist in the Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation Competition. She is the recipient of the Santa Fe Opera Anna Case MacKay Award, Richard F. Gold Career Grant, the Central City Opera John Moriarty Award, and the Aspen Music Festival New Horizon Fellowship.

 RICCARDO MASSI – CAVARADOSSI (1/26 & 1/28)

Italian tenor Riccardo Massi has rapidly achieved international recognition as one of the most exciting and accomplished interpreters of the Italian spinto repertoire, earning accolades worldwide for his interpretations of Puccini’s and Verdi’s heroes. As a specialist in the handling of ancient and medieval weapons, before pursuing his passion for opera, Massi enjoyed a career as a stuntman; working in several films including Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York”, ABC’s “Empire”, and HBO’s “Rome”.
The 2015/2016 season saw Massi’s returns to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as Cavaradossi in Tosca opposite Angela Gheorghiu, at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour (Opera Australia) as Calaf in Turandot, the Melbourne Arts Center as Rodolfo in Luisa Miller (role debut), the Teatro Regio di Torino as Radamès in Aida, and the Bregenzer Festspiele as Calaf, in addition to performances as Milio in Leoncavallo’s Zaza at Barbican Hall, Calaf at the Zurich Opera House and as Cavaradossi at the Semperoper Dresden.
Engagements of the 2016/2017 season include his role debut as Des Grieux in new production of Manon Lescaut at the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow and at the Berlin State Opera, his debut at the New National Theatre Tokyo as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, his return to The Metropolitan Opera as Radamès in Aida and Calaf at the Cologne Opera House.
Highlights of recent seasons include his 2014 Royal Opera House Covent Garden debut as Cavaradossi under the musical direction of Placido Domingo, his debut in the title role of Andrea Chénier at the Royal Swedish Opera, a 2014 gala concert with soprano Anna Netrebko at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Tosca at the Sydney Opera House, Verdi’s Requiem (Grand Théâtre de Genève), Un ballo in maschera (Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels), Don Alvaro in La forza del destino (Sydney Opera House), Don José in Carmen (Deutsche Oper Berlin), Pollione at the Terme di Caracalla, and debuts as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (Norwegian National Opera), Manrico in Il trovatore in Toronto and Calaf in Turandot (Royal Swedish Opera).

 ADAM DIEGEL – CAVARADOSSI (1/27)

Adam Diegel regularly earns international acclaim for his impassioned dramatic sensibilities, powerful voice, and for his classic leading man looks. In the 2016-2017 season Diegel’s engagement include appearances in two of his signature roles: as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at Opera Hong Kong and Palm Beach Opera; and Don José in Carmen at San Francisco Opera, PORTopera, and Opera San Antonio. Additionally, Diegel will sing the title role in Verdi’s Don Carlo with Lithuanian National Opera, Ruggerio in La rondine with Opera Santa Barbara, and return to The Metropolitan Opera to sing Ismaele in Nabucco.
Mr. Diegel made his Metropolitan Opera début as Froh in Robert Lepage’s landmark production of Das Rheingold conducted by Maestro James Levine, and later reprised the performance under Fabio Luisi. Further appearances at The Met include Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly under Plácido Domingo and Ismaele in Nabucco under Paolo Carignani.
Other notable U.S. engagements include: Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (Atlanta Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera San Antonio, and Kentucky Opera); Ismaele in Nabucco (Opera Philadelphia); Cavaradossi in Tosca (Vancouver Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Seattle Opera, and Arizona Opera); Don José in Carmen (Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Florida Grand Opera, Arizona Opera, and Madison Opera); and Rodolfo in La bohème (Opera Omaha and Minnesota Opera).
Notable international appearances include: Don José in Carmen at English National Opera and in a new production at Opera Australia’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour; Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Lithuanian National Opera, The Savonlinna Opera Festival, and on tour in China at the Guangzhous Opera House in Anthony Minghella’s acclaimed production; Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur at The National Theatre in Budapest, where he later performed Cavaradossi in Tosca; and David Alden’s new production of Luisa Miller for Opéra National de Lyon.
Diegel holds degrees from Yale University and University of Memphis.

 MICHAEL CHIOLDI – SCARPIA 

American baritone Michael Chioldi has quickly gained the reputation as one of the most sought-after dramatic baritones of his generation. Praised for his “warm, rich tone” (Opera News) and “deeply communicative phrasing” (The Baltimore Sun), he has received unanimous acclaim from critics and audiences around the world for his portrayals of the dramatic baritone roles of Verdi, Puccini, and Strauss. His recent role debuts include the title roles in Verdi’s Rigoletto with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, Macbeth with Palm Beach Opera, and Nabucco with Lyric Opera Baltimore; as Conte di Luna in Il Trovatore with Utah Opera; and as Rodrigo in Don Carlo with Austin Lyric Opera.
Chioldi has performed at nearly every major American opera house, including The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera and Los Angeles Opera. Signature roles include Scarpia in Tosca with Hawaii Opera Theater, Ft. Worth Opera, New York City Opera, Toledo Opera, and Spain’s Opera de Oviedo; Jochanaan in Salome with Utah Opera, Virginia Opera, and the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan; the title role of Macbeth with Michigan Opera Theatre and Palm Beach Opera, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Washington National Opera, Utah Opera, and New Orleans Opera; and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Washington National Opera and in a nationwide broadcast on the PBS television series Live from Lincoln Center, which received an Emmy award in 2008.
In the 2015-16 season Chioldi made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Muscat in performances of Macbeth. Additional recent performances include the title role in Hamlet with Washington National Opera; the title role in Der Fliegende Holländer with Pforzheim Opera; Marcello in La bohéme at London’s Royal Albert Hall; Ford in Falstaff with Utah Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and the Ft. Worth Opera Festival; Giorgio Germont in La Traviata with Palm Beach Opera; Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Hawaii Opera Theater, Chautauqua Opera, and the Macau International Music Festival; and Giacomo in Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco with Chicago Opera Theater.
He made his debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera as Fléville in Andrea Chénier with Luciano Pavarotti and Aprile Millo under the baton of James Levine, and traveled extensively in Japan with Maestro Seiji Osawa. He has also performed in Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Macau and Spain.
A frequent performer of American and English works, he premiered the role of Man in Anthony Brandt’s The Birth of Something in 2008. Additional performances include as the First Mate in Billy Budd with Washington National Opera; the title role in Nixon in China with Long Beach Opera; John Proctor in The Crucible with Toledo Opera; and John Sorel in The Consul with Arizona Opera and the Glimmerglass Festival.
Chioldi has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including The Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition (Winner 1995); The MacAllister Competition; The Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition; The Miami Opera Competition; The Sullivan Foundation; and The Anna Case-Mckay Award. He received his Bachelors’ degree from West Virginia University, and his Masters’ degree from Yale University. His recordings appear on the Sony Classical, BMG, Accord and Newport Classics labels.

 

 THOMAS HAMMONS – SACRISTAN

Bass-baritone Thomas Hammons has been acclaimed throughout the United States, Canada, and across Europe, for the depth and richness of his portrayals and the strength and beauty of his singing. A versatile singing actor, Mr. Hammons has an active repertoire of over 60 roles spanning a variety of genres from the classical buffo repertoire, to the world of contemporary music, to modern musical theater.  He made his début at The Metropolitan Opera as Sacristan in Tosca during the 1996-97 Season, and took part in the première of Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed production of Le nozze di Figaro. He has returned to The Met in over 250 performances since, most recently for LuluLe nozze di Figaro, and La bohème. This season, Mr. Hammons will perform the role of Sacristan in Tosca with Cincinnati Opera and Intermountain Opera Bozeman, Alcindoro/Benoit in La bohème with Opera Omaha, Dansker in Billy Budd with Des Moines Metro Opera, Major General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance with Opera Memphis, and Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro with Milwaukee Symphony.

 

*Palm Beach Opera Debut
^Benenson Young Artist
+Former Young Artist

Additional cast information will be listed as it becomes available.
Cast subject to change.

ACT I

Cesare Angelotti, an escaped political prisoner, runs into the church of Sant’Andrea della Valle to hide in the family chapel. The Sacristan enters to pray and is interrupted by the painter Mario Cavaradossi, who has come to work on his portrait of Mary Magdalene — inspired by the Marchesa Attavanti, Angelotti’s sister. Cavaradossi contrasts the beauty of the blond marchesa with that of his lover, the raven-haired singer Floria Tosca (“Recondita armonia”). When the Sacristan leaves, Angelotti ventures out and is recognized by the painter, who gives him food and hurries him back into the chapel as Tosca is heard outside. She jealously questions Cavaradossi, then prays and reminds him of their rendezvous that evening (“Non la sospiri”). When she recognizes the marchesa’s likeness, her suspicions are renewed, but he reassures her (“Qual’occio al mondo”). When she has left, Cavaradossi summons Angelotti, as a cannon signals that the police have discovered the escape; the two flee to Cavaradossi’s villa. The Sacristan returns with choirboys who are about to sing a Te Deum. Their excitement is silenced by the entrance of Baron Scarpia, chief of the secret police, in search of Angelotti. When Tosca returns looking for her lover, Scarpia shows her the Attavanti crest on a fan he has found. Thinking Cavaradossi faithless, Tosca tearfully vows vengeance and leaves, as the church resounds with the Te Deum. Scarpia has the diva trailed, scheming to get her in his power.

ACT II

In the Farnese Palace, Scarpia anticipates the pleasure of bending Tosca to his will (“Ha più forte sapore”). The spy Spoletta arrives; having failed to find Angelotti, he placates the baron by bringing in Cavaradossi, who is interrogated while Tosca is heard singing at a royal gala downstairs. She enters as her lover is led away to be tortured. Unnerved by his screams, she reveals Angelotti’s hiding place. Cavaradossi is carried in; realizing what has happened, he rages at Tosca. When the gendarme Sciarrone rushes in to announce that Napoleon has won the Battle of Marengo, a defeat for Scarpia’s side, Cavaradossi shouts his defiance and is dragged to prison (“Vittoria! Vittoria!”). Scarpia suggests Tosca yield to him in exchange for her lover’s life. Fighting him off, she protests her fate to God, saying she has dedicated her life to art and love (“Vissi d’arte”). Spoletta interrupts: faced with capture, Angelotti has killed himself. Tosca accepts Scarpia’s proposition. The baron orders a mock execution, and Spoletta leaves. Scarpia prepares a document of safe-conduct for the lovers. When he embraces her, Tosca stabs him with a knife from the table and slips out.

 ACT III

A Shepherd is heard singing as church bells toll the dawn. Cavaradossi is led to the roof of Castel Sant’Angelo to await execution; he bribes the jailer to convey a farewell note to Tosca. Writing it, overcome with memories of love, he gives way to despair (“E lucevan le stelle”). Suddenly Tosca runs in with the story of her encounter with Scarpia. Cavaradossi caresses the hands that committed murder for his sake (“O dolci mani”), and the two hail the future. As the firing squad appears, the diva coaches her lover on how to fake his death convincingly; the soldiers fire and depart. Tosca urges Cavaradossi to hurry, but when he doesn’t respond, she discovers Scarpia’s treachery: the bullets were real. Spoletta rushes in to arrest Tosca. She climbs the battlements and, crying that she will meet Scarpia before God, leaps to her death.

 

 Header Photo: Palm Beach Opera

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