Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca

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Opera lovers are in for a real treat as Ottawa’s Pellegrini Opera prepares for its presentation of Puccini’s TOSCA.  The fully staged and costumed opera with chamber ensemble will be performed on March 10 and 11 at 7:30 pm at Dominion-Chalmers United Church (355 Cooper Street, Ottawa). True to its origins, TOSCA will be sung in Italian but the audience will be able to follow every intrigue courtesy of the English and French surtitles.

Internationally celebrated soprano Maria Knapik sings Floria Tosca.  With her voice and dramatically sensual stage presence, Knapik is the perfect Floria. Charismatic tenor Steeve Michaud is Mario Cavaradossi – her romantic counterpoint – while acclaimed Canadian/British baritone Jeffrey Carl plays the manipulative Baron Scarpia with striking menace. Kyle McDonald, Cesare Angelotti; Ryan Hofman, A Sacristan; and Corey Arnold, Spoletta, comprise the rest of the cast.

Indeed, why would an opera that is decades old albeit a signature Puccini work, be so appealing to today’s audiences? Take the following plot line: Rumours are circulating that the glamorous, impetuous Floria Tosca has been hustled into police headquarters by personal assistants of Police Chief Scarpia. She is known to have been a very close friend of Mario Cavaradossi for the past year. Is she implicated in a plot? Is there a “deal” being made? This context could be attributed to any popular action drama on Netflix. A tantalizing plot, soaring music, and live chamber ensemble led by artistic director Vincent Thomas with music direction by well-known conductor Michel Brousseau all contribute to a theatrical experience worth attending.

Tosca will be presented in a new orchestral version with the original full orchestra sound specially recreated for Pellegrini Opera by Ottawa composer John Sarkissian.

Tickets are available at The Leading Note, and Books on Beachwood as well as online