Puccini’s masterpiece was the first work to be produced by the Company in 1920
By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka
San Francisco Opera presents Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, tonight at the War Memorial Opera House. The opera will play three more performances: Saturday (6/20), Tuesday (6.23), and Friday (6/26). Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka makes her Company debut in the title role opposite tenor Carlo Ventre as Cavaradossi and baritone Lado Ataneli as Baron Scarpia, also making his debut. Italian conductor Marco Armiliato returns to conduct the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Former Adler Fellow Jose Maria Condemi directs the San Francisco Opera production.
Act I (The church of Sant’Andrea della Valle). Photo, Terrence McCarthy
A fierce melodrama set to magnificent music, Tosca brings to life a tempestuous world of cruelty and deception through the tragic story of Floria Tosca, a beautiful yet volatile singer; Mario Cavaradossi, the idealistic painter that she loves; and Baron Scarpia, an amoral police chief who uses his power to satisfy his lecherous appetite. This production, which was first conceived by Lotfi Mansouri and Production Designer Thierry Bosquet, is a re-creation of Armando Agnini’s Tosca production that opened the War Memorial Opera House in 1932.
Adrianne Pieczonka (Tosca). Photo, Terrence McCarthy
Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka has been praised for her recent Dresden appearances as the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos in Bilbao, and as Desdemona in Otello with Munich’s Bavarian State Opera. Also celebrated as a Wagnerian soprano, Pieczonka has appeared as Sieglinde in Die Walküre with the Metropolitan Opera and at the Bayreuth Festival and as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser at La Scala.
CARLO VENTRE (Cavaradossi). Photo, Terrence McCarthy
LADO ATANELI (Scarpia). Photo, Terrence McCarthy
Last seen at San Francisco Opera as Alfredo Germont in La Traviata and Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra, Carlo Ventre has previously sung the role of Cavaradossi with Frankfurt Opera, Hamburg State Opera and the Arena di Verona. Georgian baritone Lado Ataneli makes his San Francisco Opera debut as Scarpia, a role he has performed at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Paris Opera, the Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, and in Geneva and Trieste.
And before him all Rome trembled!
“E Avanti a lui tremava tutti Roma!”
American bass Jordan Bisch makes his San Francisco Opera debut as the escaped political prisoner Cesare Angelotti and bass-baritone Dale Travis is the church sacristan. 2007 Adler Fellow Matthew O’Neill sings the role of the police agent Spoletta and current Adler Fellows Austin Kness and Kenneth Kellogg are Sciarrone and the jailer.
Act III (A terrace of the Castel Sant’Angelo). Photo by Cory Weaver
The Avenging Angel and The Sacristan (Dale Travis).
Photo, Cory Weaver
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Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: email@example.com.