By Suzanne Calvin
The Dallas Opera will make the company’s gripping 2015 production of Giacomo Puccini’s immortal Tosca available free of charge for home viewing. This passionate, star-studded production was originally simulcast live in high definition to a North Texas audience at Klyde Warren Park.
TDO’s Tosca stream will premiere online Friday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. and will be available until Saturday, March 27. Those interested in viewing must register online at dallasopera.org/tosca-video-stream.
Tosca is The Dallas Opera’s third free video stream of an archival performance since the pandemic began. Earlier works have included Carmen and The Magic Flute. The opera was performed in Italian, with English-language supertitles projected on screen.
Considered one of Puccini’s greatest stage creations, Tosca was conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, TDO’s acclaimed Mrs. Eugene McDermott music director (also music director of the Prague Philharmonia) who most recently led The Dallas Opera performances of The Magic Flute and The Golden Cockerel (Fall 2019).
TDO’s Tosca stars American soprano Emily Magee in the title role of Floria Tosca, a celebrated opera singer; Chilean tenor Giancarlo Monsalve in his TDO debut as artist and revolutionary Mario Cavaradossi; and bass Raymond Aceto as the evil Baron Scarpia. All three of these major artists have essayed their respective roles on leading opera stages around the world.
Completing the cast are Ryan Kuster as freedom fighter Cesare Angelotti, William Ferguson as the police agent Spoletta, Dale Travis as the Sacristan, Wes Mason as policeman Sciarrone, Christopher Harrison as the Jailer and boy soprano Campbell S. Collins III as the Shepherd Boy.
“Tosca benefits tremendously from a strong, youthful cast that brings these characters vividly to life,” stated Maestro Villaume in 2015. “These people reveal the full spectrum of human behavior — from displays of extraordinary courage and heroism to moral indifference and the most terrible depravity.”
The much-loved Dallas Opera production was directed by Ellen Douglas Schlaefer (director of opera studies at the University of South Carolina School of Music) in her company directorial debut.
Her professional credits include Faust for Washington National Opera, Scott Joplin and Treemonisha for Opera Memphis, The Little Prince for Houston Grand Opera, and numerous works for Wolf Trap Opera.
Tosca is regarded as one of TDO’s most beautiful period productions, featuring magnificent sets and costumes by Italian designer Ulisse Santicchi, and showcasing the renowned The Dallas Opera Orchestra and The Dallas Opera Chorus (50 members strong, in addition to a 20-voice children’s chorus).
This production earned uniformly excellent reviews. Monica Hinman of Dallas Observer noted, “You go to the opera to hear beautiful music sung by immensely talented performers and The Dallas Opera’s production of Puccini’s tragic opera, Tosca, delivered.”
Classical music critic Scott Cantrell of The Dallas Morning News wrote that Emily Magee provided “hot-coals vocalism” and was “the very incarnation of the high-maintenance diva whose love blinds her to betrayal.” D Magazine’s Catherine Womack observed that “… Emmanuel Villaume whipped the orchestra into a passionate frenzy.”
Lighting design for this production was by Marie Barrett. Wig and make-up designs were by David Zimmerman. Chorus preparation was by The Dallas Opera Chorus Master Alexander Rom.
The 2015 Klyde Warren Park simulcast presentation of Puccini’s revolutionary Tosca marked the 11th free public simulcast in TDO history.
The Amy and Vernon Faulconer Performance of November 6, 2015 (the live simulcast performance) was supported by production underwriters Cindy and Charlie Feld, Enika and Richard Schulze, Betty and Steve Suellentrop and Mr. and Mrs. T. Peter Townsend.
Wes Mason was the Phyllis A. McCasland and Thomas H. McCasland, Jr. Young Artist. The Dallas Opera 2015/2016 season was presented by Texas Instruments.
Go to dallasopera.org/tosca-video-stream for additional details or to register to view this production.