Monday, March 12, 2012

Puccini's Tosca at The Benedum

For Immediate Release March 8, 2012


Debra L. Bell, Director of Marketing and Communications
Office: (412) 281-0912 ext 214 or

Pittsburgh Opera presents Puccini’s dramatic Tosca

What: Giacomo Puccini’s opera Tosca

Where: Benedum Center for the Performing Arts

7th Street and Penn Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh

When: Saturday, March 24, 8:00 PM Tuesday, March 27, 7:00 PM

Friday, March 30, 8:00 PM Sunday, April 1, 2:00 PM

Run Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes, including 2 intermissions

Language: Sung in Italian with English titles projected above the stage

Tickets: Start at $10 for all performances.

Call 412-456-6666 for more information or visit

Pittsburgh, PA…Pittsburgh Opera brings a magnificent traditional production of Puccini’s Tosca to the Benedum Center stage March 24 – April 1 in four performances. This gripping tale of one day and night in the life of the singer Floria Tosca has held audiences’ fascination since its debut in 1900, with its lyrical melodies, high drama, and astonishing ending: Tosca is pulled into international intrigue by the man she loves, murders the most powerful and corrupt man in Rome, and eventually makes the ultimate lover’s leap.

Angela Brown and Hugo Vera make their Pittsburgh Opera debuts as Tosca and her lover Cavaradossi, respectively; Mark Delavan (Falstaff, 2009) returns as the chief of the secret police, Baron Scarpia, and Kevin Glavin (Falstaff, 2009; The Barber of Seville, 2010) also returns as the Sacristan. Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artists Adam Fry, Juan José de León, and Kyle Oliver appear as Angelotti, Spoletta, and Sciarrone, respectively. Music Director Antony Walker conducts the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra; Kristine McIntyre (Flight, 2008; The Marriage of Figaro, 2010) returns as stage director. Members of the Children’s Festival Chorus join the Pittsburgh Opera Chorus for the momentous Act I finale.

Angela Brown’s 2004 Metropolitan Opera debut launched a career that includes the world premiere of Margaret Garner, Aidas and Toscas around the world, including a 2008 Aida in Cape Town, South Africa, and the creation of Ms. Brown’s program “Opera from a Sistah’s Point of View,” which is presented throughout the country. “Sistah’s Point of View” contains commentary, arias, art songs, and spiritual songs that help dispel the myths of opera’s inaccessibility and elitism.

Mr. Vera, a Texas native, recently joined the Metropolitan Opera roster and has already sung several roles there, while also making role and company debuts such as Neruda/Il Postino with Opera Company of Philadelphia, Radames/Aida with Memphis Opera, and Philemon/Philemon and Baucis at Spoleto Festival USA. His training includes artist programs at Glimmerglass Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, and Minnesota Opera.

Mark Delavan’s appearances as Pittsburgh Opera’s Falstaff (2009) had audiences roaring with laughter, but he also has extensive experience as the “heavy.” He sang all three of Wagner’s Wotan roles (in Das Rheingold, Die Walküre and Siegfried) between 2008 and 2011. Iago/Otello is one of his signature roles, along with Scarpia/Tosca. He also returns to Pittsburgh Opera in October 2012 as Rigoletto.

Tosca runs March 24, 27, 30 and April 1, 2012. Tickets to Tosca start at $10, with all performances at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, 7th Street and Penn Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh. For additional information or to purchase tickets call 412-456-6666 or visit

Facts about the opera

¡ In January 1900, at a time of unrest in Italy, Tosca’s premiere was postponed for one day after bomb threats were issued in Rome. Its premiere was a national event, with dignitaries such as Queen Margherita and the prime minister attending, not to mention his operatic rivals Cilea and Mascagni. The Roman premiere was the culmination of a fractious four-year process of molding the popular (and wordy) 1887 French play La Tosca by Victorien Sardou into an opera. Remarkably, Puccini was largely satisfied with his original score, and made few revisions afterward, all minor.

¡ Puccini initially passed over the young tenor Enrico Caruso for the role of Cavaradossi, but after Tosca’s premiere, Caruso and soprano Emmy Destinn were the must-have Cavaradossi and Tosca for numerous performances.

The story, in brief

In Rome, 1800, the painter Cavaradossi works on a portrait of Mary Magdalene in the church of Sant’Andrea della Valle when the revolutionary Angelotti rushes in, just having escaped from jail. Cavaradossi hides his friend in the chapel, then receives a visit from his lover, the tempestuous diva Tosca. They agree to meet that night, and when she leaves, an alarm signals that the police are coming for the escaped prisoner. Cavaradossi hurries to hide Angelotti in his villa.

The Sacristan brings in the choir to sing a Te Deum with Tosca, but their excitement is stifled at the arrival of Baron Scarpia, chief of the secret police, who wants Tosca for himself, and incites her jealousy. He summons her later to the Farnese Palace, where he has Cavaradossi held and tortured within earshot. Unnerved, Tosca reveals Angelotti’s hiding place and Cavaradossi turns on her as he is dragged to prison.

Scarpia suggests that Tosca yield herself to him in exchange for her lover’s life. Hearing that Angelotti has been caught and has killed himself, Tosca is forced to agree. The Baron pretends to order a mock execution for Cavaradossi and signs safe-conduct papers, but Tosca takes a knife from the table and kills Scarpia, seizing the papers.

At dawn, Cavaradossi awaits execution, and is surprised to see Tosca, who tells him that she has killed Scarpia and that his execution will not be real. She coaches him on how to die convincingly, and the soldiers fire and depart. Cavaradossi fails to move, and Tosca realizes that the bullets were indeed real. As police rush in to arrest her for Scarpia’s murder, Tosca calls on Scarpia to meet her before God, and leaps to her death.

Tosca opens Saturday, March 24 and continues March 27, 30 and April 1, 2012. Tickets start at $10. Call 412-456-6666 or visit

The Pittsburgh Opera 2011-2012 season is generously sponsored by PNC Foundation.

Tickets and Group Discounts

Tickets for all performances of Tosca start at $10. Group discounts are available. For tickets, call (412) 456-6666 or visit For discounted group tickets (6 or more), contact Randy Adams at 412-281-0912, x 213.

The Tosca campaign: Discover Yourself

Pittsburgh Opera is pleased to feature Pitt Women’s Basketball Coach Agnus Berenato as a leaping Tosca in its advertising and promotions for Tosca. “Coach B” was made up, wigged, and costumed in a ball gown as preparation for repeated jumps from a raised platform onto a crash pad. Encouraging her all the way were photographer Duane Rieder and Christopher Hahn and Jerry Sherk from Pittsburgh Opera. A behind-the-scenes video showing how Coach B prepared for her leaps can be seen at starting March 10. Pittsburgh agency MARC USA recently won two Addys for the “Discover Yourself” campaign.

Related Events

Angela Brown in Concert

Thursday, March 8, 2012 – 6:00 PM

The George R. White Opera Studio at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters

(2425 Liberty Avenue)

Angela Brown, starring in the title role of Pittsburgh Opera’s Tosca, gives a concert in the intimate environs of Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, including excerpts from her program “Opera from a Sistah’s Point of View.” The event begins at 6:00 PM with wine and hors d’oeuvres; the concert begins at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $50 and may be purchased at For more information or to purchase tickets by phone, contact Samuel Badger at 412-281-0912 x 225 or

Brown Bag Concert

Saturday, March 10, 2012 – 12:00 PM

The George R. White Opera Studio at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters

(2425 Liberty Avenue)

This one-hour concert begins at 12:00 PM and features the Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artists in a family-friendly program, with a “Speedy Delivery” by Mr. McFeely of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. The Brown Bag concerts provide an informal introduction to opera, and guests can meet the performers after the concert. Guests are encouraged to bring a lunch. Doors open at 11:30. Pittsburgh Opera is grateful to Eden Hall Foundation for sponsoring Brown Bag Concerts.

Opera Up Close: Tosca

Sunday, March 11 – 2:00 PM

The George Rowland White Opera Studio at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters

Opera Up Close is an entertaining and insightful program held on Sunday, March 11, at the George R. White Opera Studio in Pittsburgh Opera’s headquarters (2425 Liberty Avenue) in the Strip. Opera Up Close includes an in-depth musical analysis of the opera Tosca with Stage Director Kristine McIntyre, tenor Hugo Vera (“Cavaradossi”), Assistant Conductor Glenn Lewis, and Director of Artistic Operations Bill Powers. A reception follows, hosted by the Pittsburgh Opera Guilds. For more information, call (412) 281-0912 or visit

Tosca Previews on WQED-FM 89.3 and WQED.ORG/FM

Saturday, March 17 – 12:30 PM; Friday, March 23 – 7:00 PM

Hosted by WQED’s Stephen Baum, and broadcast on radio as well as the WQED website, this Tosca preview gives listeners an in-depth introduction to the singers, music and production of the opera. For more information, call (412) 281-0912 or visit

Pre-Opera Talks

Benedum Center Main Floor

Ticketholders are invited to attend a Pre-Opera Talk on Tosca one hour before each performance’s curtain in the Orchestra Section (Main Floor) of the Benedum Center. Learn about the composer and the story of the opera. These talks are free to all ticketholders.

Meet the Artists

Tuesday, March 27

Immediately following the opera in the Benedum Lower Lobby

Ticketholders for the Tuesday, March 27 performance of Tosca are invited to gather in the Benedum Lower Lobby immediately following the performance for interviews with General Director Christopher Hahn and the stars of the opera. This event is free to all Tuesday performance ticketholders.

Pittsburgh Opera’s 2011-2012 season continues a 73-year tradition of excellence in opera. As part of the Company’s continued efforts to make opera accessible to all members of the community, single tickets for the 2011-2012 season again start at $10.

Single tickets on sale now, starting at $10

Season subscriptions for as little as $43

For ticket information visit our website or call (412) 281-0912

Find us on Facebook and Twitter

Posted on behalf of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates.  Joyce Kane is the owner of Cybertary Pittsburgh, a Virtual Administrative support company, providing virtual office support, personal and executive assistance, creative design services and light bookkeeping.  Cybertary works with businesses and busy individuals to help them work 'on' their business rather than 'in' their business.

No comments: