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San Diego Opera Presents Puccini's 'Tosca'

    THIS EVENT IS IN THE PAST!

  • WHEN Multiple dates from Feb 13 - Feb 21, 2016[days & times]
  • WHERE San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Avenue, San Diego
    Map | Website
  • AGES All ages
  • COST $45 - $220

San Diego Opera opens its 51st main-stage season with Puccini’s "Tosca," a tale of love, jealousy, politics and betrayal.

The romantic tragedy originally premiered in 1900 in Rome and follows the love story between fiery opera singer Tosca and painter Mario Cavaradossi. After the local police chief, Baron Scarpia, finds out Cavaradossi is sheltering an escaped revolutionary fighter, Scarpia hatches a sinister plan to take Tosca as his own.

Tosca, who has lived a life of piety, is forced to make a difficult decision, one that leads to eventual tragedy.

The show stars internationally celebrated soprano Alexia Voulgaridou and tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones in their San Diego Opera debuts.

For tickets or additional information call (619) 533-7000.

Editor’s take: Before the opening night of “Tosca,” San Diego Opera invited students from all over the county (along with some press) to watch its final dress rehearsal.

“Tosca,” a three-act, nearly three-hour opera performed entirely in Italian, is hardly something that’s appealing to many adults, let alone teenagers.

But thanks to a beautiful production, grandiose sets and spectacular performances by the opera singers and orchestra, the young audience quickly fell under the spell that only opera can conjure.

Even though it’s a complex story involving a battle led by Napoleon, corrupt police and Roman politics, subtitles made it easier to follow along. The gorgeous scenery, based on actual 19th century locations in Rome, gave a clear sense of place.

It was soprano Voulgaridou and tenor Jones who won over the crowd thanks to their passionate yet believable performances.

By the third act, the crowd was so enthralled, cheers and screams and boos (for the evil Scarpia, played by bass-baritone Greer Grimsely) came from the balconies, making it feel more like a rock concert than an ancient opera.

If “Tosca” can earn a standing ovation from teens, chances are opera regulars will love it, too.

(KPBS radio will air a recorded broadcast of the performance at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016)

—Nina Garin, KPBS/Arts Calendar Editor

Dates and times of events are subject to change without notice. Always check the event organizer's website for the most updated schedule before attending.

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