Tosca Cast & Composer: Giacomo Puccini Librettists: Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica (after Sardou) First Performance: Rome, Italy, 14 January 1900
Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 7:30 PM
Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 3:00 PM
Alberta Bair Theater, Billings For tickets call (406) 256-6052
CASEY RIFFE/Gazette Staff Rimrock Opera performers Cassandra Norville Klaphake and Jeffrey Grant Kitto sing the roles of Floria and Mario in company’s production of “Tosca,” which will be presented at the Alberta Bair Theater on April 30 and May 1.
Dress Rehearsal Photos by Dennis Kern
Dress Rehearsal Photos by Kathy Williams
Floria Tosca (soprano): Cassandra Norville
Mario Cavaradossi (tenor): Jeffrey Grant Kitto
Baron Scarpia (baritone): Doug Nagel
Cesare Angelotti (bass): Daren Small
Sacristan (baritone): William Mouat
Spoletto (tenor): Derek Larson
* Sciarrone (baritone): David Otey
A Jailer (baritone): Quentin Staton
Shephard Boy (soprano): Issa McKnight* & Tylene Parker*, Rachel Pennington (alternate)
Cardinal Bishop (acting role): Randy Rabas*
Adult Chorus Members(*member of Rimrock Opera Chorus for Kids)
Chorus Master: Daren Small
Chorus Rehearsal Pianist: Sandi Rabas
Karlee Adler*, Shanna Blaede*, Shyanne Blaede*, Hannah Bondurant*, Samantha Brodston*, Catherine Cybulski*, Kristy Dallas, Shelby Dangerfield, Kelly Deiling, Haley Eisen*, Mary Erickson, Miranda Fryer*, Jessica Garibay, Debra Gloor, Lance E. Hansen, Grace Hein*, Laura Hodges*, Shadya Jarecke*, Kami Kaderlik*, Meghan Kilroy, Cassy Kocab*, Travis Kuehn, Desarie Lee*, Nate Liptac, Jori Lokken*, Sasha Martin, Christen McInnis*, Melinda Middleton, Jesse Moore, Michelle Murray, Tracy Nitschke*, Erica Noble*, Jenna Preston, Randy Rabas, Ashley Reitz*, Janie Rife, Hannah Roche*, Shelly Ryan, Mary Ryan, Mike Ryan, Paige Sears*, Erin Sears*, Brandon Secco*, John Sellers, Jessica Shultis, Quentin Staton, Leah Sticka, Karla Stricker, Rebeca Strong*, Ben Swanson*, Kay Tostengard, Jacob Troyer, Justin Ward*, Eli Webster*, Hannah Wambolt*, Riley Wisler*
Children’s Chorus Members (members of Rimrock Opera Chorus for Kids) Chorus Master: Amy Logan
Bobbi Adler, Isabelle Amato, Daniel Amato, Kayla Bertschinger, Kallie Buker, Milani Burke, Leena Burke, Hailey Carlson, Gracie Day, Sarah Day, Anna Downs, Molly Frichtl, Megan Grosso, Peter Hall, Darby Johnson, Jenna Johnson, Alyssa Logan, Jacob Logan, Jaeli Lokken, Makay Loran, Alexys Lyle, Marileigh Lyngby-Cox, Shawn McInnis, Issa McKnight, Emma McMullen, Julia McMullen, Grace Mulholland, Heather Murray, Veronica Murray, Rachel Pennington, Amanda Peterson, Cassie Roach, Katherine Shannon, Frankie Sindelar, Skyylar Staton, Ana Strong, Halie Tisdale, Kassie Wagner, Ragan Yetley; Alternates: Benjamin Amato, Madison Ecker, Kathryn Emanuel, Emily Erbacher, Kody Eyre, Kalli Gray, Breanna Manson, Tylene Parker, Carissa Sakahara, Shaylee Syring, Emma Vanberg
Production Team Director/Producer: Doug Nagel
Conductor: Andy Anderson
Assistant Director: Matthew Haney*
Costume Director: Loretta Wittmer
Assistant Costume Director: Marie Thompson
Properties Master: Dodie Rife
Make-up Director: Angie Stidham
Make-up Assistant: Katlyn Weber
Stage Manager: Richelle Stricker
Lighting Designer: Alex Heyneman
Staging Rehearsal Pianist: Lee Hancock*
Technical Director: Randy Jordan
Orchestra Manager: Richele Sitton
Orchestra Technician: Jack Webb
Sets: Utah Festival Opera Set
Technical Director: James Lyden
Costumes: Westendorf Costume Emporium
ACT I. Rome, 1800, The Church of Sant’ Andrea della Valle
Cesare Angelotti, an escaped political prisoner, rushes into the church to hide. An old Sacristan shuffles in, praying at the sound of the Angelus. Artist Mario Cavaradossi enters to work on his portrait of Mary Magdalene, inspired by the Marchesa Attavanti (Angelotti’s sister), whom he has seen but does not know. Taking out a miniature of the singer Floria Tosca, he compares her raven beauty with that of the blonde Magdalene. The Sacristan grumbles disapproval and leaves. Angelotti ventures out and is recognized by his friend and fellow political liberal Mario, who gives him food and hurries him back into the chapel as Tosca is heard calling outside. She jealously questions him, then prays, and reminds him of their rendezvous that evening at his villa. Suddenly recognizing the Marchesa in the painting, she explodes with suspicion, but he reassures her. When she has gone, Mario summons Angelotti from the chapel; a cannon signals that the police have discovered the escape, so the two flee to Mario’s villa. Meanwhile, the Sacristan returns with choirboys to sing in a Te Deum. Their excitement is silenced by the entrance of Baron Scarpia, chief of the secret police, in search of Angelotti. When Tosca comes back, Scarpia hints that Mario is secretly seeing the Marchesa. Thinking her lover faithless, Tosca tearfully vows vengeance and leaves as the church fills with worshipers awaiting the Cardinal. Scarpia, sending his men to follow her to Angelotti, schemes to get the diva in his power.
ACT II. The Farnese Palace
Scarpia anticipates the sadistic pleasure of bending Tosca to his will. Tosca asks the price of her lover’s freedom. Scarpia will accept only Tosca’s submission. Tosca sobs: she has devoted her life to love, music, and piety. Why does God repay her with misery? As she struggles to free herself from Scarpia’s embrace, Spoletta enters with the news that Angelotti has swallowed poison when arrested. Ashamed, Tosca signals that she will submit to the Baron, on condition that Cavaradossi be set free at once. Scarpia explains that he cannot grant a pardon; he can only release Cavaradossi by faking his death in a mock execution. Tosca demands that Scarpia provide a note of safe conduct for herself and Cavaradossi to leave the country. While he is writing, Tosca fortifies herself with a sip of wine and spots a long sharp knife on his dinner table. Scarpia seals the note. His outburst of joy,”Tosca, finally you are mine!” ends with a shriek of anguish. “This is Tosca’s kiss!” she cries, plunging the knife deep into his heart. Scarpia crashes to the floor. Wrenching the document from his stiffening fingers, she places candles at his head and a crucifix on his chest, then slips away.
ACT III. The Castel Sant’Angelo
The voice of a shepherd boy is heard as church bells toll the dawn. Mario awaits execution; he bribes the jailer to carry a farewell note to Tosca. Overcome with memories of love, he gives way to despair. Suddenly Tosca rushes in. Mario caresses the hands that committed murder for his sake and the two hail their freedom. She has a coach and money waiting, with the guarantee of safe conduct. The firing squad appears. The diva coaches Mario on how to fake his death convincingly; the soldiers fire and depart. Tosca urges Mario to hurry, but when he fails to move, she discovers that Scarpia’s treachery has transcended the grave: the bullets were real. Spoletta charges in to arrest Tosca for Scarpia’s murder. She cries out, “Oh, Scarpia, we shall meet before God,” as she leaps to her death.
Act One The Church of Sant’Andrea della Valle
Angelotti, an escaped political prisoner, takes refuge in a side chapel of the church of Sant’Andrea della Valle in Rome. An elderly sacristan comes to tidy up, followed by Cavaradossi, a painter, who is at work on a portrait of the Madonna. Cavaradossi compares his Madonna’s blonde-haired, blue-eyed charm with the dark beauty of his lover, the famous singer Floria Tosca. Angelotti emerges from hiding to find Cavaradossi, his political ally, who promises to help his friend escape from Rome. Angelotti hides again at the sound of Tosca’s voice from outside. Tosca jealously demands to know why the door was locked. Cavaradossi reassures her, and they join in a passionate duet.
Once Tosca has gone, Angelotti reappears and he and Cavaradossi plan his flight. A cannon shot from the Castel Sant’Angelo announces the discovery of Angelotti’s escape. They exit. The sacristan enters followed by clerics and choir boys, all excited by rumors of Bonaparte’s defeat. Baron Scarpia, the chief of police, arrives with his henchman Spoletta in search of the escaped prisoner. Tosca returns, and Scarpia plays upon Tosca’s jealousy in hopes of discovering Angelotti’s. When she leaves to seek her lover, Scarpia has her followed. As the crowd intones the “Te Deum,” Scarpia vows to bring Cavaradossi to the gallows and Tosca into his arms.
Act Two Scarpia’s study in the Palazzo Farnese; that evening.
Alone at dinner, Scarpia reviews his plot. Spoletta reports that he and his men trailed Tosca to the villa and found no trace of Angelotti, but placed Cavaradossi under arrest. Cavaradossi is brought in and questioned. Scarpia has sent for Tosca, and she enters as Cavaradossi is taken away to be tortured. Upon hearing his anguished cries, Tosca reveals Angelotti’s hiding place. Cavaradossi is dragged into the study. His anger at Tosca’s betrayal turns to joy when Sciarrone announces that Bonaparte has actually defeated Melas at Marengo. The enraged Scarpia sends Cavaradossi back to his cell.
Tosca asks the price of her lover’s freedom. Scarpia will accept only Tosca’s submission. Tosca sobs to herself in a celebrated aria: she has devoted her life to music and piety, why does God repay her with misery? As she struggles to free herself from Scarpia’s embrace, Spoletta enters with the news that Angelotti has killed himself rather than be arrested. Ashamed, Tosca signals that she will give in to the Baron, on condition that Cavaradossi be set free at once. Scarpia explains that he cannot grant a pardon; he can only release Cavaradossi by faking his death in a mock execution. Tosca demands that Scarpia provide a note of safe conduct for herself and Cavaradossi. While he is writing, Tosca catches sight of a sharp knife on his dinner table and, unnoticed, takes it. Scarpia seals the note, then turns eagerly to embrace the trembling diva. “This is Tosca’s kiss!” she cries, plunging the knife deep into his heart. Scarpia cries out for help as Tosca curses him. She takes the safe-conduct pass and slips out of the room.
The Castel Sant’Angelo; dawn of the following day.
Soldiers bring Cavaradossi to the ramparts of the fortress. He reflects on his love for Tosca. Tosca rushes in with the note of safe conduct and the story of Scarpia’s violent death. Cavaradossi praises her courage, saying that her gentle hands were not meant for murder. Tosca instructs him in the plan of the feigned execution: after the gunshots he is to lie still until she gives him a signal. Though she believes the execution to be a farce, Tosca is filled with anxiety as her lover is led before the soldiers. They fire and Cavaradossi falls to the ground. Tosca whispers to him to remain motionless until everyone has gone. At last she tells him it is safe, but he does not respond. With a piercing scream, Tosca realizes Scarpia’s final deceit. She weeps over Cavaradossi’s body as Spoletta and Sciarrone, having found the Baron murdered, burst in to arrest her. Too quick for them, she runs to a parapet, “Oh Scarpia, we shall meet before God!” and hurls herself to her death.