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Tosca

Atlanta Opera

through October 13, 2013

If you like opera, or if you think you might like opera, get your tickets because this is one of the best productions in years, with great singers, sets, costumes, music, lighting and all the elements that bring a classic story of treachery to life with a high degree of theatricality that is a delight, even if it doesn’t have a happy ending.

The story is one of lust, betrayal, duplicity, and all that nice stuff that Tony Soprano would be proud to be associated with. It is set in Rome during the days of struggle against the aggressive Napoleon. The evil Baron Scarpia (Luis Ledesma) is a police chief who has the hots for Floria Tosca (Kara Shay Thomson). One thing stands in the way of his amorous ambitions and that is Tosca’s love for Mario (Massimiliano Pisapia). What’s the chief todo? Get Mario busted for helping some poor prisoner escape. Torture Mario while Tosca listens to his agonies, schedule him to hang; then propose to pardon him in exchange for Tosca getting it on with the Baron.

The negotiations work slowly but finally the randy Baron agrees that he will have his gang fake the killing of Mario by a firing squad whose weapons will be filled with blanks. Tosca will give herself to the Baron; but afterwards she and her un-named gentleman will be granted an exit visa. He puts it in writing and sets his seal to the writ, just before Tosca seizes a knife from the desk and dispatches the Baron.

What happens in Act III when the firing squad does their job is the crescendo of the opera and if you don’t know the story I am not going to tell you. Go see it for yourself.

Kara Shay Thomson “owns” the Tosca role having sung it worldwide more than 75 times. Massimiliano Pisapia is a tenor who really projects and Luis Ledesma is right on as the Baron. The sets on loan from the Fort Worth Opera are just incredible and are the type one might expect at The Met. The orchestra under the baton of Arthur Fagan does a terrific job and the entire production directed by Tomer Zvulun is first-rate.

Be aware that the Opera has only 4 performances. They are October 5, 8, 11 and 13. So you may want to act now. Tickets and more info at their website AtlantaOpera.org