FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 18, 2012

CONTACT: Julia Sheridan, 503-295-3508



February 1, 3m, 7, 9, 2013  |  Keller Auditorium


(Portland, Ore) – Portland Opera continues its 2012/13 Season—Larger Than Life—with Puccini’s Tosca featuring the Company debut of American soprano Kara Shay Thomson in the title role and returning Canadian tenor Roger Honeywell as Cavaradossi.  Tosca runs for four performances February 1, 3m, 7, 9, 2013.  Last produced at Portland Opera in 2005, the opera is presented in a beautiful, classic production critics called “a Tosca to remember.”


“A genius at theatrical pacing, Puccini is by far the most popular opera composer of all time with the general public,” says Portland Opera General Director Christopher Mattaliano.  “Perhaps his most gripping work, a cinematic intensity drives the thriller in ways reminiscent of Hitchcock or Scorsese.  In Tosca, Puccini fans will find everything they love about the composer—and opera—gorgeous soaring melodies and taut intense action.”


Taking place after the French Revolution, Tosca is a thriller of sensual obsession set against a background of political corruption in 1800s Rome.  The story is painted in big, bold strokes and spins tightly around the famous diva Tosca, who is caught in the web of the evil Baron Scarpia, the chief of police intent on seducing the beautiful and fiery opera singer.  Scarpia has arrested Tosca’s lover Cavaradossi and she is willing to sacrifice herself to Scarpia’s lust in order to save her lover from torture. She explodes in rage when she is double crossed by Scarpia, and the opera ends with a truly operatic surprise.  Sung in Italian with projected English translations.




Soprano KARA SHAY THOMSON makes her Portland Opera debut in the title role of Tosca. The New York Times called her “a compelling American soprano with a plush, vibrant, powerful voice. . . Ms. Thomson was marvelous” and Opera News said, “the rich darkness of Thomson’s lyric-soprano voice was quite attractive, smoldering in its dramatic intensity as she tossed out powerful top notes with abandon.” Also making his Company debut is bass MARK SCHNAIBLE as Scarpia.  The New Yorker said he “offered a strongly projected, elegantly phrased, unexpectedly sympathetic Frieddrich” (in Das Liebesverbot). 


Canadian tenor ROGER HONEYWELL returns to sing Cavaradossi after making his Company debut during the 2011-2012 Season in Portland Opera’s first ever Big Night  (2011) and as Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly (2012).  Opera News called his Laca in Jenufa “vocally strong and reassuring,” and The New York Times called him an “assertive dramatic tenor” with a “burnished sound and crisp diction.”  Making his Company debut is Stage Director—and Executive Stage Director at the Metropolitan Opera for nineteen years—DAVID KNEUSS. Returning to the podium is conductor JOSEPH COLANERI (Carmen, Norma 2007, Madame Butterfly 2005).  The New York Post wrote “conductor Joseph Colaneri drove an impassioned performance that never let up, from the opening chorus on.” 



Tosca Kara Shay Thomson*
CavaradossiRoger Honeywell
ScarpiaMark Schnaible*
SacristanThomas Hammons*
AngelottiNicholas Nelson†
Spoletta Matthew Grills†
SciarroneAndré Chiang†
JailerAnton Belov*
Conductor Joseph Colaneri
Stage DirectorDavid Kneuss*
Lighting Designer  Don Darnutzer
Costume DesignerMichael Stennett
Set Designer    Ercole Sormani
With the Portland Opera Chorus and Orchestra
* Portland Opera debut

For musical excerpts, plot synopsis and detailed cast bios visit www.portlandopera.org.




Music: Giacomo Puccini
Libretto:Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica after Victorien Sardou’s play La Tosca
Lyrics:Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.
World Premiere:  Teatro Costanzi, Rome: January 14, 1900
Portland Opera Premiere:  January 1967
Musical excerpts, plot synopsis and detailed cast bios can be found here.
PERFORMANCES: February 1, 3m, 7, 9, 2013
 All performances begin at 7:30pm, with the exception of the 2:00pm matinee on February 3.



(Calendar Editors Kindly Note)


In its ongoing quest to make opera as accessible as possible, Portland Opera has a robust schedule of events designed to explore the many facets of Tosca.



Tune in to All Classical 89.9 fm for an in-depth preview of Tosca:
1/24/13      “Northwest Previews,” All Classical 89.9 fm, 6pm


Enjoy a live, 50-minute sneak peek of Tosca:
1/27/13       Multnomah County Central Library, Collins Gallery, 2pm, Free


Opera Insights

These free and informative sessions, led by Resident Historian and Lecturer Bob Kingston, focus on the music and history behind the evening's opera in ways that make the evening's performance even more satisfying.

1 hour prior to each performance | First Balcony Level. Free


Back Talk

Immediately after each opera performance, audiences are invited to join General Director Christopher Mattaliano and an interesting variety of guests that will include fresh-from-their-dressing-room performers, directors and conductors for a 20-30 minute Q&A.

Orchestra Level  | Free






Fri. 2/01, Thurs. 2/07, Sat. 2/09 at 7:30pm  |  Sun. 2/03 at 2:00pm

Tickets, starting as low as $25.00, can be purchased:


BY PHONE:       Portland Opera Box Office, 503-241-1802, Toll-free 866-739-6737, (Mon – Fri, 9:00am – 5:00pm). Ticketmaster, (800) 982-ARTS (days, evenings, and weekends).  
IN-PERSON:Portland Opera Box Office, 211 SE Caruthers St. (just south of OMSI, off Water Ave.) Mon – Fri, 9:00am – 5:00pm.  Ticketmaster outlets.
GROUPS:Groups of 8+ tickets save up to 20% off by calling 503-295-3509 or email groups@portland.org.
6:00 RUSH: Students/Military $10 per ticket, Seniors $20 per ticket, 1 hour prior to show only, all available unsold seats. 1 ticket per person, valid ID required


For other information about tickets or to learn more about Tosca click here.

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