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Presented by the Florida Grand Opera

Tosca

  • Tosca

  • Rafael Davila

    Rafael Davila

    Cavaradossi

  • Diego Torre

    Diego Torre

    Cavaradossi

  • Kara Shay Thomson

    Kara Shay Thomson

    Tosca

  • Todd Thomas

    Todd Thomas

    Scarpia

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SEATING LEVELS/RATES- REGULAR RATE /GROUP RATE

Seat Level Standard Rate Group Rate
Orchestra Center $133 $114
Orchestra Sides $100 $86

Orchestra Circle Front Tier 2

$82 $70
Rear Tier 2 Front Tier 3 $66 $57
Rear Tier 3 $35 $30
Front Tier 4 $26 $23
Rear Tier 4 $15 $13

Download PDF version of Program Notes
Download PDF version of Program Notes in Spanish

ON THE FASCINATION WITH TOSCA
Jose Maria Condemi, Director

Puccini's Tosca consistently ranks as one of the most performed operas throughout the world, and the fascination the piece generates has only increased with time. As a director, it is my job to look for the lasting truths in the story and to ponder what keeps fueling such appeal despite ever-evolving changes in musical and theatrical taste.

Personally, the story of the opera and its themes of devotion to love and art, corruption of power, political bigotry and fervent religiosity have always captivated me. As a child growing up in Argentina during the last years of the military regime, my family was lucky enough never to experience the type of brutal violence that Scarpia exerts on Tosca and Cavaradossi. However, I vividly remember the fundamental, almost primal fear that pervaded our everyday life. From an early age we were taught not to question authority and, more importantly, to stay away from those who dared to confront it. Tales circulated about the fate reserved for the brave ones who, like Angelotti in the opera, defied the status quo. The dreadful prospect of political imprisonment and torture was a tangible circumstance, even in the quiet rural small town where I grew up. Even in today's world, one does not have to dig deep to find contemporary equivalents of abuse of power as the recent events at Abu Ghraib Prison remind us. Therefore, whenever I approach directing Puccini's masterpiece, I am always struck on a personal level by the immediacy of its themes and the resonant circumstances of its hero and heroine.

Then, as the "theater technician" all directors are, I cannot help but marvel at Puccini's unerring sense of dramatic flair. The composer and his librettists truly outdid themselves at adapting a lengthy and convoluted five act French play by Sardou into a more palatable and concise work. From the grand-opera ending of the Te Deum, to the pitch-perfect feline pacing of the second act leading to the woefully moody set-up the Castel Sant'Angelo scene, the story is presented as a masterful example of economic and focused theatrical and musical genius.

Of course there have been detractors who issued derisive comments about the opera and its accessible style (including the famous quote by musicologist Joseph Kerman, who called it a "shabby little shocker"). But stabs like these have done little to stop the enduring appeal of the work. In recent years, the absorbing book "Tosca's Rome" (by author Susan Nicassio) has shed new light on the scrupulously detailed and painstakingly researched approach that Puccini undertook to create his opera. American literary icon Susan Sontag's best-selling historical romance novel The Volcano Lover has Scarpia interact with the real Lady Emma Hamilton. And then there is Tito Schipa Jr (son of the famous tenor), who advocated only rock and pop music until he encountered the Maria Callas legendary recording of Tosca. Since then, he has dedicated years of his life to recreating that historic performance in computer-generated virtual reality, which he regularly tours around the world (in addition to being Italy's official translator of the lyrics of Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison).

I am thrilled to embark on another exploration of this great work and to revisit the big questions the opera poses to us all: how do Arts and Politics intersect? Which values are worth sacrificing? Does a devout spiritual life beget a positive worldly outcome? What could we be capable of when confronted with extreme circumstances?

Florida Grand Opera has assembled a terrific cast of singers-actors and the confident hand of Maestro Tebar will ensure a great evening of opera for all!

  • Run Time: 2 hours 38 minutes
  • Intermissions: 2
  • Parental Guide: Ages 7+. Contains adult subject matter and theatrical gunshots.
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The Adrienne Arsht Center provides this information to help you make informed decisions when bringing young people to performances. These are recommendations – you are the expert in deciding what your children should see and know best how to help them enjoy their theatergoing experience. Every guest, regardless of age, must have a ticket; babies-in-arms are not admitted to any performance.

Monday, January 1

ZIFF BALLET OPERA HOUSE

The passionate and beautiful singer Floria Tosca is in love with a handsome young artist, but the lustful chief of police, Baron Scarpia, has other plans. He makes a lecherous offer, allowing Tosca to save her lover. At first, she strikes an unholy bargain with the evil Scarpia, but her hatred for him gives her second thoughts. The results are bloody, deadly, and shocking. Come see what Tosca means when she says, "This is Tosca's kiss." Tosca includes some of the most inspired and memorable music in all of opera. When it premiered in 1895, it was an immediate hit and has been an opera fan favorite for 118 years.

Children under 6 not allowed

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