United States Puccini, Tosca: Refrain and Orchestra of LA Opera / Louis Lohraseb (conductor). Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, 19.11.2022. (JRo)
Director – John Caird
Units & Costumes – Bunny Christie
Lighting – Duane Schuler
Refrain Director – Jeremy Frank
Kids’s Refrain Director – Fernando Malvar-Ruiz
Tosca – Angel Blue
Cavaradossi – Michael Fabiano
Scarpia – Ryan McKinny
Sacristan – Philip Cokorinos
Angelotti – Wei Wu
Spoletta – Anthony León
Sciarrone – Zachary James
Jailor – Ryan Wolfe
Shepherd – Deepa Johnny
I noticed this manufacturing of Tosca in 2013 [review] and was ready to spend the night revisiting its flaws and misfires. As an alternative, Angel Blue as Tosca absorbed me so absolutely that my complaints light into the background. Her voice thrilled, her appearing soared. Blue hurtled us in direction of the opera’s inevitable conclusion, transferring from religious harmless to heroic determine, ready to commit homicide to avoid wasting her honor and the lifetime of her lover.
The robust performances of Michael Fabiano as Mario Cavaradossi and Ryan McKinny as Baron Scarpia accomplished the tragic trio caught up within the occasions surrounding the battle for dominion over Italy in June of 1800.
Fabiano, along with his galvanic tenor, managed to beat the darkish and clunky set in Act I to depict a painter at work on the Church of Sant’Andrea delle Valle. If at instances he favored the strong over the intimate, notably in his aria ‘Recondita armonia di bellezze various,’ he was convincing in his love for Tosca, which gave all his subsequent arias and actions their poignancy.
In his portrayal, McKinny revealed the psychological motivation of the sexual predator – illuminating not solely our time, but additionally the depiction of lust and rape so predominant within the mythology of the Greeks and Romans from Homer to Ovid. He gave a chilling rendition of ‘Ella verà’, exulting in his philosophy of sexual conquest. Whether or not portraying the bullish Stanley Kowalski in Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Need or Scarpia, the jaded aristocrat and chief of police, McKinny’s bodily agility and expressive baritone make him a riveting performer.
Luckily, director John Caird jettisoned a few of the defects of the 2013 LAO manufacturing. This made for higher pacing with much less distraction from the guts of the drama. Nonetheless, the choice to set the opera round 1900 was at odds with the historic foundation of the unique play and opera libretto. Traditionally-correct units and costumes would have made the plot extra understandable – a plot that revolves across the loosening grip of the Hapsburg Empire as Napoleon battles in Italy, leaving Rome in chaos. A minimal staging, suggesting the unique time interval and environments, would have labored. The turn-of-the-twentieth-century costumes and grim units right here (a broken-down church in lieu of a splendid Baroque one, and a basement warehouse in lieu of Scarpia’s luxurious Act II residences), added confusion as to time and place. That is Rome, in any case, not a poor village on its outskirts.
What is obvious as a bell is that Angel Blue is simply the diva to play the diva Tosca. She has a voice that’s each heat and vivid, able to darkish shadings and delicate colours. Her love duet with Fabiano in Act I used to be blissful, and the tragic ‘Vissi d’arte’ of Act II was heart-rending. Collectively, the couple made palpable the tragic innocence of their misguided perception that Cavaradossi’s execution was to be feigned and their escape condoned by Scarpia’s orders.
The LAO Orchestra performed by Louis Lohraseb supported the singers handsomely and captured the sweeping rating in all its flavors. Philip Cokorinos made an impression because the feisty Sacristan, bringing a welcome comedian tinge to the position. Wei Wu’s Angelotti was fierce and weak – depicting the guts of the insurgent in a small however pivotal position, and Deepa Johnny was a sweet-voiced Shepherd.
However the evening belonged to Angel Blue because the divine artist, Floria Tosca. She and Fabiano, her Cavaradossi, made tragically obvious what it means to sacrifice all the pieces for artwork and honor.