Bulgarian State Opera to Perform ‘Tosca’ at Center for the Arts

Posted: January 4, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Bulgarian State Opera, with its roster of distinguished singers, choir, ballet and orchestra, continues to hone an interpretive maturity in many styles.

The company will return to the Center for the Arts on Friday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m. with an opulent production of Puccini’s masterpiece of doomed love, “Tosca.”

Established in 1996 by Ivan Kyurkchiev, the Bulgarian State Opera (formerly Opera Verdi Europa) is based on the great traditions of the art of opera in Bulgaria and presents unique productions combining the best of opera from across Europe.

Puccini’s interpretation of Sardou’s drama “La Tosca” is the tale of the love affair between painter Mario Cavaradossi and opera star Floria Tosca, told against the grim backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars.

When Cavbaradossi is arrested and tortured by the Roman police, Tosca flies to his rescue. Baron Scarpia, the corrupt police chief, gives her a horrifying choice: she can give herself to Scarpia, or she can let her lover die.

With the sounds of Cavaradossi’s torture ringing in her ears, the diva sings “Vissi di arte,” one of opera’s most famous arias, with heart-wrenching poignancy. Tosca consents long enough to obtain what she believes to be her lover’s freedom, then commits murder to save her virtue. In the end, however, the tables are turned, and with a dramatic final gesture, Tosca vows she and Scarpia will meet for judgment before God.

The company enlists artists representing all of Bulgaria’s major opera, including Gena Dimitrova, Stefka Evstatieva, Vesselina Katsarova and Nikolay Gyaurov, and collaborates with Bulgarian opera theaters and symphony orchestras and with many opera houses from across Central Europe.

The rapid artistic and professional development of the company was mostly due to the direction from the beginning of such distinguished conductors as Metodi Matakiev, Luciano di Martino and Hristo Ignatov. The opera’s orchestra, choir and ballet members are selected from among the best Bulgarian musicians, singers and dancers.

The company’s repertoire includes a wide spectrum of opera works, including “Otello,” “Aida,” “Turandot,” “Il Trovatore,” “La Boheme” and productions of the Mozart and Verdi Requiems, among other works.

An artistic discussion begins at 7:15 p.m. on the hall’s Grand Tier. This performance is sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton.

Tickets are $44, $36 and $22. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com.

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