Opera Santa Barbara opens its 20th Anniversary Season on Nov. 8 with Tosca, Giacomo Puccini’s iconic tale of love and betrayal.
“Going into our 20th Anniversary, we wanted to celebrate Opera Santa Barbara’s rich history and bright future in equal parts,” says General Director Steven Sharpe. “Later this season, we present two Opera Santa Barbara premieres, so we wanted to open with a piece that honors our roots. Tosca is the perfect choice; in addition to being a great piece of music-drama, it exemplifies the kind of work that has formed the musical backbone of Opera Santa Barbara’s repertoire over the years.”
Tosca is equal parts riveting melodrama, shocking political thriller and passionate love story. The opera is set in Rome in the period immediately following the French Revolution as Napoleon began battling for the domination of Italy. Floria Tosca is a glamorous opera singer who must wage her own war against Rome’s sadistic chief of police to save the life of the man she loves. As passionate as she is devout, Tosca must make an unthinkable choice as the story comes to a hair-raising conclusion in one of opera’s most breathtaking climaxes.
Opera Santa Barbara’s Artistic Director, Jose Maria Condemi (who will also stage direct this production) can attest to Tosca’s enduring power: “I can’t help but marvel at Puccini’s unerring sense of dramatic flair,” Condemi says. “The story of the opera and its themes of devotion to love and art, and the corruption of power have always captivated me.”