Favorite

Powerful trio 

‘Tosca’ Wildwood Park June 19 This reviewer being relatively new to opera and having never experienced “Tosca,” we can’t compare the Wildwood Festival’s version of the Puccini classic to any other staging. Let us just say that what we saw was a marvelous presentation, highlighted by three of the best singing voices this area will see. Gregory Pearson, Christine Donahue and George Dyer, who are all veterans of director Ann Chotard’s opera productions at Wildwood, each had an act to shine above the others, and their performances brought rousing applause from the two-thirds-filled Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre on Sunday afternoon. “Tosca” is Shakesperean in its tragic story of two lovers, Mario Cavaladossi and Tosca, whose care for an escaped convict opens the door for another suitor, the evil, dressed-in-all-black Scarpia, to try to steal Tosca from Mario and kill his rival at the same time. With so many deadly sins working at the same time, you know this can’t end happily, and it doesn’t. The program (a cheap Xerox copy rather than a playbill) outlines all this, so nothing’s a surprise even to the uninitiated. Which leads us to our biggest gripe: Tosca supposedly commits suicide at the end, but with Donahue, who has murdered Scarpia and is distraught over Mario’s “mock” execution gone bad, running off stage pursued by authorities and simply screaming, that’s ambiguous. A chorus sings off stage at times, unseen. And even though the orchestra was scaled down by half so as not to dominate the stage, Dyer’s tenor was at times inaudible with the other voices. But, alone in the third act wailing out his predicament, Dyer’s Mario is commanding. Donahue shows a variety of emotions and incredible range in the second act. Pearson, a dominating presence as Scarpia, is a terrific baritone who sets the tone in the first act. The Poitr Sulkowski-led orchestra presents a beautiful score throughout; I can see why “Tosca” is so loved by opera fans.
Favorite

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Judge won't back effort to stop demolition of bridge at Clarendon

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported this morning that a deadline to work out a deal to save the abandoned U.S. 79 bridge at Clarendon had passed with no deal between preservationists and the state. It was no surprise.
    • Jul 19, 2018
  • Batesville schools prepare to arm up

    Batesville is the latest in what is likely to be a long list of school districts opting to put more guns on campus in the hands of staff members who've undergone a state training course. KARK reports.
    • Jul 19, 2018
  • More Republicans feel heat on GOP tax deadbeat

    Three weeks too late, Republican Rep. Charlie Collins has announced that his Republican colleague, Rep. Mickey Gates of Hot Springs, should resign from the House and quit the race for re-election because of six pending counts of felony failure to pay state income taxes. Gates, you remember, hasn't paid state taxes for 15 years and has deadbeat the state on withholding payments, too.
    • Jul 19, 2018
  • More »

More by Jim Harris

  • Travs return

    And much more.
    • Apr 5, 2018
  • More »

Latest in Music Reviews

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation