KNO opens 2016-2017 season with ‘Tosca’

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Oct 12, 2016 - 17:01
  • Updated : Oct 12, 2016 - 17:01

Kicking off its 2016-2017 season, the Korea National Opera is gearing up to present its latest rendition of one of the operatic world’s most tragic love stories -- Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca.”

The Italian libretto will be staged from Oct. 13 to 16 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater.

In this production, the KNO has brought together world-renowned international singers and creators on one stage for a fresh, collaborative performance.

Bringing to life some of the most heart-wrenching vocal melodies of the 20th century, Italian conductor Carlo Montanaro, known for his work as the music director at the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, will be joined by director Daniele Abbado in a grand-scale orchestration of Puccini’s iconic arias such as “Recondita armonia,” “E lucevan le stelle” and “Vissi d’arte.”

The upcoming performance also stars internationally celebrated soprano Alexia Voulgaridou and Saioa Hernandez as Tosca, tenor Massimo Giordano as Cavaradossi and baritone Claudio Sgura in the role of Scarpia. 

A scene from the Korea National Opera’s latest production of G. Puccini’s “Tosca,” which will be staged from Oct. 13 to 16 at the Seoul Arts Center. (Korea National Opera)

Superbly cast as the two inseparable lovers Tosca and Cavaradossi, Voulgaridou and Giordano’s stage chemistry is as mesmerizing as the duo’s poignant vocals. From the passionate kissing scenes to the intimate serenades of their love and devotion to each other, Voulgaridou and Giordano are a match made in operatic heaven.

In particular, the tenor’s transcendent rendition of “E lucevan le stelle” in the final act and the soprano’s channeling of her inner Callas when belting out “Vissi d’arte” were enough to elevate the emotions of the audience to a new realm.

Based on Victorian Sardou’s French-language dramatic play “La Tosca,” the opera “Tosca” is widely considered one of Puccini’s greatest works.

Set in Rome during the French Revolutionary period, this operatic masterpiece tells the tale of the tragic love story of the celebrated singer Tosca, artist Cavaradossi and the sadistic police chief Scarpia.

The upcoming season opener will also star tenor Alfred as Kim Cavaradossi, baritone Seng Hyoun-ko as Scarpia, bassists Sohn Chul-ho and Lee Doo-young as Angelotti, baritones Sung Seung-min, Choi Kong-seok as Sacristan, tenor Min Kyeoung-hwan as Spoletta and bass singer Lee Joon-seuk as Sciarrone.

Ticket prices range from 10,000 won ($8.91) to 150,000 won. For more information, call (02) 1588-2514.

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)