The concert I attended last Friday (May 19) by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra wasn’t a “special” event. While guest pianist Jonathan Biss no doubt attracted plenty of piano-philes to the Chan Centre, there were no large-scale works, no world premieres, or anything else that could be called remarkable. A program comprised of a Schumann overture, a Mozart piano concerto and a Haydn symphony requires an orchestra of only modest proportions – the VSO consisted of about three dozen players on this occasion – and doesn’t stand out as unusual in any way.
Tosca is a real “opera opera” – bursting with dramatic situations, culminating in a murder, an double-crossed execution and a suicide. The musicologist Joseph Kerman famously dismissed it as a “shabby little shocker” – but I’m pleased to admit that it’s my favourite Puccini opera.
So I arrived at the Four Seasons Centre on Saturday evening (May 6) with high hopes. And the focus of my heightened expectations was the opportunity to once again hear Toronto’s own Adrianne Pieczonka in the title role. (She previously appeared with the Canadian Opera Company as Tosca in 2012.) Although she’s best known for her German-language roles, she often appears in Tosca: in recent year’s she has portrayed the ill-fated Italian singer in Berlin and Vienna, and next year she’ll sing the role at Covent Garden.
I'm a composer and writer based in Toronto – and this is my classical music blog, Eatock Daily.
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