Portland, February 1st, 2013. Opening night of  The Portland Opera‘s Tosca brought fans to their feet. With featured American soprano Kara Shay Thomson in the title role, the sweeping production epitomizes vibrant opera on a grand scale. Diehard opera fans and first time attendees were riveted by the production.

Here’s the story of Tosca from The Portland Opera:

When her lover, Cavaradossi, faces execution for aiding a political prisoner, Tosca must make an unthinkable choice: submit to the loathsome Baron Scarpia, chief of police … or send her true love to the firing squad. Her decision brings the opera to a breathtaking climax.

A passionate tour de force, Puccini’s thriller has been beloved by audiences since its premiere. The revival of this grand production is  a Tosca to remember.

Kara Shay Thomson as Tosca, Mark Schnaible as Scarpia, © Portland Opera / Cory Weaver

Kara Shay Thomson as Tosca, Mark Schnaible as Scarpia,
(Photo credit, Portland Opera/Cory Weaver

Tosca is sung in Italian with English projections above the stage and runs 2 hours, 45 minutes. Tickets are available online, or by calling the box office at 503-241-1802 (m-f, 9-5). Performances continue through Feb 9th.

Here’s a video from the dress rehearsal of the “Vissi d’arte”. It’s the aria from act II of the opera. It is sung by Tosca as she thinks of her fate and how the life of her beloved, Mario Cavaradossi, is at the mercy of Baron Scarpia.

This is a translation of the Italian she sings:

I lived for art, I lived for love,
I never did harm to a living soul!
With a secret hand
I relieved as many misfortunes as I knew of.
Ever in true faith
My prayer
Rose to the holy shrines.
Ever in true faith
I gave flowers to the altar.
In the hour of grief
Why, why, Lord,
Why do you reward me thus?
I gave jewels for the Madonna’s mantle,
And songs for the stars, in heaven,
That shone forth with greater radiance.
In the hour of grief
Why, why, Lord,
Ah, why do you reward me thus?

Kara Shay Thomson as Tosca, © Portland Opera / Cory Weaver

Kara Shay Thomson as Tosca, (Photo credit, Portland Opera / Cory Weaver)


Tosca, Kara Shay Thomson

Cavaradossi, Roger Honeywell

Spoletta, Matthew Grills

Jailer, Anton Belov

Sciarrone, André Chiang

Scarpia, Mark Schnaible

Sacristan, Thomas Hammons

Angelotti, Nicholas Nelson

Jailer, Anton Belov

Stage Director, David Kneuss

Conductor, Joseph Colaneri

Lighting Designer, Don Darnutzer

Performances continue…

Feb 3, 2013
Sunday 2:00 pm
Feb 7, 2013
Thursday 7:30 pm
Feb 9, 2013
Saturday 7:30 pm