A High-Stakes Thriller
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Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
Premiered January 14, 1900, Teatro Costanzi (Rome, Italy)
The 2021-22 Season opens with Puccini’s heart-racing drama, overflowing with power struggles and vengeance. A corrupt chief of police has a cruel ultimatum for Tosca, Rome’s most-celebrated prima donna. She must submit to his lustful desires or trigger the execution of her beloved. Who will survive this web of betrayal and revenge?
November 6, 9, 12, 14 | 2021
The Ellie Caulkins Opera House at Denver Performing Arts Complex
Performed in Italian, with English and Spanish subtitles at every seat
Estimated Length: Two hours, forty-five minutes, including one 25-minute intermission and one 20-minute intermission
Sets and costumes provided by Seattle Opera.
This opera explores themes of violence, sexual assault, and suicide.
Soprano Melissa Citro’s most recent engagements include the role of Minnie in La fanciulla del West both with Michigan Opera Theatre and Opera Colorado, Marina in Dvořák’s rarely heard Dmitrij at the Bard Festival, Gutrune in San Francisco Opera’s production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. She also made her Washington Opera debut as Gutrune in Götterdämmerung, the roles of Rusalka and Rosailinde in Die Fledermaus with New Orleans Opera, La Wally with the Dallas Opera, and Senta in The Flying Dutchman with Lyric Opera Kansas City.
Tenor Rafael Davila made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2017 as Don José in Carmen. Other recent engagements include Des Grieux in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut with the San Francisco Opera, the Liceu in Barcelona, and Valencia, Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West with Minnesota Opera and Michigan Opera Theatre, a Zarzuela gala at the Mariinsky, Don José and Verdi’s Don Carlo with the Washington National Opera, his debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago as General Alfredo in the world premiere of Bel Canto, his debut with the Macerata Festival and his return to Teatro San Carlo as Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana and Canio in Pagliacci.
Opera Colorado debut
Mexican baritone Luis Ledesma has established a reputation as a “rich and well controlled baritone” (Opera News). He frequently portrays the heroes and villains of Puccini, Verdi, and the bel canto masters, as well as roles in recent new works in Spanish including Florencia en el Amazonas and El pasado nunca se termina. Recent seasons include US debuts with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, San Diego Opera, and a return to NYCO Opera.
Recent engagements include Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Opera Omaha and Pacific Symphony, Augustino in El pasado nunca se termina with Fort Worth Opera, Carmina Burana with the Acadiana Symphony, and the title role of Macbeth with Syracuse Opera. Next, he will return to Opera Colorado as Scarpia in Tosca.
Opera Colorado debut
Stefano de Peppo is one of opera’s busiest singing actors sought for Italian character bass parts. Notable roles include the title role in Don Pasquale, Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’Amore, Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Mustafa in L’Italiana in Algeri, Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Leporello in Don Giovanni, the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, and Alphonso in Così fan tutte. Theaters in which he has appeared include the Finnish National Opera, Estates Theater in Prague, Teatro Argentina, Jerez de la Frontiera, Gran Teatro de Cordoba, and Tenerife, Teatro Colon, Teatro Bellas Artes, Teatro Aquascalientes, Monterrey, Mexico, National Theater of Costa Rica, New Israeli Opera, Royal Albert Hall (London), Opera Hamilton, Los Angeles Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, The Atlanta Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Memphis, Minnesota Opera, Opera New Jersey, Palm Beach Opera, San Diego Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Tampa, and Washington National Opera. He performed at Opera Colorado in 2019 for the Barber of Seville and the Marriage of Figaro. A native Italian, Mr. de Peppo began his musical career as a member of the Children’s Chorus of Teatro alla Scala of Milan for seven years, after which he undertook vocal studies at Civic School of Music in Milan.
Appointed in 2015 as Opera Colorado’s first-ever music director, Ari Pelto’s “breathtaking wizardry in the pit” (The Denver Post) has been widely celebrated, with Pelto in demand at opera houses and concert halls throughout the United States. At the age of 24, Pelto was appointed Assistant Conductor at the Spoleto Festival and he has since gone on to conduct worldwide. International engagements include performances with Bochumer Philharmoniker and opera productions at New National Theatre of Tokyo and the Teatro Nacional Sucre in Quito, Ecuador. In 2004 he made his highly-praised debut with New York City Opera, conducting La Traviata, after which he became a regular, returning for productions of Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, and Carmen. Recent successes include Eugene Onegin at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Lucia di Lammermoor at Virginia Opera, and La Voix Humaine at Chicago Opera Theater. Here in Denver, he has led many acclaimed performances, including this season’s La Traviata. Opera Colorado is pleased to announce an extension of Pelto’s contract through the 2023-24 season.
In recent seasons, Louisa Muller has directed at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Opera Queensland, and Atlanta Opera. She received considerable critical acclaim for her 2017 staging of Das Rheingold with the New York Philharmonic, which the New York Times called “riveting…a remarkable evening of music theater” and named one of the Best Classical Music Performances of the year. For Wolf Trap Opera she has directed new productions of Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, The Rape of Lucretia, Tosca, and Roméo et Juliette. Muller is in her eleventh season on the directing staff of the Metropolitan Opera, where she has helmed revivals of Don Giovanni, Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci, and L’elisir d’amore. She is on the faculty of the Scuola di Belcanto in Urbania, Italy.
Opera Colorado debut
The Ellie Caulkins Opera House
- 14 2021