Puccini’s “Tosca” returns to Bogotá’s Teatro Mayor

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Puccin's "Tosca" returns to Teatro Mayor for two performances in February. Photo: Juan Diego Castillo

One of the most staged operas of all time – Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca” – returns to Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo with two performances on February 24 and 26. Directed by Pedro Salazar, and conducted by musical director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, “Tosca” is accompanied by the National Symphony of Colombia (OSNC) and youth choirs of the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra (OFB).

This co-production between Teatro Mayor and Compañía Estable features renowned soloists on the international opera circuit, among them, Austrian soprano Martina Serafin, British tenor Adam Smith, Argentine baritone Fabián Veloz, and five Colombian leading voices: Jacobo Ochoa, Valeriano Lanchas, Manuel Franco, Camilo Mendoza and Julián Usama.

Based on Napoleon Bonaparte’s victory against the Austrian forces during the battle of Marengo, on June 14, 1800 – a turbulent episode that sent shock waves across Italy’s fractured political landscape – when “Tosca” premiered at the Costanzi Theatre in Rome on January 14, 1900, Puccini was barely thirty-years old.

Puccini had originally composed this work to be performed by the French diva Sarah Bernhardt. The three-act opera was deplored by critics for its violence, but the public was enthralled. Reviving historical events that took place almost 100 years before its premiere, Puccini’s masterpiece is his fifth opera and based on a play by Frenchman Victorien Sardou.

With seditious overtones, and a melodrama of love, hate, passion and death, “Tosca” is Puccini’s second-most performed opera after “La Bohème,” and among the many musical highlights of the Teatro Mayor’s production are the hauntingly beautiful arias “E lucevan le stelle”, “O dolci mani”, “Amor que seppe a te” and “Vissi d’arte”.

In the title roles, Tosca will be played by soprano Martina Serafin, the mural painter Cavaradossi by Adam Smith, Rome’s villanous police chief Baron Scarpia by Fabián Veloz, the Sacristan by Valeriano Lanchas; political prisoner Cesare Angelotti by bass Jacobo Ochoa, and police agent Spoletta by tenor Manuel Franco.

Known for his energetic interpretation of great classical works, the Medellín-conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada led the Houston Symphony Orchestra as music director from 2014-2022, and was also Chief Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (2020-2022).

Orozco-Estrada regularly conducts Europe’s leading orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Orchestre National de France, as well as major U.S. orchestras such as Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra. Orozco-Estrada has also conducted opera performances at the Berlin State Opera and Salzburg Festival.

The performance at Teatro Mayor on Friday, February 24, starts at 8:00 pm and on Sunday, February 26, at 5:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the theatre’s box office or online at www.teatromayor.org.

Tickets range in price from COP$45,000 (upper balcony) to COP$280,000.

Teatro Mayor JMSD – Calle 170 No.67-51.