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Passionate theatregoers have a once in a life-time opportunity to experience and support a 99.9% proudly Pretoria production of Tosca from 21-28 May.
Tosca is one of the foremost examples of verismo opera composed by Giacomo Puccini who is considered by some to be the greatest composer of Italian opera after Giuseppe Verdi.
Although Puccini had started work on the opera in 1895, the three act-opera to the libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa premiered in Rome on 14 January 1900.
The storyline has all the trimmings of a real-life drama and promises to keep the audience enthralled right to the very end. Despite being set against the background of famous landmarks in Rome, Tosca is at its core based on the universal tale of unwavering love that seeks to conquer the dire consequences of tyranny. Passionate love, irrational jealousy and malevolent manipulation are the emotional ingredients skilfully combined into a thrilling melodrama. Members of the audience will be drawn into the unfolding saga and dramatic interplay between the diva, Floria Tosca and her lover Mario Cavaradossi when confronted with the dire outcome of the villain, Baron Scarpia’s, artful schemes.
Pretoria Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Gerben Grooten, is a community-based orchestra in existence for more than ten years. Its members are enthusiastic about the promotion of classical symphonic music with audiences, both young and old, in an around the Tshwane metropolitan area. The orchestra’s members come from all walks of life and commit their time, talents and energies on a voluntary basis towards regular public performances of standard classical symphonic repertoire at a professional level.
“This opportunity to collaborate with the South African State Theatre is an investment in the promotion of arts and culture amongst the residents of the greater Tshwane metropolitan area. It gives local classical musicians, operatic soloists, choristers and theatre technicians from Pretoria and surrounds the opportunity to stage a complete opera which is 99.99% a proudly Pretoria product,” says orchestra manager, Lizette Vosloo.
Pretoria Symphony Orchestra will perform with the celebrated and talented Pretoria-born diva, Loveline Madumo, in the leading role as Floria Tosca with the German tenor, Markus Ahme as Mario Cavaradossi. The role of the malevolent chief of police, Scarpia, is sung by Pretoria based bass baritone, Christiaan Snyman with supporting roles sung by Thabang Senekal (the Sacristan), Chris Mostert (Spoletta) and Rex Nigrini (Sciaronne and the Jailer). The opera chorus is made up of members from three Pretoria based choirs, the Amazwi Kantu Choir, the Magaliesberg Children’s Choir and Armonia Theatre Chorus.
The up-and-coming director from Pretoria, Tinus Spies, will take charge of what happens on stage with musical direction by Gerben Grooten who is actively involved in music development in the greater Tshwane metropolitan area. Students and lecturers of the Tshwane University of Technology will be involved in the technical aspects of the production to afford them with an opportunity to put their theoretical knowledge to the test in what promises to be an awe-inspiring production.