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2 hours, 40 minutes
Two intermissions, 15 minutes each
Italian, with English Surtitles
January 14th, 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome.
Bar service available
Business to Dressy Casual
Careful not to mess with the diva! In Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, a fiery prima donna struggles to free her true love from the clutches of a ruthless police chief.
This evergreen audience favorite is filled with iconic arias and impressive musical moments, and a rousing score brings emotional extremes into sharp relief as the story rushes towards its thrilling conclusion. The crackling melodrama grabs hold from the get-go, which not only makes Tosca ideal for anyone who loves drama and music but is also a great night out for the first-time operagoer. (The English translation for this fast-paced shocker is projected above the action – instant understanding!)
Tosca is structured as a series of duets, each of which is actually an entertaining competition. The affectionate friction between the two lovers, the opera diva Tosca and artist Cavaradossi is at least as compelling as the fierce and deadly battle between the malevolent police chief Scarpia and his prey, Tosca—a competition which, her final line threatens, might just continue in the next world.
Tosca rounds out the season with an internationally renowned cast including soprano Shannon Jennings, tenor Dominick Chenes, and baritone Daniel Sutin, returning for his fifth appearance with the company. As an added bonus, OLV favorite bass-baritone Adelmo Guidarelli is featured as the Sacristan. Joshua Horsch is at the podium, Octavio Cardenas directs, Chorus Master is Joseph Svendsen.
Public domain. Photo by A. Dupont.
Giacomo Puccini[n 1] (22 December 1858 – 29 November 1924) was an Italian composer known primarily for his operas. Regarded as the greatest and most successful proponent of Italian opera after Verdi, he was descended from a long line of composers, stemming to the late-Baroque era. Though his early work was firmly rooted in traditional late-19th-century Romantic Italian opera he later developed his work in the realistic verismo style, of which he became one of the leading exponents.
Archivio Storico Ricordi, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Luigi Illica (9 May 1857 – 16 December 1919) was an Italian librettist who wrote for Giacomo Puccini (usually with Giuseppe Giacosa), Pietro Mascagni, Alfredo Catalani, Umberto Giordano, Baron Alberto Franchetti and other important Italian composers. His most famous opera libretti are those for La Bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Andrea Chénier.
Illica was born at Castell'Arquato. His personal life sometimes imitated his libretti. The reason he is always photographed with his head slightly turned is because he lost his right ear in a duel over a woman. When silent films based on Illica's operas were made, his name appeared in large letters on advertisements because distributors could only guarantee that his stories would be used, and not that they would be accompanied by the music of the appropriate composer.
As a playwright of considerable quality, he is today remembered through one of Italy's oldest awards, the Luigi Illica International Prize founded in 1961, which goes to world famous opera singers, opera conductors, directors and authors. The Award is now awarded every two years and alternates with the Illica Opera Stage International Competition, which offers prizes and debut opportunities to young singers.
Giuseppe Giacosa was born in Colleretto Parella, now Colleretto Giacosa, near Turin. His father was a magistrate. Giuseppe went to the University of Turin, studying in the University of Turin, Faculty of Law. Though he gained a degree in law, he did not pursue a legal career.
He gained initial fame for his play Una Partita a Scacchi ("A Game of Chess") in 1871. His main field was playwriting, which he accomplished with both insight and simplicity, using subjects set in Piedmont and themes addressing contemporary bourgeois values. He wrote La signora di Challant (La Dame de Challant, The Lady of Challand), based on a novella by Matteo Bandello, for noted French actress Sarah Bernhardt, produced in New York in 1891.
Giacosa wrote the final polished version of the libretto for Giacomo Puccini's Manon Lescaut, which had been begun by Ruggero Leoncavallo, Marco Praga, Domenico Oliva, and Luigi Illica. He also wrote the librettos used by Puccini for La bohème, Tosca and Madama Butterfly in conjunction with Luigi Illica. Illica supplied the plot and dialogue, and Giacosa polished the libretto into verses. Also well as the one Act play of The rights of the soul".
Praised by The Washington Post for her dramatic intensity and vocal ability, soprano Shannon Jennings continues to wow critics and audiences alike. Most recently. she joined Palm Beach Opera where she sang Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte and covered Mimì in La bohème and Nedda in Pagliacci and returned to Wolf Trap Opera to sing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 in recital, the title role in Viardot’s Cendrillon and the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd. Other recent credits include Micaëla in Carmen and the title role in Tosca with Annapolis Opera. In 2022, she looks forward to reprising the role of Tosca with Opera Las Vegas and performing Mimì in La bohème with Newport Classical and Kentucky Opera.
A Capitol District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. Jennings’ apprenticeships include Santa Fe Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program.
“…Dominick Chenes’ Rodolfo, whose remarkable stamina, vocal range, and dramatic capabilities pulled the show together into a compelling dramatic arc. His fragile relationship with Mimi was complex, and yet, by the end movingly simple…” -bachtrack, La Boheme, Welsh National Opera
Reviewed in the Huffington Post as a “breakout star” and “powerhouse lyric tenor”, tenor Dominick Chenes’ many recent engagements include debuts with Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège as Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, Alfredo in La Traviata for Tokyo New National Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago for Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and Attila , Odyssey Opera for the Earl of Essex in Britten’s Gloriana, a debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in concert arias, and Verdi’s Requiem with the Flint Symphony Orchestra. This season Dominick debuts Oper Leipzig in Bellini’s Norma (Pollione), a role he will also perform in Hong Kong later this season... Other future engagements include a return to Seattle Opera as Cavaradossi in Tosca and a return to Utah Opera for Nicias in Massenet’s Thaïs. Mr. Chenes also returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago to cover Cavaradossi.
Most recent performances include Seattle Opera as Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, Opera Colorado as Rodolfo in La Boheme, New Orleans Opera as Turiddu Cavalleria Rusticana, Valencia as Carlo in I Masnadieri conducted by music director Roberto Abbado, Cavaradossi in Tosca with the Reading Symphony, Musica Viva Hong Kong, for Pinkerton and Rodolfo, and La Reine de Saba with Odyssey Opera.
Dominick’s Lyric Opera of Chicago debut was in the role of Faust (cover). He has performed Don Jose in Carmen with Palm Beach Opera, Alfredo in La Traviata at the Pa Skaret Opera Festival in Sweden, Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera with Austin Lyric Opera, debuted Grand Theatre de Genevre as Lopas in Les Troyens with Maestro Dutoit, Cavaradossi in Tosca with the Minnesota Opera, Pinkerton for Austin Lyric Opera, Don Jose with Utah Opera, and Rodolfo with the Welsh National Opera.
Dominick is a graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts where he has performed Rodolfo in La Boheme conducted by Christofer Macatsoris. Other roles at AVA include Alfredo is La Traviata, Gherman in Pique Dame, and Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera. He made his Alice Tully Hall debut with the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, as well as a concert for the Gerda Lissner Foundation in Zankel Hall.
Dominick was awarded second prize from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, third prize from the Mario Lanza Competition and a Grant from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation. He was also a finalist in the Meistersinger Competition in Graz Austria.
Baritone Daniel Sutin recently sang the role of the villainous police chief Baron Scarpia in the Northern Lights Music Festival’s critically acclaimed production of Tosca, the first North American opera production to be performed with social distancing. Upcoming engagements include Don Fernando in Fidelio with Polish National Opera, and the title role in Rigoletto with Opera North. In 2019-20, Mr. Sutin covered the title role in Wozzeck at the Metropolitan Opera. The 2018-19 season marked his debut with Arizona Opera as Giorgio Germont in La Traviata. In 2017-18, Mr. Sutin’s engagements included Baron Scarpia in Boston Lyric Opera’s new production of Tosca, Giacomo in Giovanna d’Arco with Odyssey Opera, and his return to Chicago to cover Alberich in Siegfried. He also debuted with San Francisco Opera to cover Alberich in their complete Ring Cycle.
In 2015-16, Daniel debuted the role of Jokanaan in Salome with the Detroit Symphony, sang Don Fernando in Fidelio with Cincinnati Opera, Iago in Otello with the Phoenicia Festival of Voice, Enrico Ashton in Lucia di Lammermoor with Boheme Opera of New Jersey, and covered the title role of Wozzeck and Alberich in Das Rheingold at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Alberich in the complete Der Ring des Nibelungen at Washington National Opera. In 2014, Daniel Sutin sang the title role of Wozzeck at the Metropolitan Opera, stepping in at the last moment for an indisposed Thomas Hampson, and was the One-Eyed Brother in Die Frau ohne Schatten. Other engagements for the 2014-15 season included Biterolf in Tannhäuser (Lyric Opera of Chicago),and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly (Hawaii Opera Theatre). In 2013, he sang Giorgio Germont in La Traviata(Savonlinna Opera Festival, Finland), the title role of Rigoletto (Musica Viva, The Opera Society of Hong Kong), Konrad Nachtigall in Die Meistersinger von Nurmberg (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Tonio in I Pagliacci (Austin Lyric Opera), and Valentin in Faust (Boheme Opera of New Jersey). Highlights of the 2011-12 season include Mr. Sutin’s debut at Boston Lyric Opera in the title role of Macbeth, and Marcello in Opera Fairbanks’ production of La Boheme.
In 2010-11, he returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Sonora in La Fanciulla del West, sang the role of Paolo Albiani in Simon Boccanegra (L’Opéra de Montréal), Iago in Otello (Palm Beach Opera), and was at the Metropolitan Opera for Wozzeck and Boris Godunov. In addition he sang Baron Scarpia in Las Vegas Opera’s Production of Tosca. 2009-10 season highlights: Peter, the Father (cover) in Hänsel und Gretel (Metropolitan Opera), title role of Rigoletto (San Antonio Opera and Nashville Opera), and Paolo in Simon Boccanegra (Canadian Opera Company. 2008-09 marked Mr. Sutin’s debut with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as Sonora in La Fanciulla del West. In addition, he sang Sharpless in Madama Butterfly (Savonlinna Opera Festival, Michigan Opera Theatre). 2007-08 was his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut, as the One-Eyed Brother in Die Frau ohne Schatten. It also was his seventh season at the Metropolitan Opera, where he was Paris in Roméo et Juliette. Other season highlights include Giorgio Germont in La Traviata (Reisoper Nederlandse), and Sergeant Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore (San Antonio Opera). Following a Verdi Gala for the Santa Barbara Opera to open the 2006-7 season, Mr. Sutin was heard at the Metropolitan in the world premiere of Tan Dun’s The First Emperor, and sang Orest in Elektra(Canadian Opera Company) and Conte di Luna in Il Trovatore (Caramoor Festival).
Adelmo is excited to return to Opera Las Vegas for his fourth production! You saw him last season as Don Pasquale and since then he has portrayed various roles including Zuniga in Carmen with Salt Marsh Opera, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro with Shreveport Opera, Don Alfonzo in Cosi Fan Tutte with Cedar Rapids Opera and Morales/Zuniga with Helena Symphony. He is a GRAMMY award winning soloist and in addition to opera landed two national TV commercials for SONY’s PS4 Pro “Opera Campaign,” one of which debuted during the 2018 Super Bowl game day coverage on NBC. He is a featured soloist on the GRAMMY award winning album “All The Sounds” by Lucy Kalantari and The Jazz Cats as “Mr. Opera Man” and has hosted a TV show called “Voices Among Us.” He won The MAC Award for “Best Comedy Performer” for the opera comedy show OPERATION OPERA, was invited by Ryan Seacrest to perform Mozart’s “Non più andrai” on his E! Channel series Bank of Hollywood, was heard on a national commercial for Lidia’s Italian Gourmet Kitchen, and is a featured soloist on a German Children’s CD called "Der Kleine Tanzbar Schubidu". He is also part of the SONY MBA (Music Business Association) catalog singing the seasonal hits “A Christmas Toast” and “Sing Your Song” (lyrics by Michael MacKenzie Wills). His debut solo album titled “Treasured Songs of Italy & Germany” spawned an International Association of Independent Recording Artists (IAIRA) certified International #1 hit for his dual language version of “Funiculi, Funicula”, and he won The Akademia Music Award for Best Gospel Song for his rendition of “Sweet Little Jesus Boy”. He is a voting member of The Recording Academy and an annual participant at the Grammy Awards.
Bass-baritone Paul Houghtaling has sung a diverse repertoire throughout the U.S. and abroad. Career highlights include the Philip Glass soundtrack to Reggio’s film Naqoyqatsi for SONY, on which he is a feature vocalist; several Carnegie Hall solo appearances with Cecelia Chorus of New York, American Composers Orchestra, and others; U.S. tours with the Waverly Consort, including Kennedy Center appearances; and “Opera Buffa: Comedy On Stage” on Lincoln Center’s “Meet the Artists” series. Recent seasons included Ko-Ko in The Mikado with Anchorage Opera, Natchez Opera, and Opera Saratoga; Sir Joseph in H.M.S. Pinafore for Nashville Opera; a return to Mobile Opera as stage director and Angelotti in Tosca; and his debut with Opera Birmingham as Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore. He has also appeared with the Central City, Baltimore, Boston Lyric, Knoxville, Long Beach, Natchez, Opera on the James, and Santa Fe Operas, and the Metropolitan Opera Guild, among others, and has created roles in works by Philip Glass, Lee Hoiby, Michael Ching and others.
Marshall Morrow has recently performed Schaunard in Vegas City Opera’s La Boheme, along with Tom/John (The Face on the Barroom Floor), The Pirate King (Pirate of Penzance), Corporal and Sulpice (Daughter of the Regiment), Escamillo (Carmen), Marcello (La Bohéme in Concert), Gamekeeper (Cunning Little Vixen), Father (Hansel and Gretel), and Papageno (The Magic Flute). Opera News stated Marshall Morrow “tall, thin and hilariously snooty, showed real comic skill” (Isouard’s Cendrillon). Previously Marshall performed the role of Rambaldo in La Rondine as a Young Artist at Lidal North in Oslo, Norway. His roles include Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Dandini in Isouard's Cendrillon and the summer of 2017, Marshall performed the role of Le Surintendant des plaisirs in Massenet's Cendrillon the role title of Don Giovanni at Trentino Music Festival. Other performance credits include the role of Miton in the U.S. premiere of Delibes' Le Roi L'a Dit. Marshall performed/ created the role of Gregory in a workshop of Vera by Matthew Barnson in collaboration with American Opera Project. Marshall has sung with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Alan Gilbert.
Travis is thrilled to be making his Opera Las Vegas debut this season. “Opera Legends in Black is a wonderful program to honor the many artists that paved the way for singers of color today.” A native of Lansing, Michigan, Travis holds degrees from Lansing Community College, Western Michigan University, and will be finishing his master’s degree in vocal performance at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, this spring. He currently studies under the guidance of Dr. Alfonse Anderson. He would like to thank his teachers, friends, and family for their undying love and support. Travis will be seen later this season when he makes his professional role debut as Spoletta in Opera Las Vegas’s production of Tosca.
Baritone, Chase Orlando Gutierrez, a Las Vegas native young artist whose personable and charismatic singing has taken him from Las Vegas to Spain. Mr. Gutierrez has performed in numerous operas throughout the years: Don Alfonso in Così fan Tutte, Jupiter in Orpheus in the Underworld (English), The Notary in Don Pasquale, The Notary/Buoso Donati in Gianni Schicchi, Thierry in Dialogues of the Carmelites (English), Quartet Chorus of Dido and Aenaeus, Chorus of Pirates of Penzance, and Chorus of La Cenerentola. In concert Chase has performed as the baritone soloist in Charpentier’s Te Deum, and has sung spirituals throughout Spain and Portugal. Chase is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at UNLV under the supervision of Dr. Alfonse Anderson. Outside of the world of opera Chase is a multimedia specialist as the onsite audio engineer and photographer in his studio.
Praised for conducting with “steady acumen and considerable aplomb” and “awesome control” (Opera Today), Joshua Horsch is an extremely versatile operatic and symphonic conductor. A two-time winner of the American Prize in Opera Conducting Joshua serves as Music Director and Principal Conductor of Opera Las Vegas. Joshua’s recent and upcoming conducting engagements include appearances with Atlanta Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Orlando, Mobile Opera, Pacific Opera Project, Opera Las Vegas, Tri-Cities Opera, and Chicago Summer Opera.
With a diverse repertoire of over fifty operas and a broad spectrum of orchestral and choral works, Joshua has recently held positions as a conductor/coach/chorus master on the music staff of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Opera Theatre, Florida Grand Opera, North Carolina Opera, Opera Saratoga, Pensacola Opera, Fort Worth Opera, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Colorado Music Festival. Joshua’s guest and workshop conducting includes work with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Omaha Symphony, the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra and Chorus, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquestra Filharmonia de Chihuahua, the Lyatoshinsky Chamber Orchestra, the Newport Music Festival, the Colorado New Music Ensemble, the PENDULUM New Music Ensemble, the Boston Opera Collaborative, and the Boulder Bach Festival.
As a dedicated interpreter of new works, Joshua has enjoyed a number of collaborations with many of today’s leading composers including Tom Cipullo, Jennifer Higdon, and Libby Larsen. For two seasons, Joshua served as Music Director/Conductor of the CU New Opera Workshop where he collaborated with composers Libby Larsen and Alberto Caruso as well as author Colm Tóibín and stage director Ron Daniels. At Seagle Music Colony’s American Center for New Works Development, Joshua has conducted and played workshops for new works by Libby Larsen and Scott Eyerly. For four seasons, Joshua served as conductor/co-founder of the Colorado New Music Ensemble where he programmed and conducted works ranging from John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 2 to Susan Botti’s chamber opera Telaio: Desdemona. While a Festival Artist/Conductor at the Newport Music Festival, Joshua conducted members of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Providence Singers in a series of contemporary choral/orchestral masterworks.
Stage director Octavio Cardenas captivates audiences with his visionary, visceral, and physical style of directing. Opera News has praised him for creating “an immersive theater experience” while the Dallas Morning News hailed him for bringing “every character and situation to life.” Recent projects include Lohengrin by Salvatore Sciarrino as a pop-up digital opera installation: a site-specific opera for COVID times in collaboration with artist Lance McGoldrick and Opera Southwest, Cruzar la cara de la Luna with Opera Santa Barbara, and the World Premiere of Zorro with Fort Worth Opera, Barber of Seville with Opera Delaware, and Florencia en el Amazonas with Opera at Chapman.
Mr. Cardenas’ recent productions of Silent Night for Fort Worth Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City were described as “a breathtaking realization” with “many brilliant touches.” The Kansas City Star called the Lyric Opera’s production “one of its finest performances in recent memory.” Other recent productions include La boheme for Minnesota opera to which the Start Tribune acclaimed, “what makes the production a success, is Octavio Cardenas’ staging.” His production of As One for UrbanArias was acclaimed by MD Theater Guide, “Under the direction of Octavio Cardenas, the two stars playfully make great use of both stage and energetic space—it seemed the theatre condensed and expanded with Hannah’s journey.”
He has served as the Director of Baylor Opera, Head of Directing Staff at Des Moines Metro Opera and has also been on the directing staff at Chautauqua Opera. Mr. Cardenas is currently the Visiting Director of Opera at Chapman University and will be joining the Faculty at Eastman School of Music this coming Fall.
Joseph Svendsen an American conductor, tenor, and academic with experience in a diverse array of vocal music performance, study, and leadership. He serves as Co-Director of Choral Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Director of Choirs and Devotional Music at Faith Community Lutheran Church in Summerlin. He is in his fifth season as chorus master for Opera Las Vegas.
Svendsen has performed or conducted professionally in Ireland, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Czechia, South Korea, and Canada, as well as many of the finest performance venues across the United States. A leggero tenor, he specializes in Baroque repertoire and chamber choir, performing with various professional ensembles across the United States and Europe.
Svendsen’s academic experiences are wide-ranging, teaching high school, college, church, and professional ensembles. He has presented at state, regional, national, and international professional conferences and symposia, with emphases in critical pedagogy in the choral rehearsal and sacred choral music. Svendsen specializes in repertoire from before 1800 and sacred music from a variety of faith and spiritual traditions, particularly Lutheranism.
Svendsen holds a Doctor of Music in Conducting from Texas Tech University, a MM from the University of Illinois, and BAs from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.