July 14, 1994
Vol. 14, No. 1

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    'Tosca' opens opera festival

    The Summer Opera Festival will open its fifth season with Giacomo Puccini's "Tosca" at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 15 and 16, in Hutchinson Courtyard.

    Professional singers from the Chicago area will join the University Symphony Orchestra and Summer Opera Chorus in a new production staged by Michael Kotze, director of the Summer Opera Festival '93 production of "Fidelio." The two performances of "Tosca" will be sung in Italian and conducted by Barbara Schubert, Senior Lecturer in Music and artistic director of the Summer Opera Festival. The festival is produced by Schubert and the members of the University Symphony Orchestra.

    Puccini's "Tosca" -- based on the 1887 play that Victorien Sardou wrote for Sarah Bernhardt -- is a passionate melodrama about Tosca, a well-known, beautiful and heroic opera singer; the young and romantic Cavaradossi, a painter; and Scarpia, the treacherous yet refined police chief.

    Soprano Angela Stramaglia, a frequent soloist with Illinois Opera Theater and Lincoln Opera of Chicago, will play the title role. Tenor Philip Webb, the 1993 winner of the Chicago Bel Canto Foundation's Grand Prize, will play Cavaradossi, and baritone William Diana will portray Scarpia.

    Kotze, director of "Tosca," will also direct and perform as Pish-Tush in the upcoming production of "The Mikado," which will be performed on Friday and Saturday, July 22 and 23. The production will feature the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company and the Gilbert & Sullivan Summer Opera Orchestra and will be conducted by Guy Victor Bordo.

    The festival will conclude on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 5 and 6, with a performance of Bruce Saylor's new opera, "Orpheus Descending," by the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, the resident training and performance wing of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The performances will be accompanied by the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, directed by Barbara Schubert.

    All performances will begin at 8 p.m. in Hutchinson Courtyard. In case of rain, the performances will be held in Mandel Hall. Tickets for each performance are $12 in advance, $14 at the door, with a $4 discount for students. Series discounts are available. For more information or to order tickets, call 702-8069.