Saturday night we performed Tosca in Winnipeg. It was a great show and the orchestra is playing very well. The musicians here are very dedicated and supportive, lovely people to work with who listen to the singers and adjust when necessary. The singers are top-notch including some “old pros” in the roles (for example, Richard Margison has sung Cavaradossi over 100 times with numerous leading opera companies in the world) as well as a Tosca, Wendy Nielsen, who is making her debut with Manitoba Opera singing this role for only the second time thus far in her career. She is fabulous and a joy to work with. It has been a great debut for her and I am sure she will be singing this role a lot in the years to come. The Sacristan is sung by Peter Strummer who sang the same role with me when I first conducted this opera 16 years ago and is one of the best in the business for these specialized roles and the menacing Scarpia is sung by one of Canada’s leading baritones Gaetan Laperriere. The chorus is very strong here in Winnipeg where there is a great tradition of choral singing and are lovely, friendly people as well.
See what the audience has say after the dress rehearsal on this mini-video:
Also, here is what the local paper thinks of the show: