Teatro Lirico gives often compelling performance of ‘Tosca’

Teatro Lirico D'Europa gave an often compelling production of Puccini's "Tosca" Wednesday night at P
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Teatro Lirico D’Europa gave an often compelling production of Puccini’s “Tosca” Wednesday night at Proctors.

The touring company, which this season will put on at least 30 productions of the opera, always puts its best foot forward. For this show, the voices were uniformly big and solid and the acting frequently kept pace with the quality of singing.

Bulgarian soprano Elena Razglaeva as Tosca had a lovely even range, luscious tones, and a clarity to her phrasing that was appealing. All her arias were done well. However, she projected the greatest amount of emotion in her second act aria in which she asks God why He rewards her this way.

She posed just long enough on the parapet before jumping at the end to allow the huge crowd to get caught up in the moment.

There was good chemistry with the charming Bulgarian tenor Orlin Goranov as her lover Cavaradossi. His voice soared easily through his famous arias, although the top notes sometimes got a bit harsh. He was also light on his feet and ambled about the stage in a comfortable and realistic way.

Bass-baritone William Powers projected the lecherous, rapacious character of Scarpia through an expressive face and a nonchalant manner that quickly became malevolent. Except for his sardonic laugh at the end of Act I which was a bit extended, he never satirized Scarpia. Rather, he seemed to gather all the light around him like a black hole.

His superb singing was smooth and elegantly phrased and he colored it with edge or crooned to good effect.

Sets, by necessity, were basic but provided enough of a locale. Scarpia’s red and orange “office” was more like Hades but the final parapet with the twilight/dawn light was evocative.

Giorgio Lalov, who runs the company, did the sets, costumes, and provided stage direction. Sometimes the action was slow or it seemed that the singers were trying to stay busy while the music played. Once they started to sing, however, they usually got caught up in the passion and intent of the lyrics.

The orchestra under Krassimir Topolov did well and gave the singers plenty of space. The principal clarinet was particularly good in the opening of the final big aria in Act III.

Supertitles, too, were cogent and well timed.

Categories: Entertainment

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