Sunday, April 16, 2017

Rare barihunk trio in Puccini's Tosca

Alexander Tsymbalyuk, Marco Vratogna and Douglas Williams
Puccini operas aren't known for great baritone roles, like Verdi or Wagner, and certainly not a lot of great barihunk roles. Gianni Schicchi is a dying old man, Michele is an old barge operator, Jack Rance is the law and order town sheriff with his eye on the girl, Scarpia is usually played as a lecherous old police chief and The Bonze is usually a despicable old relative.

The only Puccini opera where we regularly get one and sometimes two barihunks is La bohème where the young Parisians often include a sexy Marcello and lower-voice Colline. So imagine our delight when we learned that the online broadcast of the composer's Tosca would include the barihunk trio of Marco Vratogna as Scarpia, Alexander Tsymbalyuk as Cesare Angelotti and Douglas Williams as Sciarrone. We've always liked the idea of a younger Scarpia, as it adds some sexual tension to the Act II "seduction" scene with Tosca.

The trio will join Kristine Opolais as Tosca and Marcelo Alvarez as Mario Cavaradossi for the Berlin Philharmonic's fifth visit to the Easter Festival of the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden.

The performance will be on Arte TV for free starting on April 17th.

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