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Photos by Sabrina Palladino
Photos by Sabrina Palladino
Jose Heredia as Cavaradossi and Carami Hilaire as Tosca.

The Regina Opera Company continues to bring high quality productions to Brooklyn, and one of its next offerings is no exception, with the presentation of Giacomo Puccini’s classic opera “Tosca.”

“Tosca” is a tragic love story in a political setting that takes place in 1800s Rome focusing on a diva and her artist lover who become the prey of a corrupt police chief.

Stage Director Linda Lehr, who will be directing the production for the fifth time, is excited to take on the beloved show.

“’Tosca’ is one of the most famous operas in the world and it’s one that pretty much everyone knows,” she said. “It’s a real high drama. This is one of our core shows. If you heard most of the music, you would say ‘oh, I’ve heard that.’ It’s about three hours in length with intermissions and all three of the lead roles are fabulous roles for singing. There’s a lot of intricate acting involved in this one. This isn’t just a stand-and-sing one. It’s a play with music.”

According to Lehr, one of the most famous arias in the opera is the emotional “Vissi d’arte.” She explained, “That’s when she presents the dilemma in Act II. She says she’s given her music and herself to the church and asks why the Lord has treated her like this.”

Although this is Lehr’s fifth time at the helm of the play, her passion for it hasn’t wavered. “Every time I find something new and wonderful about it, and it’s always fabulous when you get to work with another set of singers,” said Lehr. “I think the thing for most opera goers who go to see ‘Tosca’ is obviously they want to hear the incredible music, but they want to see what each Tosca brings to the role. It’s one of those roles that’s so richly written that people do go see it over and over again because they want to see how each portrayal will be different than what they saw before.”

“Tosca” is performed every couple of years at Regina, but Lehr says that the community is always excited for it and the themes it highlights. “I would say the power of love for someone,” she explained.  “Even though it ends badly for them, there is a great love there. We always get a good response when we are doing ‘Tosca’ again and people are always excited to see it. It’s one of those shows that people will always come out for.”

The production, which has four dates, will feature two casts. One cast will do the first Saturday and the last Sunday of the run and the other will do the first Sunday and the second Saturday. The format has Lehr and company excited.

“It’s interesting because it sounds like more work, but it actually turns out to be more pleasurable,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun, especially with the duets. So you may do things different for one pairing than you do for another pairing, just because of what you’re seeing from the personality of singers and their interpretative choices, and it’s just so fun to work with that.”

The fully-staged performances are performed in Italian with English supertitles and full orchestra.  The conductor is Gregory Ortega. “Tosca” will be performed on Saturday, March 4; Sunday, March 5; Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12 at 3 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy, 5902 Sixth Avenue. General admission is $25, while seniors and college students get in for $20. Teenagers are $5, and children are free. There will also be a free sneak peak performance on Tuesday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m.

For more information, visit www.reginaopera.org.

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