Review: An L.A. Opera ‘Tosca’ that’s more than it seems
The cast of “Tosca” is fronted by John Corigliano, left, and Mary Beth Long.
By Robert Trachtenberg
In a production that was lauded by critics when it opened on Broadway last year, the Los Angeles Opera production of Puccini’s Tosca was a triumph of its theatrical ambition. Yet as one of the most popular operas in the company’s history, Tosca has been under the stewardship of artistic director Christopher Maltman for a decade.
The opera has been produced in numerous places and by a wide array of companies. But this season, the Los Angeles Opera’s production was unique in having the entire cast fronted by singers who have been among the greatest of the past century.
The three male singers were the great arias-singers of the “tenor” era: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Walter Donaldson and Ennio Morricone. The cast also included the sopranos Annabelle Monot and Amanda Davis, the mezzo-soprano Martha Wong, the contralto Carol Pizzey, the tenor Peter Asbo and the baritone John Corigliano.
The two female singers were both of the “soprano” era: the soprano Stephanie Blythe and the soprano Mary Beth Long. Their partnership had made them one of the all-time great forces in classical music.
It is a wonder that such talents exist in the world of opera, and one that is not lost on director John Corigliano, now in his 20th season of directing, and composer Mary Beth Long, then a young woman under 30.
“I don’t know any company in the country that can find someone to sing Mary Beth’s part,” said Mr. Corigliano. “She is the only one.”
It was a comment that the director made to