Tosca and the Popularity of Opera

Wow. I recently had the privilege of witnessing a great production of Puccini’s classic Tuesday night. And in a sign of life for opera, the house was completely sold out.

In Tosca an idealistic artist, a celebrated singer and a corrupt police chief engage in a fierce battle of wills in this tempestuous tale of cruelty and deception. With its themes of political intrigue, sexual intimidation and official hypocrisy, Puccini’s great melodrama set in 1800 is anything but dated. Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, praised by The New York Times for her “lushly beautiful sound and poignant vulnerability,” made her Company debut in the title role.  She and the whole cast were truly amazing.

But also amazing was the size of the audience – most people paying well over $50 a ticket. Clearly, even with a bad economy and numerous other social outlets available, demand for opera is still strong. The San Francisco Opera has smartly helped fuel interest in opera by organizing free simulcasts, young adult opera clubs, advertising online and offering ticket discounts.

Opera is clearly not going away anytime soon. Thus, opportunities for singers will remain.  So do your vocal lessons, learn some Italian and check regularly for auditions!

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