Cast and Credits

Web Credits | Performance Credits | Interviews
Biographies with Audio Interviews | Orchestra and Chorus

Tosca Goes Online Home

Music by Giacomo Puccini (1858 - 1924)
Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
Based on Victorien Sardou's drama La Tosca
World premiere at Teatro Costanzi, Rome, January 14, 1900
Time: June, 1800; Place: Rome

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Minnesota Opera
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Libretto Photographs by Gary Mortensen

Special thanks are extended to the musicians and performers, and the local chapter of the American Federation of Musicians, without whose cooperation this production would not have been possible.

Minnesota Opera Tosca Performance
Recorded May, 1998

Follow links to biographical information and audio interviews on this page

Conductor: John Keenan
Stage Director: David Roth
Set and Costume Designer: Ulisse Santicchi
Assistant Director: Peter Rothstein
Lighting Designer: Kevin Ramach
Children's Chorus Master: Janice Kimes
Wig Master and Makeup: Tom Watson

The Cast (in order of appearance)
Cesare Angelotti, an escaped political prisoner (bass):
Andrew Wilkowske
A Sacristan (baritone): Brian Podolny
Mario Cavaradossi, a painter (tenor): Tonio di Paolo
Floria Tosca, a famous opera singer (soprano): Elizabeth Byrne
Baron Scarpia, chief of police (baritone): Greer Grimsley
Spoletta, a police officer (tenor): Robert Schmidt
Sciarrone, a gendarme (bass): Sean Nugent
A young shepherd (treble): Andrew Penning
Jailer (bass): Sean Nugent

Cardinal, the executioner Roberti, judge, clerk, sergeant,
infantryman, Swiss Guards, townspeople

This production was originally staged for The Dallas Opera by Giulio Chazalettes; the scenery and costumes for this production were designed by Ulisse Santicchi for the Dallas Opera; production owned by the Dallas Opera.
The 1998 Minnesota Opera season is proudly sponsored by US Bank
Promotional support provided by Minnesota Monthly.

Special thanks to Father James Reidy and Father Wellisch for liturgical consultation.

Listen to these interviews in RealAudio 3.0 28.8

Greer Grimsley (Scarpia)
David Roth (Stage Director)
Janice Kimes (Children's Chorus Master)

Biographical Information

Elizabeth Byrne (Tosca) received praise for her Tosca at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1993, and has returned there to sing Gerhilde and Gutrune in Wagner's Ring Cycle with conductor Zubin Mehta and the Pale Lady in Prokofiev's The Gambler, among other roles. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut singing the role of Ortlinde in Die Walkure in performances in New York and Japan, and her Italian debut with Teatro Verdi in Pisa as Lady Macbeth. The English-born Ms. Byrne has sung frequently with the English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera and Glyndebourne Touring Opera.

Tonio di Paolo (Cavaradossi) has appeared here in La Bohéme (1989) and Madame Butterfly (1993). Earlier this season he sang the title role in Faust for Calgary Opera. Last season he made his debut as Calaf in Turandot for Calgary Opera, which he repeated later in the season for L'Opera de Montreal. He recently debuted as Manrico in a concert version of Il Trovatore with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Pinchas Steinberg and sang the lead role of Edgar Allen Poe in the world premiere of Augusta Read Thomas's Ligeia at the Evian Festival conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich.

Greer Grimsley (Scarpia) was seen in the Twin Cities in 1996 as the Four Villains in The Tales of Hoffmann. Earlier this season he returned to the Met for Escamillo in Carmen, and to Royal Danish Opera Copenhagen for Telramund in Lohengrin, where he will reprise Mandryka in Arabella. He will sing the title role in Don Giovanni in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, and will return to Seattle Opera for Kurwenal in Tristan and Isolde. Next season he will return to Seattle for Mèphistophèlés in Faust, to New Orleans Opera for the title role in The Flying Dutchman, and makes his debut at Aarhus-Den Jyske Opera (Denmark) as Jokanaan in Salome.

Sean Nugent (Sciarrone/Jailer) performs frequently with The Minnesota Opera as a chorister. In 1997 he was featured as the First Slave in The Magic Flute, and was a core artist in the Opera's 1997 Adult Education program. His most recent theater work includes the role of Todd in the Fully Reciprocal Theatre's production of Pterodactyls, Steve in Theatre in the Round's Jeffrey, and the Knott's Camp Snoopy production of Rockin' thru the Decades in the roles of Elvis and Jim Morrison. He made his film debut in Joel Itman's Acid Snow in the principal role of Edgar.

Brian Podolny (Sacristan) is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and has performed frequently at the College-Conservatory of Music, most recently in the roles of Guglielmo in Cos fan tutte, Ripley in Der Vampyr, Valentin in Faust, and John Sorel in The Consul. He has performed the roles of Fiorello in The Barber of Seville for Pittsburgh Opera, the Herald in Otello for Cincinnati Opera, Le Dancare in Carmen for Kentucky Opera and Sharpless in Madame Butterfly for the Aspen Opera Theater Center. A member of The Minnesota Opera's Resident Artist program, he appeared as Second Henchman in Transatlantic.

Robert Schmidt (Spoletta) has performed with Des Moines Metro Opera - Opera Iowa as Dr. Palagio in La Canterina and Sid in Sid the Serpent, as well as the roles of Lindoro in The Italian Girl in Algiers for Bowen Park Opera in Chicago, Alfredo in Die Fledermaus for Milwaukee Opera, and Mr. Erlanson in A Little Night Music for Great Lakes Opera in Milwaukee. He has sung in the choruses of both the Seattle and Portland operas. As a Minnesota Opera Resident Artist, he was seen as the Messenger in Aida and First Henchman in Transatlantic.

Andrew Wilkowske (Angelotti) currently studies at The University of Minnesota - Duluth, where he has been featured in a number of operatic roles, including Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, Peter in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, and Don Alfonso in Cos fan tutte, a role he also performed for the Bay View Music Festival in 1996. Mr. Wilkowske was awarded first place in the Advanced Vocal Category of the Schubert Club's annual competition in 1997. A member of The Minnesota Opera Resident Artist program, he appeared as Third Henchman in Transatlantic.

John Keenan (Conductor) became one of the youngest conductors ever to conduct at the Metropolitan Opera in 1990 when he conducted Don Giovanni. Also at the Met he conducted Le Nozze di Figaro and Die Zauberflote. Recently he conducted Mozart's Mitridate with The Grand Theatre de Geneve, and Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore with the Washington Opera. Mr. Keenan made his Minnesota Opera debut with last season's La Traviata and will return for Otello. Upcoming engagements: Madame Butterfly with the Norwegian National Opera, Salome for the Opera Company of Philadelphia and La Bohéme at the Met.

Kevin Ramach (Lighting Designer) has been with The Minnesota Opera since 1988, currently as lighting and operations director. He has designed or assisted on more than 30 productions throughout the past eight seasons, including this season's Cinderella. Also for The Minnesota Opera: La Traviata, The Rake's Progress, La Bohéme, The Tales of Hoffmann, Madame Butterfly, The Pearl Fishers and Julius Caesar, which then traveled to Edmonton Opera. Outside of The Minnesota Opera, his Der Fliegende Hollander for Portland Opera met with reviews of "brilliant," (The Oregonian) and "inspired," (Wagner Notes).

David Roth (Stage Director) has worked as assistant director for The Minnesota Opera for six seasons. Among his shows here have been The Magic Flute, La Bohéme, Don Giovanni, Turandot, The Flying Dutchman and The Marriage of Figaro. For two seasons he assisted Colin Graham at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and last summer, he directed Madame Butterfly there. He has also directed productions with Opera Omaha, Baltimore Opera, Boston University and The University of Kansas, where he premiered a fully staged production of Mendelssohn's Elijah. next season, he will direct Madame Butterfly for The Minnesota Opera.

Peter J. Rothstein (Assistant Director) has been working extensively as a director, actor and singer in the Twin Cities for the past five years. He most recently appeared as Buzz in Park Square Theatre's record-breaking production of Love! Valour! Compassion! Mr Rothstein also has worked with the Jungle Theater, the Guthrie Theater, and the Illusion Theater, where he is an artistic associate. He has appeared in five productions with The Minnesota Opera and directed the 1997-98 tour of Cinderella. Mr. Rothstein holds a master of fine arts in music and theater from St. John's University, where he returned this past year as a visiting professor of theater.

Ulisse Santicchi (Set and Costume Designer) made his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut with Love for Three Oranges. After designing several successful productions for Florence's Maggio Musicale, he was engaged by La Scala for Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, Satyricon and Werther. Credits from the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds include: A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Barber of Seville, and Falstaff. Mr. Santicchi has designed for the Cologne Opera and the Schwetzingen Festival as well as several productions for Spoleto U.S.A. Among his many productions are designs for Dido and Aeneas, Rigoletto, The Magic Flute and Renard.

Tom Watson (Wig Master and Makeup), one of North America's foremost wig and make-up designers, has worked with The Minnesota Opera since 1986. In any given year he designs for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Boston Lyric Opera, Tulsa Opera, Seattle Opera, San Diego Opera and Opera Omaha. Mr. Watson most recently completed work on As You Like It in Washington, D.C., and is currently working on The Marriage of Figaro at the Met (to be televised on PBS's "Live from Lincoln Center") and will design wigs and makeup at Santa Fe Opera this summer.


Violin I: Kristen Christensen (concertmaster), Julia Persitz, David Mickens, Stephan Orsak, Judy Thon-Jones, Helen Foli, Andrea Een, JoAlta Geidel, Laurie Petruconis, Elizabeth Decker
Violin II:Joana Miranda, Sheila Hanford, Melinda Marshall, Theodore Caron, Carolyn Kiesel, Dragan Stojkovic`, John Baldwin, Margaret Humphrey
Viola: Annette Caruthers, Vivi Erickson, Laurel Browne, Jenny Lind Nilsson, Susan Janda, Jim Bartsch
Cello: James Jacobson, Melissa Kraut, Norbert Lewandowski, Thomas Austin, Rebecca Arons
Bass: John Michael Smith, Michael Watson, Charles Barr
Flute: Michele Frisch, Casey Kovacic (double piccolo), Jane M. Garvin (double piccolo).
Oboe: Marilyn Ford, Michael Dayton
English Horn: Mark Seerup
Clarinet: Sandra Powers, Nina Olsen
Bass Clarinet: Gregory Pierce
Bassoon: Coreen Nordling, Laurie Hatcher Merz, Laine Bryce (contra bassoon)
Horn: Charles Kavalovski, Tricia Lerohl, Charles D. Hodgson, Lawrence Barnhar
Trumpet: Ralph Schwartz, David Chapman, Douglas Altilio
Trombone: Steven Lund, Larry Zimmerman, David Stevens
Tuba: Ralph Hepola
Timpani: Eric Remsen
Percussion: Joseph Holmquist, Rebecca Kite
Harp: James A. Buxton
Keyboard: Mary Jo Gothmann

John Bischoff, Bill Bland, Jeremy Cady, Steve Dahlberg, Lynn Dyrhaug-Rotto, Marcia Evans, Tamara Haskin, Kimberly Hawkins, Michelle Hayes, Esther Heideman, Sandra Henderson, Dale Hills, Heather Johnson, Brian Jorgenson, Daniel Juarez, Beth Kainz, Dale Kruse, Li Lei, Elizabeth Longhurst, Michael Lundin, Andy Oakden, Matthew O'Neill, Angela Paulson, Derrick Pennix, Christian Reinert, Peter Robinson, Brad Runyan, Joy Schieb, Russell Stephens, Martin Swaden, Julie Tako, Jane Thelen, Patricia Thompson, Karen Wilkerson, Sara Williamson, Cait Woolley

Children's Chorus
Julie Hodny, Andrew Johnson, Melissa Kruse, Michael Lajko, Andrew Penning, Jordon Pratt-Thatcher, Ted Snyder, Blayne Sovia, Elinor Strandskov, Sonja Timian, Elizabeth Tunhein, Ryan Vanasse

Judy Brown-Wescott, Kelle Carson, Tim Cole, Anne Crowningsheild, Robert Easley, Tom Ellis, Todd Fogdall, Gail Hughes, Vhannes Koujanian, Mary McDiarmid, Tim Morgan, Sarah Rockler, Polly Sander, Mark Shirk, Micxhael Silhavy, Alex Stohlman, Tom Sweeney, Tom Watkins

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