Dundee premiere for Puccini masterpiece

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THE world’s most popular opera finally gets its Dundee premiere this weekend as Tayside Opera, one of Scotland’s longest-established companies, brings Puccini’s dark masterpiece Tosca to the Whitehall Theatre.

Set in Rome at the turn of the 19th century as Napoleon’s armies advance across Europe, Tosca tells the story of an opera diva whose love for a revolutionary sympathiser ends in tragedy for all involved.

Powerful and dramatic, sometimes violent, full of shocking twists and intensely lyrical music, Tosca has proved hugely popular with opera lovers the world over since its 1900 premiere.

Now local audiences have the chance to see it for the first time. A sumptuous production in the Whitehall Theatre, with fully-scored orchestra, running from May 26 to 28 at 7.30 pm.

The cast includes former Scottish Opera tenor John Carlo Bellotti as Mario Cavaradossi, the revolutionary artist who is betrayed to a dreadful fate, and soprano Moira Docherty in the title role.

Experienced local baritone Alister Allan plays the evil Baron Scarpia, one of opera’s most memorable villains.

Veteran producer John White, who has also worked with Thomson-Leng Youth Music Theatre and Alyth Musical Society says: “Tosca is an iconic opera and directing it is a big responsibility.

“So many people have other performances and will have their own thoughts on how the show should be staged. My vision was to create minimalist sets to ensure no distraction from the wonderful music and the voices of the performers as the story unfolds.”

Tayside Opera has been bringing grand opera to Dundee and surrounding area for more than four decades, including almost every favourite work by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart and other greats. In 2008 the company celebrated its 40th anniversary with a Civic Reception in the City Chambers.

Tickets for Tosca are available through the Whitehall Box Office on 08717 029 486 or online at www.whitehalldundee.co.uk, £10 to £14, with special rates offered for school parties and other organised groups.

For more information call t Philippa Sidle on 07843 577211.