Met Opera simulcasts Puccini's 'Tosca' at PAC

Saturday, Oct. 10, marked the opening of the fourth season of The Metropolitan Opera Simulcasts.

For those who don’t know what these events are, The Metropolitan Opera, located in New York City, transmits live productions of itsoperas to theaters in 42 countries.

The Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center (PAC) at Mercyhurst College was one of the first colleges in the country to have the technology to offer this opportunity to its students and community members.

This season’s simulcasts opened with Luc Bondy’s interpretation of Giacomo Puccini’s classic grand opera “Tosca.”

“Tosca” is a story featuring love, politics and tragedy.

It centers around three main characters: Tosca (Karita Mattila), a famous opera singer; Cavaradossi (Marcelo Alvarez), a free-minded painter; and Scarpia (George Gagnidze), a perverse chief of police.

Set in the time of Napoleon, the opera opens with the escape of a convict who hides in a church.

Cavaradossi protects him, thus acting suspicious to his lover Tosca, who begins to think he is being unfaithful to her.

Scarpia uses her jealousy to make her betray them, and the two men are caught.

Death and sacrifice end the opera, which has a very enthralling plot.

“I love the compelling storyline of this opera,” sophomore Katie Wagner said.

The general opinion of the audience on the opera was that baritone George Gagnidze, who played Scarpia, was exceptional and contributed to the first-rate opera more than any of the other actors.

Senior Andrea Baker described Gagnidze as “portraying the character extremely well.”

“His voice matched the true Scarpia and brought the character to life,” she said.

These unique productions offer much more than just the opera itself.

Audiences are able to see backstage, set changes and intermission interviews with the stars.

“This is the first simulcast I’ve been to. I really like the interviews during intermissions; it makes the incredible singers seem more human,” sophomore Liz Zurasky said.

The next Metropolitan Opera Simulcast will be Verdi’s opera “Aida” on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 1 p.m. in the PAC.