Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bratislava: Terrific Tosca

We were seated in exact center of the seventh row of the lower orchestra for tonight's production of Tosca, right at eye-level with the singers.

The pit orchestra included five bass viols (double-bass), an English horn, a contra-bassoon, and maybe a few other oddities we missed - Puccini among other attributes was a great orchestrator - and they provided great support for the production.

It was a small audience and if it weren't for busload of opera lovers from Vienna it would been minuscule. We still managed amongst us two curtain calls and a standing ovation at the end of Act Three.

Amidst all of the Central European names - Boldizsar Lazlo as Cavaradossi and Sergej Tolstov as Scarpia - the name of Louise Hudson, tonight's superb Tosca, was conspicuous. We find out back at the hotel that she's an Australian soprano

The last Australian soprano we recall hearing was Dame Joan Sutherland at the Vancouver Opera some time ago. We like to think the late Dame Joan would have approved of this performance.

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