Please note: This article is published as an archive copy from Philadelphia City Paper. My City Paper is not affiliated with Philadelphia City Paper. Philadelphia City Paper was an alternative weekly newspaper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The last edition was published on October 8, 2015.

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October 31-November 6, 2002


Delaware Divas

While eagerly awaiting our own companies' season openers, impatient operaphiles (or those seeking a short, interesting road trip) can get their Puccini jones at Opera Delaware's new Tosca.

This sure-fire "shocker," a love triangle involving a fiery diva, a revolutionary artist and a sadistic police chief set in Rome in 1800, makes an excellent first opera: clear, nifty plot, short acts, great tunes (including the leading lady's famous "Vissi d'arte") and a pleasingly high and varied body count (table knife, firing squad, jump from a parapet). Plus, Wilmington's restored Grand Opera House is a true Victorian jewel with an intimate atmosphere and great sightlines.

The run features alternating divas, both up-and-coming young stars. Philadelphia native Lisa Daltirus' (Nov. 2 and 10) Central Park Tosca this summer won plaudits in The New York Times. Marie-Adele McArthur (Nov. 7 and 9) continues a line of New Zealand Puccini sopranos including Frances Alda and Kiri Te Kanawa. AVA grad Steven Snow (Caveradossi, the painter, radical and high B-trumpeting tenor) has sung extensive dates around the country (and also the National Anthem for the Flyers). Baritone Todd Thomas (the sinister Scarpia) has gained increasing prominence at regional and international companies. Baltimore-based John Lehmeyer has directed frequently for the company as well as for major regional theaters. The Briton David Wroe conducts.

Tosca, Nov. 2-10, $23-$64, Opera Delaware, Grand Opera House, 818 N. Market St., Wilmington, Del., 800-374-7263.

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