The new production of Tosca premieres at QPAC's Lyric Theatre from June 13 to 22.
The new production of Tosca premieres at QPAC's Lyric Theatre from June 13 to 22.

QPAC's Tosca a classic tale of lust and betrayal

LOOK out for the gendarme Sciarrone lurking in the background when the new production of Tosca premieres at QPAC's Lyric Theatre from June 13-22.

Played by David Hibbard, Sciarrone was invented by Puccini as a menacing, mono-syllabic hulk to come in with little interjections from time to time in what has been described as the greatest opera of them all.

It's a classic tale of lust, betrayal and cold-blooded murder that careens at a breakneck pace. The plot sees famous opera singer Tosca, who is devoted to painter Cavaradossi but Scarpia succumbs to the plans of the tyrannical Chief of Police.

This new production directed by Opera Queensland's artistic director Patrick Nolan and conducted by Oliver von Dohnányi will transport the audience to 1970's Italy where political and religious tensions are at breaking point.

The opera features an all-star company headlined by New York-based Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin, Angus Wood, Sam Hartley and José Carbó.

"This is a brand-new production, so it is quite exciting to be part of it,” Hibbard said.

"I have worked with all the soloists before, so I can assure the audience that the singing will be absolutely, breathtakingly wonderful.

"With Tosca, the drama is eternal and magnificent, while the music is Puccini at his most emotional.

"Tosca's realisation at the end will tear your heart out and leave it sobbing on the stage.”

Hibbard first became interested in opera at the age of 16 when he placed first in the Murwillumbah Music Festival.

"There was one opera recording at the Murwillumbah Music Shop, Handel's Acis & Galatea, with Joan Sutherland,” he said.

"The bass was the wonderful Owen Brannigan, and I became hooked.”

When it comes to Tosca, Hibbard loves the moment when Tosca, in the middle of being abused by Scarpia, has nowhere to go.

"At the absolute end of her tether, she asks the Virgin 'why me? What have I ever done to deserve this?'.

"It is the aria Vissi d'Arte, seemingly simple, a quiet moment in a tumultuous scene.”

To find out more information about

Opera Queensland's

2019 season and Tosca performances

go to:

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