UBC School of Music

UBC Opera: Tosca

Sold Out
Sat Nov 26 2022 7:30pm
Old Auditorium
Not part of Opera subscription.


Giacomo Puccini | Composer
Luigi Illica & Giuseppe Giacosa | Librettists

Opera West Society presents Tosca starring Katie Van Kooten*, Yonghoon Lee and Gregory Dahl in collaboration with the UBC Opera Ensemble.

UBC Opera Ensemble
Jacques Lacombe | Conductor
Nancy Hermiston | Director
With Members of the Vancouver Festival Orchestra

Full program available here on performance day

Perhaps Puccini’s greatest masterpiece, Tosca premiered on January 18, 1900. Its searingly beautiful and passionate score guaranteed its great success and established Puccini as Verdi’s successor of the 20th century. It also testified to Puccini’s skill as a man of the theatre, as the gorgeous music of Tosca seamlessly blends into the deep reverence he has for the melodrama of the original Sardou play on which the opera is based, La Tosca. While the play dropped out of theatrical rotation in the 1920s, Puccini’s version of Tosca has lived on as one of the most beloved and enduring works in the opera canon.

Filled with romance, devotion, and political intrigue, Tosca tells the story of the eponymous Tosca, a fiery and tempestuous yet pious singer, and her lover, painter Mario Cavaradossi. Embroiled in the political tensions gripping Rome during the time of Napoleon’s invasion in 1800, and with the indomitable Baron Scarpia set on capturing Cavaradossi and taking Tosca for himself, the stakes for these two lovers could not be higher. A tragic story of love and death, this emotional journey set to Puccini’s soaring score will sweep you off into Tosca’s passionate realm – and, more than likely, move you to tears.

Opera West’s debut performance, a semi-staged concert version of Tosca, will feature a stellar cast led by Katie Van Kooten* in the eponymous role, favourite Canadian baritone Gregory Dahl as the villainous Baron Scarpia. The tenor role, Cavaradossi, will be sung by Yonghoon Lee. Canadian conductor, Jacques Lacombe will lead the distinguished guest artists, the Vancouver Festival Orchestra and UBC Opera Ensemble in this performance of Puccini’s suspenseful, political drama set in the Napoleonic war era of the 1800s.


*We are excited to welcome Katie Van Kooten who will be stepping in to sing the role of Tosca as Sondra Radvanvovsky is ill and unable to sing this performance.

Fortunately we were able to engage Katie, who has been a guest artist at the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, and Houston among many others. After her last production of Tosca, a critic wrote that she sang “with stunning musicality, she communicated Tosca’s anguish and vulnerability and held the audience spellbound.” Recently she was described as  “…a major operatic talent. Her singing has something of the same glow radiated by Te Kanawa or Freni, and her endearing charm and bright smile make her a winning stage personality.” We are pleased to welcome her to this premiere event for Opera West as “Her singing is extraordinary in its radiance, power and sheer expressiveness.”



Opera West Society

Praised for its rich, powerful and inventive orchestration and its charismatic, dramatic and forceful characters, which have fascinated both performers and audiences alike, Tosca remains one of the most frequently performed and recorded operas. The Opera West Society hopes that you will be moved by our debut performance and thrilled to experience it in person.

Opera West is an opera society bringing together acclaimed international opera stars in open collaboration and performance for Western Canadian audiences. Opera West seeks to connect emergent and developing Canadian operatic talent with the world’s greatest singers in fruitful artistic relationships and performance. Inspired by the greatest voices in opera, Opera West will present both classic and contemporary opera and seek to inspire and foster Western Canadian operatic performers and audiences.


UBC Opera subscribers receive priority access to purchase tickets for Tosca. 

Tosca is not part of UBC Opera subscription.

Sold Out
Sat Nov 26 2022 7:30pm
Old Auditorium
Not part of Opera subscription.