There are few pieces of theater in any genre as dramatic, passionate and tragic as “Tosca.” The action keeps a brisk pace, distilling the events that happen in the course of 24 hours as the characters become embroiled in political turmoil and, fueled by their passions, head toward their destiny accompanied by one of Puccini’s greatest scores.
Opera Idaho brings this beautifully tragic production to the Morrison Center stage Feb. 24 and 26 through the vision of director Andrew Nienaber and conductor Nicolas Giusti.
As Napoleon’s army advances on Rome, Floria Tosca (soprano Eleni Calenos), a raven-haired beauty and a sacred singer in the church, finds herself torn between her rebel lover Cavaradossi (tenor Robert Breault) and Scarpia (baritone Kyu Won Han), the treacherous police chief who will stop at nothing in his lust for her.
The explosive conflict between these three comes to a hair-raising conclusion in one of opera’s bloodiest, most intense dramas.
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With her rapturous, rich soprano, Calenos is a favorite of Idaho audiences. This is the Greek native’s fourth time performing with Opera Idaho. She appeared as Cio-Cio-San in “Madama Butterfly” (2011), as Mimi in “La Boheme” (2012) and as Micaela in “Carmen” (2014).
Tosca is one of her strongest roles. She recently received rave reviews from The New York Times for a performance of the role with Loft Opera in Brooklyn.
OPERA IDAHO’S ‘TOSCA’: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane, Boise. $25.50-$76.50. 345-3531, OperaIdaho.org.
John Killmaster solo show
LaBry Fine Art Gallery is featuring a solo exhibition featuring one of Idaho’s most acclaimed artists, John Killmaster, pictured with a recent canvas above. The show offers a survey of the master’s work from 1956 up to the present day and includes sketches, cartoons and large-scale abstract paintings, as well as the enamel work that he is internationally known for.
Now in his 90s, Killmaster taught art at Boise State University from 1970-97. He had a huge influence on his students and has remained a presence in the Treasure Valley arts community. He is currently working on his autobiography.
The opening at LaBry, 404 S. 8th St., suite 166, Boise, is from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24. The exhibit runs to March 23.
‘Artistry in Wood’
The annual “Artistry in Wood” exhibit brings artists from across the Treasure Valley together for a competition and celebration of the artisan woodcrafts.
For more than 35 years, this show has offered fine examples of wood turning, carving, burning, marquetry, gourds and more, for both functional and decorative pieces ranging from furniture to sculptures.
It runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, Wyndham Garden Boise Airport Hotel, 3300 S. Vista Ave. $4 admission, free for children 12 and younger. IdahoArtistryInWood.com.
Double community orchestras
Two Treasure Valley community orchestras are in action Saturday, Feb. 25.
▪ Conductor James Ogle and the Meridian Symphony Orchestra will offer “Bits and Pieces,” a concert that features an array of masterworks by Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Haydn and Schubert, with violinists Kate Jarvis, pictured above, and Nicole Oswald. 7:30 p.m., Centennial High School Performing Arts Center, 12400 W. McMillan Road, Meridian. $11 general, $4 child (with adult purchase), $9 senior/student/military. 891-2721, MeridianSymphony.org.
▪ Serenata Orchestra, under the baton of Jennifer Drake, will take you out to nature with “River Songs.” Pieces on the concert include Handel’s “Water Music,” Bruch’s “Romanze” played by violinist Linda Kline, the Theme from “Doctor Who” and Smetana’s “The Moldau,” accompanied by a whitewater kayaking video featuring Boise’s “Dangerous” Dave Norell, pictured above, who died while biking in 2004. 7:30 p.m., Borah High School Auditorium, 6001 Cassia St., Boise. Suggested donation: $10 general, $5 students.
News from the Philharmonic, Idaho Triennial
▪ The new Boise Philharmonic musical director search continues (the new maestro will be announced in May), but in the meantime, the season planning must go on. The orchestra released its dates, some soloists and its anchor pieces for its next season. The lineup includes an additional pops concert in March 2018 and the return of Grammy-winning cellist Zuill Bailey, pictured above, who will perform Michael Daugherty’s “Tales of Hemingway” in April. Find the season details and ticket prices at IdahoStatesman. com/entertainment.
▪ The Boise Art Museum announced the awards for the 2017 Idaho Triennial on Feb. 18. First prize went to Ashley Carlson’s “Hollister, ID, 83301,” graphite and oil on Stonehenge paper, pictured above. Carlson recently graduated from Boise State with her master’s degree in fine art. Find out who won the other top awards at IdahoStatesman.com/entertainment.
Opera Idaho Puccini’s ‘Tosca’
7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane, Boise. $25.50-$76.50. 345-3531, OperaIdaho.org.