Metropolitan Opera: Puccini's Tosca

      Airs Saturday, January 28 at 12:00 noon.  The 2011-2012 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with a live broadcast of Puccini’s Tosca, starring Patricia Racette as the fiery title character, Marcelo Álvarez as her lover, the idealistic Cavaradossi, and James Morris as the villain Scarpia. Finnish conductor Mikko Franck makes his Met debut with this season’s performances of Tosca, and veteran bass Paul Plishka, whose distinguished Met career spans more than 40 years, sings the role of the Sacristan in his final Met performance. Tosca will be heard live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network at 12:00 noon CST on Saturday, January 28.
     Racette gave an acclaimed and vivid portrayal of the diva Tosca at the Met in spring 2010. Since her debut as Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème in the Met’s 1994-95 season, she has gone on to sing many of the composer’s heroines, including Mimì in La Bohème; the lead soprano roles in Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi, the operas that comprise Il Trittico; and Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, a role she repeats at the Met later this season.  Álvarez sang Cavaradossi in the 2009 new production premiere of Tosca at the Met and repeated the role in the 2010-11 season. Later this season, he will make his Met role debut as Radamès in Verdi’s Aida. He also sings Cavaradossi this season at La Scala in Milan, the Palau de les Artes in Valencia, and Teatro Regino in Torino. Scarpia is one of Morris’s most frequent Met roles; he has sung it more than 75 times with the Met since his role debut in the 1990-91 season.  Franck is the Artistic Director and General Music Director of the Finnish National Opera.
     Earlier this season, Plishka decided that this performance would be his farewell to the Met.  Since his debut as a monk in Ponchielli’s La Gioconda on September 21, 1967, he has sung more than 1,600 Met performances in 88 roles, including the title roles in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and Verdi’s Falstaff, Philip II in Don Carlo, and Leporello in Don Giovanni.  During the first intermission, an onstage presentation will mark his final performance. The radio broadcast will carry this special moment as part of its intermission.
     The intermissions will also include backstage interviews with the stars and the popular Toll Brothers-Metropolitan