IN TUNE

IN TUNE: The ultimate romantic date for Valentine's evening

2014-02-09T08:30:00Z IN TUNE: The ultimate romantic date for Valentine's eveningBy Kirk Muspratt Special to The Times nwitimes.com
February 09, 2014 8:30 am  • 

Hello everyone and a Happy Valentine’s Day to each and every one of you!

I hear that you are looking for the perfect Valentine's evening event. I understand.

Well, there can be nothing more romantic, more classy, more informing, more astonishing than attending our performance of Tosca at Bethel Auditorium on Friday night, Feb. 14.

Did I mention that this is one of my favorite pieces of music in the entire repertoire? I mean one of my very favorite pieces of music among those thousands that I have studied and encountered in my life. (I am a total music geek but even with me, there are lots of classical pieces and operas that I just “do not get.” Tosca is the antitheses of this.)

And sure, the story is all about what we want to be considering on Valentine’s night: the completely crazed feeling of falling in love, the completely crazed "Molto-Italian!" feeling of falling of love, and also the sacrifice that one person will make for another when one is truly in love.

However, above and beyond this, the lyricism of Puccini's music, the phenomenal orchestration, the musical painting of the different characters is in a class all its own. One cannot help but be entirely swept away by the music of Tosca.

There does not exist more evil music anywhere than the music of Scarpia, the man who is attempting to seduce Tosca at all costs, the man who tortures Cavaradossi, the man who ultimately orders the firing squad for Cavaradossi's death.

There cannot be any more tear-filled and touching music than what Tosca gives us in her aria - Vissi D’arte. (If you do not happen to know this aria, I dare you to go onto our website and check it out. It is a killer, and you will have it banging around in your brain for the rest of the day.)

We will bring this all to vivid life with the 175 musicians and singers we will have on stage. When you think about it, there are only about 900 seats in Bethel. Therefore, there is a musician for about every four of you in the audience and that should create quite a humungous and gorgeous sound, eh?

Tosca is the romantic piece of all romances. However, it is also Romantic with a capital R. Tosca is set in Rome in 1800 at the height of the Romantic era in history and art. We certainly see this in the plot of the opera.

One basis of the plot is the cruelty of the rich ruling class exploiting and terrorizing the vast lower class, of which our revolutionary heroes, Cavaradossi and Angelloti, are an integral part.

It is a powerhouse of a piece. It is something I can recommend to you without reservation. You will be happy that you took part in the concert and hopefully happy too that you brought someone special with you — whether that is your Cavaradossi or your Tosca, or your mom, your grandpa, your daughter, your wonderful friend, or a person who loves great music and wants to be with great music on Valentine's night.

The Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra presents Tosca on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Auditorium at Bethel Church, 10202 Broadway in Crown Point. The concert will feature guest vocalists and the Symphony Chorus performing a lightly staged version of Puccini’s opera, Tosca. Tickets are $25 - $65 and students are just $10. Call (219) 836-0525 or visit nisorchestra.org.

Opinions are solely those of the writer's. Kirk Muspratt is the conductor of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra. Muspratt's column is an occasional feature during symphony season.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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