Death by flying leap! Had the bitterly resentful Alfredo Catalani lived to see Tosca jump from the parapet of Castel Sant’Angelo, he might well have accused Puccini of plagiarism; Catalani’s own Wally, of La Wally, had flung herself off an Alp into an avalanche eight years before. Posterity remembers this hapless lady, if at all, for “Ebben? Ne andrò lontana,” the elegy in which she envisions retreat to the eternal snowfields (here it is Act One, and already she’s in mourning for her life). At a rough estimate, 99 of 100 opera queens of all persuasions can hum along with that one, while more like zero have ever seen her wintry suicide on a stage. Now’s our chance, in Florida of all places. —M.G.
Sarasota Opera House 61 N Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236 Get Directions »