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Wednesday, July 06, 2022

UF students, faculty put on opera at Phillips Center

After her lover was shot by a firing squad, and she killed the man who tried to rape her, she jumped off a building.

This is the story of Giacomo Pucinni's "Tosca" which will be performed by UF students, faculty and staff Thursday and Saturday in The Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

"This is one of the most successful and classic operas ever written," said sophomore voice performance student Adelaide Boedecker.

Boedeker, who plays a peasant in the 7:30 p.m. performances, said "Tosca" is a story about two star-crossed lovers whose lives end in tragedy.

Set in Rome in the 1800s, "Tosca" is filled with love, jealousy, rape, hate and murder, she said.

The biggest key to a successful performance is a collaborative effort, said the opera's producer Tony Offerle.

Tony Mata, head of the musical theater department, is directing the performance while Stephen Thomas, interim director of orchestra, and graduate student Matthew Wardell will conduct.

From the performers on stage, to the UF Symphony Orchestra, to the backstage crew and the lighting technicians, there are 120 students in the production, he said.

UF professor of voice Elizabeth Graham will perform the role of "Tosca."

Graham, an award-winning singer, has taught at UF for 30 years, Offerle said.

Although "Tosca" is an Italian opera, there will be English subtitles on a screen above the stage, he said.

"This is not your grandmother's opera," Offerle said.

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