New York City Opera Spotlight: Tosca- Anna Shafajinkaia

Classic Arts Features   New York City Opera Spotlight: Tosca- Anna Shafajinkaia
Anna Shafajinkaia sings the title role of Tosca March 22, 28, 30, April 3 and 5.

"Puccini feels very close to my heart. I made my City Opera debut as Turandot, I've sung Tosca and Musetta, and next year I do my first Minnie in Fanciulla del West, in Norway. Puccini expresses every emotion in his music, and his orchestration is so colorful it's almost Impressionist. Puccini also seems somehow freer than some other composers. It's open-soul singing."

"Tosca is absolutely one of my favorite roles. In this one role, I can express practically every emotion. In Act I, she's girlish, funny, flirtatious, frivolous, religious, jealous, loving. Then in Act II, through her suffering, she becomes a mature woman, decisive, brave."

"I hope I will never go through the troubles of Tosca! But I can understand her, especially because she's an opera singer, like me. Tosca was my first professional opera role, and the first time I played her I was almost playing myself. I was too crazy! In Act II I was so involved in the drama, I was really weeping. That did not help me sing! It's dangerous sometimes. I read once that Al Pacino said getting too real onstage can cause craziness in your life offstage."

"City Opera's Tosca is very different from most. It takes place in Mussolini's period. Why not? People are people, always, everywhere. They don't change much, unfortunately. And everything can exist in art, as long as it's not vulgar."

"I'm happy to come back to City Opera. I began here, and it's become like a home for me. I have the most touching memories of City Opera in my soul."

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