Artists Featured in Puccini's 'Tosca' Maria Guleghina stars in the title role of Puccini's Tosca, with baritone Franz Grunheber as Scarpia and tenor Alfredo Portilla as Cavaradossi.
NPR logo Artists Featured in Puccini's 'Tosca'

Artists Featured in Puccini's 'Tosca'

Soprano Maria Guleghina has sung the title role in Tosca at London's Royal Opera at Covent Garden and at the Paris Opera, as well as in Houston. Photo: Petra Stadler/(c) NG Productions, Ltd hide caption

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Photo: Petra Stadler/(c) NG Productions, Ltd

Franz Grundheber has made a specialty of the title role in Berg's Wozzeck, singing it in two highly acclaimed CD releases. hide caption

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Alfredo Portilla has played Cavaradossi in Tosca at the New Israeli Opera, several theaters in Italy, and the New York City Opera. hide caption

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Complete Cast of 'Tosca'

Maria Guleghina (Tosca); Alfredo Portilla (Cavaradossi); Franz Grundheber (Scarpia); Nikolay Didenko (Angelotti); Richard Sutliff (Sacristan); Jonathan Green (Spoletta)

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and Chorus

Antonello Allemandi, Conductor

Richard Bado, Chorus Master


World of Opera

Program Schedule

Maria Guleghina, Franz Grundheber and Alfredo Portilla star in Tosca, from the Wortham Theater Center in Houston.

Maria Guleghina

Soprano (Tosca)

Russian soprano Maria Guleghina began her operatic career at the State Opera in Minsk, and just one year later made her debut at La Scala, where she sang Amelia in Verdi's A Masked Ball, opposite tenor Luciano Pavarotti. Other roles she has performed at La Scala include Lucrezia in Verdi's I due Foscari, the title roles in Puccini's Tosca and Manon Lescaut, and Lisa in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades.

Guleghina's first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera was in 1991, as Maddalena in Giordano's Andrea Chenier, also opposite Pavarotti. Her other Metropolitan roles have included Santuzza in Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana, the title role in Verdi's Aida, Dolly in Wolf-Ferrari's Sly opposite Placido Domingo, and Giorgetta in Puccini's Il Tabarro. She has also made frequent appearances at London's Royal Opera, and at the Paris Opera.

Guleghina's many recordings include two solo releases, as well as Puccini's Il trittico for EMI, Manon Lescaut for DG and Andrea Chenier for Capriccio.

Franz Grundheber

Baritone (Scarpia)

Franz Grundheber was born in Trier, Germany, and studied voice at Indiana University in Bloomington. In 1966, he was engaged by the Hamburg State Opera, where he still appears frequently.

Grundheber has also been a regular performer at the Vienna State Opera. His appearances there have included the title role in Alban Berg's Wozzeck, Dr. Schoen in Berg's Lulu, Orest in Richard Strauss's Elektra, and the title roles in Verdi's Rigoletto and Macbeth. Other roles include the title roles in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra at London's Royal Opera, and in Hindemith's Cardillac at the Paris Opera.

In the United States, Grundheber has performed at the San Francisco Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Metropolitan Opera, where he was the first German singer to perform the title role in Rigoletto.

Alfredo Portilla

Tenor (Cavaradossi)

Early in his career, the Mexican tenor Alfredo Portilla was an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera, and he has gone on to appear in leading roles with opera companies around the world. Portilla has made the role of Cavaradossi in Tosca a specialty, singing it with the New Israeli Opera; in Bologna, Modena, and Piacenza, Italy; and in the United States with the Washington National Opera and the New York City Opera. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Puccini's La Boheme. Portilla has also performed at the San Franciso Opera, the Bastille Opera in Paris, and at Madrid's Teatro Real.