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39 years of Tosca

39 years ago today, on 7 November 1979, Opera North gave its first ever performance of Puccini’s Tosca. With our brand new Tosca now on tour, here’s a look back at that historic moment…

Tosca featured as part of the Company’s second season (1979-80). At that time, Opera North still went under its original name, English National Opera North, and like many productions in the earliest years, Tosca had originated at ENO.

It featured a principal trio who proved great favourites with audiences: Elizabeth Vaughan (Tosca), Kenneth Collins (Cavaradossi) and Geoffrey Chard (Scarpia). The production was staged at Opera North by its Staff Director, Steven Pimlott, who was to become established as one of the leading opera and theatre directors of his generation before his sadly early death in 2007.

Conducting those first performances was the Company’s founding Music Director – and later, Artistic Director – David Lloyd-Jones; the Orchestra was led then, as now, by David Greed. The production was revived in 1981 and again, in slightly revised form, in 1984.

Edward Dick‘s new Tosca, which opened in September, is the fourth production of this iconic opera to be staged at Opera North.

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