My Return to the Stage – August 21, 2021

I’m having a myriad of feelings going through me right now: Exhilaration, excitement, nervousness, anxiety, panic, thrills, chills (the good kind, not the worrisome ones) and so much more. Tonight is a special night for many reasons. The San Francisco Opera is opening its 99th season with Puccini’s Tosca, an opera that has a long history with the War Memorial Opera House. I am returning to the production originally directed by Shawna Lucey in 2018, and I am reprising my role as La Marchesa Attavanti. This is also an unique production because both Ailyn Pérez and Alfred Walker are making their role debuts as Floria Tosca and Baron Scarpia, respectively.
Aside from these debuts and reprises, it is a tremendously important moment for me personally because it will mark the first time I have been on a stage, in front of a live audience, since January 2020. For most performers, and most of the world, coming back to live theatre has been a blessing and a curse, an opportunity and a threat, a welcome return and a challenge to endure. For the last year and a half, many performers (myself included) have been quiet, contained, unable to do what we love and crave, yet eager to get out, get back, learn more, be more, and do more.
I know that tonight at the War Memorial Opera House, “There will be more stars than there are in all of the heavens” (to loosely reference Louis B. Mayer). It will not simply be from the role debuts, or the chorus, or the children, or the backstage crew, or the audience, but collectively from all of us combined. We all will be making history in the most glorious way, in the way of the comeback, the fighter, the return to making greatness happen, witnessing it, and giving and receiving simultaneously.
I am thrilled to be a part of this production, and excited to be back onstage. It’s one of my homes, and where I live from time to time. I have to give a huge thanks to the admin and the backstage crew at the San Francisco Opera House for being diligent and working tirelessly to keep us all as safe and secure as possible in order to have this production succeed. Many thanks to them all. Toi, Toi, Toi to the cast and crew for a wonderful opening night!
Tosca is running for five performances, starting tonight! Hope to see you there. It’s good to be home.