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Jay Ezra | Hidden Harmonies



Curated by Jay Ezra

Tosca at the LA Opera

Los Angeles, CA

Participating Artists: Amanda Charchian, Doug Galante, Stevie Howell, Dean Levin, Cesar Vega and Julian Wellisz.
If ever an opera conveyed the human need for Art, and the reliance on Art to express one’s emotions, it is Puccini’s “Tosca”.
The painter Cavaradossi sings, “Dissimilar beauties are together blended by the mystery of art…” Instead of modeling his Mary Magdalene after his lover Tosca, he chooses to portray Tosca’s beauty through contrast – the Mary’s eyes blue, hair blond; Tosca’s black and dark. In the madness that is love, perhaps only Art can allow one to express themselves in “opposites”.
In her greatest moment of despair and loneliness, we find Tosca making an eloquent reflection on her life and the first thing she exclaims is: “I lived for Art”. Before love or God or Cavaradossi, she defines her existence in relation to Art.


In collaboration with the LA Opera, the Tappan Collective presents a portrayal of Tosca through the opera’s six leitmotifs. These motifs were used by Puccini to identify characters or emotions: the violence and social upheaval that beset Rome at the time; the feline, caressing nature of Tosca herself; the love between Cavaradossi and Tosca; the fugitive Angelotti; the torture of Cavaradossi; and the light-hearted, carefree mood provided by the Sacristan.
In a similar fashion to Puccini, but moving from the musical the visual, each leitmotif has been paired with an artist from the Tappan Collective. The six panels have been organized in a circular fashion, mimicking the opera’s through-composed structure.