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Local girls share role of shepherd boy in Syracuse Opera’s ‘Tosca’

Three singers from the Syracuse Opera Children’s Chorus have been rehearsing the role of the shepherd boy for this weekend’s production of Puccini’s “Tosca.”

Julianna Buchmann will sing at Friday’s opening, while Samantha Sibert will perform at the Sunday matinee. Lydia Kelly is an understudy who performed at a recent preview of the opera.

Syracuse Opera’s production is sung in Italian, with projected English surtitles. Julianna, 11, enjoys singing in foreign languages, said her mother, Mary Buchmann.

A sixth-grader at Weedsport Elementary School, Julianna is involved with school theater and plays the French horn. Because Julianna also plays basketball, her mother is relieved the opera and basketball season do not conflict.

“She has to work very hard to balance her work,” Mary Buchmann said.

Samantha knows two things about her Sunday performance. It’s a good opportunity to perform before a lot of people. And “I’m nervous singing in front of a lot of people,” especially for the first time singing solo an entire song. Samantha, who is 12, is musically inclined. She plays the autoharp, piano, ukukele and guitar. The seventh-grader at Wellwood Middle School in Fayetteville also has appeared in school plays.

Although she is the understudy, Lydia sang the shepherd boy role at a recent preview at Barnes & Noble bookstore in DeWitt.

“I love music in general. I love to sing and dance,” said Lydia. The eighth-grader at Manlius Pebble Hill School also participates in theater, choir and sports.

Lydia and Julianna have performed in past Syracuse Opera productions of “La Boheme” and “Hansel and Gretel.”


What: “Tosca,” by Giacomo Puccini, presented by Syracuse Opera. Sung in Italian with projected English surtitles.

When: 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Crouse-Hinds Theater, John H. Mulroy Civic Center, 411 Montgomery St., Syracuse.

Tickets: $18 to $175. To purchase, call Syracuse Opera’s box office, 476-7372, or go online to Syracuse Opera’s website.

Also: Syracuse Opera Director of Music Douglas Kinney Frost hosts a 30-minute talk in the theater’s lower orchestra section an hour before each performance.