Tom O'Toole appeared most recently as Alaska Wolf Joe in Opera Boston's critically acclaimed production of Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Other recent New England appearances include Escamillo in Carmen (Granite State Opera), Gazella in Lucrezia Borgia (Opera Boston), Friedrich Bhaer in Little Women (Boston Opera Project), Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Commonwealth Opera), and Alidoro in La Cenerentola (Raylynmor Opera, New Hampshire). His additional credits include Germont (La Traviata), Mozart's Figaro, and Father in Hänsel und Gretel. As a member of the 2006 Sarasota Opera Studio, Mr. O'Toole appeared in La Boheme and covered principle roles in Le Nozze di Figaro and Verdi's I Masnadieri.
A glance at the above cast list might prove to be confusing. Here real people are juxtaposed with characters from a play. What kind of opera is this? A finely crafted, cleverly inventive one. Librettist John Shoptaw has combined a play (Our American Cousin by Tom Taylor, 1851) and real history (the assassination of President Lincoln, April 14, 1865). The assassination is told from the perspective of the actors performing the play at Ford’s Theater in Washington. Backstage and audience realities alternate with (decidedly unfunny and rather too many) scenes from the play.