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Price $32-$88
Touchstone (noun) 1. a piece of fine-grained stone used to test the purity of gold 2. a test or criterion for determining the genuineness of a thing

In this sparkling Rossini comedy, a wealthy man devises a test to separate his true friends from those who love him only for his money.
Although “touchstone” is no longer regularly used in the English language, it is still alive in an Italian proverb that forms the basis of this sparkling comic opera. They say “Men have a touchstone to test gold, but gold is really the touchstone to test men.” (“L’uomo ha la pietra di paragone per saggiare l’oro, ma l’oro è la pietra di paragone per saggiare gli uomini.”

Rossini and his librettist Romanelli demonstrate that money is indeed a way to find who your true friends are. Along the way in The Touchstone, we encounter all of the things we’ve come to love about opera buffa – acrobatic high-wire vocal feats, comic mistaken identities, a Rossinian storm, love triangles, and larger-than-life personalities. The Touchstone is performed with some regularity in Europe, and there are two commercial DVDs available (of productions in Madrid and Paris), but it has yet to catch on in the U.S. It was the 20-year-old Rossini’s first full-length opera commission, and its success launched his career. Wolf Trap Opera is pleased to present the east coast premiere of this comic gem – its first professional production since 1992.

The Touchstone La pietra del paragone
Music by Gioacchino Rossini
Libretto by Luigi Romanelli

Read synopsis here

Putting Rossini to the Test by E. Loren Meeker, Director
The Virtues of Virtuosity by Roger Pines

Cast in order of vocal appearance 
Pacuvio, a poet – Shea Owens
Fabrizio, a servantAnthony Schneider
Baroness Aspasia – Megan Mikailovna Samarin
Donna Fulvia – Summer Hassan
Macrobio, a journalist – Kihun Yoon
Giocondo, Asdrubale’s friend – Alasdair Kent
Clarice – Zoie Reams
Count Asdrubale – Richard Ollarsaba
Guests & Servants of the Count – Ricardo Garcia, Sam Grosby, Cory Gross, Senhica Klee, Jonathan Bryan
Geoffrey Hahn, Michael Hawk, Matthew Fleisher, Andrew Gilstrap
Creative Team Conductor – Antony Walker
Director – E. Loren Meeker
Scenic Designer – Erhard Rom
Costume Designer – Erik Teague
Lighting Designer – Robert H. Grimes
Wig & Makeup Designer – Anne Nesmith
Chorusmaster – David Hanlon

Production Staff

Musical Preparation – David Hanlon, Nicolò Sbuelz, Lindsay Woodward
Italian Coach – Nicolò Sbuelz
Assistant Director – TBD
Production Stage Manager – Michael Janney
Assistant Stage Manager – Madeline Levy
Supertitle Coordinator – K. Annie Brooks