Copyright - A P - 2009 -2010
                   It was a cool, clear Venice night, and the stars shining were not only those in the deep purple sky!

Elegantly attired young ladies began to arrive at the Opera House, accompanied by stunning young men in Evening suits. It seemed to be the night for 'White Tie and Tails'!

The news about 'Princess Emma' had quickly spread through the hotel where the passengers and crew of the Wheaten Princess were staying.  A large group had gathered in the vestibule, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the royal lady.

There was a hush over the gathered company as a limo drew up at the entrance and the 'Royal Party' alighted.

The first to enter the vestibule, was Brady, who was officially escorting Her Royal Highness, the Princess Emma, who was accompanied by Lt Abby.

Also in the Royal party was Killian's younger sister, Katie S, who had come especially to hear her sister sing in her Operatic Debut. With her was Sister Ella, who was Killian's dear friend from the Convent which Killian had belonged to before leaving to take up her studies as an opera singer. This was a special night for them both.

The ladies looked dazzling!  (And Brady looked pretty good, too!).
                     After the 'Royal Arrival', everyone went to their seats and checked their programmes.
As might have been expected, Hurley had made sure of obtaining the best seats with the best view. He escorted the three Ballerinas, and as they surveyed the magnificent building with its magical atmosphere, he assured the girls that THEY would also be performing in such a place one day. 
The orchestra entered the pit and began to tune up. Katie S wondered what Killian was doing at this very minute!  She felt nervous for her, yet confident that Killian would sweep the audience off their feet with her magnificent voice.

Faces appeared in the boxes, all eager to hear this new discovery of the famous Tuckerotti. As he had trained her himself, expectations were high. The great Italian Tenor did not waste his precious time on any singer who was not worthy, and who did not show great promise.

Tosca was an unusual choice for a new singer just starting out on her career. It was a difficult choice and demanded great technical, and artistic abilities. ForTuckerotti to have chosen this Opera for her debut, she must be something VERY  special indeed!

                                 There was a hush as the curtains lifted, and the  stage was set for Act 1. 

When Killian appeared, she was poised and calm, and completely in control,  and she soon had control of her audience as well. Tuckerotti was all that everyone expected - one of the best operatic Tenors in the Wheaten world, but it was Killian who surprised everyone. She was MAGNIFICENT!
Between the first and second Acts, the boys got to their feet,  not only to stretch their legs, but to sneak out for some quick liquid refreshment!  The girls patiently awaited their return, and hushed their chatter as soon as the curtain was about to raise again on Act 2.
In Act 2, everyone in the audience was waiting to hear the Vissi D'Arte, and they weren't disappointed. Fortunately for the non-Italian speaking listeners, the programme had English translations.

                                          The Vissi D'Arte is a prayer, sung by Tosca. In brief, it means:

I lived for my art, I lived for love, 
                                                                                  I never did harm to a living soul!

When the curtain came down, there was a moment's silence, followed by thunderous applause. Killian and Tuckerotti came onto the stage to take their bows, and also the other members of the cast. There were standing ovations and shouts of 'BRAVO'! 

Killian looked radiant, and if she had ever doubted her abilities and her talent, she would have no doubts remaining after this performance.

Killian and Tuckerotti took 6 encores. Their audience just did not want to let them go! This was success beyond her wildest dreams.

The whole WORLD loved her!
Finally, the curtain came down for the last time, and people began to move from their seats towards the exits.

Not only were they sad to be leaving the Opera House and all that emotional music, but the knowledge that they would soon be returning to Naples to board the Wheaten Princess - for home, also weighed heavily on their hearts.

Killian and Tuckerotti, with Brady, would join the ship after two more performances. Then they would be making the trip home to New York where they were booked for a season.  Killian was happy to be going home. France and Italy were wonderful, but like the old song, 'There's No Place Like Home'.
The Third, and final Act had everyone weeping into their tissues. Even some of the boys were complaining of having dust in their eyes!  After all, TOSCA is a tragedy, and it goes without saying that the story will have a sad ending. But seeing Tuckerotti's character, Mario, in such a state after being tortured, and watching how Killian, as Tosca, comforted him, believing that they had a future together, then knowing the betrayal about to take place ....... well, it just made those who knew the leading singers feel as if it was personal!

Sister Ella, who knew Killian better than anyone did, always suspected that there was more than just a 'teacher-pupil' relationship between Killian and Tuckerotti - though she doubted that they were aware of it - yet!

She became more certain as she observed them singing together, especially in the Love Duets. A quiet little smile crept onto her face, and she nodded her wise old head approvingly.

"He is a good  man," she whispered to herself as she watched the closing scenes when they were together.
KILLIAN (Tosca) and  TUCKEROTTI (Mario)