BRATTLEBORO -- The Windham Orchestra and PanOpera team up to bring Puccini’s opera "Tosca" to the region. Performances will be at the Latchis Theatre on Friday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m., and at the Academy of Music in Northampton, Mass., on Thursday, June 5, at 7:30 p.m.

"No-one needs to understand Italian or ‘know about opera’ to relate immediately and instinctively to the emotional states of the characters and the horrifying situations they are in," explains Windham Orchestra Director Hugh Keelan. "Who has not experienced desperation in love, particularly when a loved one is in pain? Who does not know the struggle between the higher and lower self? Who has not been helpless, overwhelmed in adversity -- and tried to pretend they have it all handled?"

Jenna Rae, a co-founder of PanOpera, will make her soprano debut as Tosca. As a mezzo- soprano, Rae has performed locally in recital and solo work. In 2008 she sang the role of La Zia Principessa in the Hugh Keelan Ensemble production of "Suor Angelica" in Brattleboro. She is studying voice with Stan Norsworthy. Rae teaches music and drama at The St. Michael School in Brattleboro.

From Northampton, tenor Alan Schneider will perform the role of Mario Cavaradossi, an artist, free-thinker, and the lover of Tosca. Schneider has appeared in opera, operetta, and music theater productions with many companies in his native New England and elsewhere.

Baritone Stan Norsworthy will perform the role of Baron Scarpia, the Roman Chief of Police, who plots to possess Tosca and execute Cavaradossi. He has had an extensive and distinguished career in the U.S. and Europe, both as a baritone and a heldentenor. He lives and teaches in Chester.

The supporting cast for "Tosca" all have local ties, and are of varied backgrounds: a clown; a conductor, singer and teacher; an 11 year-old; a musicologist; three are novices to operatic singing. The supporting cast includes; baritone Cailin Marcel Manson, Director of Music at The Putney School, as the Sacristan; Javier Luengo-Garrido as Cesare Angelloti; Patrick Donnelly; and Preston Forchion.

A true community effort, also joining the Windham Orchestra for "Tosca" are a children’s group, an adult chorus, military drummers for an execution and the work of local artists contributing to the projected "set."

The audience will also be invited to contribute with an opportunity to sing the climactic final notes of Act 1.

For Brattleboro tickets, general admission is by "pick your own price" from $10-40; premium seating is $75. Purchase tickets at BrattleboroTix.com or by calling the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523.

For Northampton tickets, general admission is $20. Purchase academyofmusictheatre.tix.com or call Academy of Music at 413-584-9032, ext. 105.

For more information, visit www.bmcvt.org or call the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523.