Friday 28 October 2016

Tancredi in Albuquerque

Rossini - Tancredi - Opera SouthWest
Rossini - Tancredi - Opera Southwest
Whilst we were in Santa Fe this summer, we met someone from Opera Southwest which is based in Albuquerque. A small-ish company founded in 1972, Opera Southwest produces two or three operas per year yet manages to punch above its weight thanks to an interesting artistic policy by the artistic director and principal conductor, Anthony Barrese. This season the company stages two operas, Leoncavallo's Pagliacci in March 2017 and a Rossini opera in October 2016, but the Rossini isn't one of the standard comedies which crop up regularly on the schedules, it is his early opera seria Tancredi. And a glance at the company's past seasons show this sort of imagination, with productions of not only of Rossini's Il turco in Italia but Otello also, and in 2014 the company mounted a production of Amleto a little known opera by a forgotten contemporary of Verdi's Franco Faccio. 

This year's production of Rossini's Tancredi, was conducted by Anthony Barrese and directed by David Bartholemew, with Heather Johnson as Tancredi, Lindsay Ohse as Amenaide and Heath Huberg as Argirio. The production used  Rossini's revised, tragic, ending to the opera rather than the lieto fine which was given at the work's premiere. Judging from the photographs it was a very handsome production, with costumes borrowed from Santa Fe Opera's production of Rossini's Maometto II and sets (by Dahl Delu) based on dramatic projections (a relative innovation for the company and one which has won them plaudits. You can read more in Charles Jernigan's review on the Opera Journal website.

I understand that the company has it sights on Rossini's Guillaume Tell, so perhaps a trip to Albuquerque is in order.

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