LSM Newswire

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Odyssey Opera opens 2014 season with four nights of rarely performed operatic gems

WHAT: Performances of Un giorno di regno, Zanetto, and Il segreto di Susanna
WHEN: Wednesday, June 11 – Saturday, June 14 at 7:30pm | Un giorno di regno (June 11 + 13) Zanetto and Il segreto di Susanna (Jun 12 + 14)
WHERE: Boston University Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave, Boston MA
TICKETS: $25-$100 | To purchase, visit or call 617.933.8600.

(Boston, MA) - ODYSSEY OPERA, a new, Boston-based opera company dedicated to exploring the full spectrum of adventurous repertoire, presents a set of three fully staged operas: Verdi’s Un giorno di regno, Pietro Mascagni’s Zanetto, and Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s Il segreto di Susanna. With a mission of bringing to life the finest rare operas with stellar artists, Odyssey offers an ambitious line-up of works to supplement the traditional operatic repertoire. This new season follows Odyssey’s debut last September in a critically acclaimed concert performance of Wagner’s Rienzi, and offers for the first time a mini-festival of fully-staged productions. (See below for complete program details.)
“It has been over 30 years since Boston audiences have heard these operas,” explains Gil Rose, Artistic and General Director of Odyssey Opera. “We hope that by showcasing these admired yet seldom performed works, their indelible impact will keep operagoers enchanted.”
Verdi’s first comic opera, Un giorno di regno (June 11 and 13), features a cast that includes one of the world’s premier emerging Verdi baritones, Michael Chioldi, along with fellow baritones James Maddalena and David Kravitz, as well as Amy Shoremount-Obra (soprano), Jessica Medoff (mezzo-soprano), and Yeghishe Manucharyan (tenor). A boisterous adventure of tangled romance in two acts, Giorno is loosely based on a real-life 18th-century deposed Polish king and the confusion wrought by his undercover effortsDirected by NEC’s Chair of Opera Studies, Joshua Major, this opera was Verdi’s only lighthearted undertaking until his magnificent final masterpiece, Falstaff.
Rose and company will alternate Giorno with two performances (June 12 and 14) of a double bill of one-act operas. Mascagni’s wistful Zanetto, with Eleni Calenos (soprano) and Eve Gigliotti (mezzo-soprano), pairs with Wolf-Ferrari’s witty Il Segreto di Susanna, featuring Inna Dukach (soprano) and Kristopher Irmiter (bass-baritone). According to Rose, these contrasting pieces offset one another unexpectedly well. “The Mascagni is a lyrical scene, and its Renaissance setting makes for a sort of gentle prelude to the raucous comedy of the Wolf-Ferrari.” Both productions are directed by Daniel Gidron, a longtime stage director of Shakespeare & Company and Nora Theatre Company.
About Odyssey Opera
Founded in 2013 by Artistic Director/Conductor Gil Rose, Odyssey Opera presents adventurous and eclectic works that affirm opera as a powerful expression of the human experience. Its world-class artists perform the operatic repertoire from its historic beginnings through lesser-known masterpieces to contemporary new works and commissions in a variety of formats and venues. Odyssey Opera sets standards of high musical and theatrical excellence and innovative programming to advance the operatic genre beyond the familiar and into undiscovered territory. Odyssey Opera takes its audience on a journey to places they’ve never been before.
PROGRAM DETAILS                                                                                                     
*Boston debut
UN GIORNO DI REGNO | Giuseppe Verdi
Cavaliere di Belfiore – Michael Chioldi*
Barone di Kelbar – James Maddalena
Marchesa del Poggio – Amy Shoremount-Obra*
Giulietta di Kelbar – Jessica Medoff *
Edoardo di Sanval – Yeghishe Manucharyan
La Rocca – David Kravitz
Conductor – Gil Rose 
Un giorno di regno (King for a Day) is Verdi’s second opera and first of only two comedies (the last one, Falstaff, coming 59 years later). This charmingly quirky work has enjoyed several revivals since its 1840 premiere. In two acts and five scenes, the story is set in 1733 at Baron Kelbar’s castle in Poland. The libretto by Felice Romani involves a tangled web of romance amongst the intrigue of wartime. Along with a pair of quarreling buffo basses (the Baron Kelbar himself and La Rocca, the state treasurer), there are two sets of mismatched lovers: Belfiore (posing as the King of Poland) and a young widow, the Marchesa del Poggio; and penniless Edoardo and his love interest Giulietta, the daughter of Baron Kelbar. A distant memory to the Boston opera scene, Giorno appears in an all-new production created by director Joshua Major. Sung in Italian with projected English supertitles.

ZANETTO | Pietro Mascagni
Silvia – Eleni Calenos
Zanetto – Eve Gigliotti*
Conductor – Gil Rose
Mascagni’s one-act opera of 1896 is an unusual but heartfelt work, capturing a fleeting scene of unfulfilled love, longing, and regret. Set to an Italian libretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci, Zanetto lasts under an hour and employs a two-singer cast, and was originally billed as a scena lirica (lyric scene). In the Florentine countryside during the Renaissance, an aging courtesan, Silvia, is plagued with uncertainty upon encountering young wandering minstrel Zanetto, for whom she feels a powerful and complicated passion. This rarely heard score will be supplemented by an all-new production created by director Daniel Gidron. Sung in Italian with projected English supertitles.
IL SEGRETO DI SUSANNA | Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari
Countess Susanna – Inna Dukach*
Count Gil – Kristopher Irmiter
Conductor – Gil Rose 
Wolf-Ferrari’s 1909 opera The Secret of Susanna is the work for which he’s best known, and its Overture is his greatest hit. A fast-paced, witty comedy, it deserves a place of distinction in the parade of comic diversions. A one-act intermezzo that lasts about 45 minutes, Il segreto di Susanna is set to an Italian libretto by Enrico Golisciani. The opera tells a story of suspected infidelity with frisky humor and lyric breadth. The two singing roles demand both sumptuous voices and skillful comedic flair. Not seen in Boston since the 1980s, an all-new production will be created by director Daniel Gidron. Sung in Italian with projected English supertitles.

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