Odyssey Opera Continues Tudor Season With Elisabetta, Regina D'Inghilterra

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Odyssey Opera Continues Tudor Season With Elisabetta, Regina D'Inghilterra

One of the nation's most adventurous opera companies, Odyssey Opera, continues its Tudor-inspired season with the fully-staged production of Elisabetta, Regina d'Inghilterra (1815) by Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868). With a libretto by Giovanni Schmidtfrom the play The Page of Leicester by Carlo Federici,this two-act Italian opera contrasts the public and private spheres of Queen Elizabeth I. This seldom-heard work by one of opera's most beloved composers is the first of the nine Rossini Neapolitan operas. Gil Rose conducts with the soprano Serena Farnocchia as Elizabeth making her Boston debut.

What: Elisabetta, Regina d'Inghilterra by Gioachino Rossini

When: Friday, March 13, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. + Sunday, March 15, 2020, at 2:00 p.m.

Where:Huntington Avenue Theater, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston | T: Green to Symphony, Orange to Mass Ave

Tickets: $25 and Up. To purchase, visit odysseyopera.org or call 617.826.1626.

According to WQXR Radio, this Odyssey performance is one of the best opera events this winter."We hope audiences will join Odyssey in rediscovering this neglected masterpiece," says Gil Rose, Odyssey Opera's Artistic and General Director. "This is a great opportunity to experience a rare offering from one of opera's most beloved composers!"

Elisabetta was the first in a series of operas that Rossini was commissioned to write for the star-studded San Carlo Opera in Naples. Its 1815 premiere got a dazzling reaction, and was popular in Europe throughout the 19th century, but has been rarely performed since. It's absence from the stage is likely due to its technically challenging, wide-ranging roles of two tenors and a soprano, nevertheless it showcases Rossini's elaborate, luminous vocal writing and culminates in a virtuosic showdown between the virgin queen, her councilor, her lover and his wife.

Composers and writers alike have been fascinated by Queen Elizabeth I and her private life. She had a reputation for ruling with her head and silencing her heart. Rossini's Elisabetta shows the woman behind the monarch by dramatizing a major turning point in her life. Playing the role of the woman who reigned for 20 years as queen is Italian native Serena Farnocchia. According to Rose, "Farnocchia will bring such conviction to Elizabeth that there will be no doubting the queen's absolute and supreme authority."

The plot begins with the Queen's lover, the Earl of Leicester, returning to Elizabeth's court from a successful campaign in Scotland, during which he secretly married Matilde, the daughter of Elizabeth's cousin and rival, MaryQueen of Scots. Leicester confides in his so-called friend, Duke of Norfolk, who takes advantage of this political opportunity. The drama of Elizabethan court sparkles with condemnations to death, banishments, and an assassination attempt, concluding with the Queen sitting smugly on her throne.

Odyssey Opera's 2019-20 season features concert and staged operas about the great English dynasty of the 16th century: the Tudors. The season opened with the concert performance of Camille Saint-Saëns Henry VIII (September 21, 2019) followed by Giovanni Pacini's Maria, Regina d'Inghilterra (November 1 and 3, 2019). Odyssey ushered in 2020 with the world premiere of Arnold Rosner's The Chronicle of Nine, a semi-staged co-production with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (February 1, 2020). The season ends with two operas from the 20th century: Gloriana (1953) by Benjamin Britten (April 11, 2020) and Merrie England (1902) by Edward German (June 5 and 7, 2020).

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 varied 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. odysseyopera.org

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