Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Huns are coming!

John Relyea is AttilaForeground: John Relyea,
© Rozarii Lynch
Background: Attila, Israeli Opera, © Yossi Zwecker
Our blog has been a bit quiet for the past few weeks because we’ve been getting ready for a couple of big events: the announcement of our 2012/13 season at the end of this month, and the start of Attila rehearsals tomorrow! You’ll have to wait ‘til December 30th to find out about our next season, but our current season has us pretty excited and it’s in no small part thanks to Attila. This rarely-performed Verdi opera opens at McCaw Hall on January 14 and runs for six performances through January 28—and it’s the first time Seattle Opera has ever mounted it.

“I find Attila the most beautiful of Verdi’s early operas,” says Speight Jenkins. “The arias for all four principals and the great choral pieces were more than a suggestion of things to come; in the area of both solo and choral pieces he had arrived. This is the real Verdi. Attila will surprise a lot of people in its extraordinarily high quality.”

So what’s Attila about? This melodious bel canto opera follows the famous Hun as he and his hordes invade a crumbling empire and come face-to-face with a beautiful warrior woman, a hot-headed refugee leader, and a two-faced general. This two-hour feast of song and drama is set in modern day, and features Canadian bass-baritone John Relyea as Attila. Last season, Relyea starred as Don Quichotte in another Seattle Opera premiere, and we’re looking forward to having him back on our stage. Venezuelan soprano Ana Lucrecia García takes on the role of Odabella, a woman determined to avenge her father’s death; Italian tenor Antonello Palombi is her lover, Foresto; and Italian baritone Marco Vratogna makes his company debut as Ezio, a power-hungry Roman general.

Carlo Montanaro—who conducted Don Quichotte last season—is in the pit for Attila, and Bernard Uzan directs, following his acclaimed Carmen this fall.

For more info on this production and to find a full cast list, visit our http://www.seattleopera.org/attila. And make sure to keep an eye on the blog and our Facebook and Twitter pages, because we'll be bringing you lots of sneak-peeks at the production between now and opening night. Until then, have a look at our Attila Speight's Corner video, where Speight Jenkins talks about why he's so drawn to Attila, and costume designer Melanie Taylor Burgess discuses her vision for this production.

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