Rossini’s Tancredi was first produced at La Fenice in Venice in February, 1813. Rossini was only twenty years old, and this opera established the young composer as the leading Italian opera composer of his day. As the librettist for Tancredi, Gaetano Rossi, would write: “With this opera, Rossini rose to glory.” The original libretto of Tancredi had a happy ending, as was the custom in Venice at the time. Within a few months, however, Rossini had an alternate ending written which more closely emulated Voltaire’s play. This is the ending which is now regularly performed and the version we will hear today. Opera Southwest’s production was the New Mexico premiere of this opera. Tancredi is sung by Heather Johnson and Amenaide is sung by Lindsay Ohse. The conductor is Opera Southwest’s Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Anthony Barrese.
Originally premiered in 1865 in Genoa and then performed again in 1871 in Milan, Franco Faccio’s Amleto (Hamlet) was thought lost for over 135 years. Opera Southwest’s artistic director, Anthony Barrese, has spent nearly a decade in libraries and the Ricordi archives recovering the work from a microfilm of the composers autograph. This performance, recorded in the fall of 2014 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center – Journal Theatre in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the first performance of the work in over 143 years, and is the American premiere.
Founded in 1972 as Albuquerque Opera Theatre, Opera Southwest is Albuquerque’s professional, regional company. With a mission to produce quality, professional, enjoyable and accessible opera in an intimate setting for audiences of all ages, Opera Southwest produces two to three major operas each year selected from the best of the standard and not-so-standard repertoire. To date, Opera Southwest has produced 122 operas, including 23 world premieres, many of which were original operas created especially for children
This program is a part of the American Opera Series, a series designed to complement the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts to fill out the year with great Opera content. The series begins in May and lasts until November (exact dates are published in the first half of the year).