Rare Pacini (Not Puccini) Opera Continues Odyssey Opera's Tudor Season

Friday October 25, 2019

One of the nation's most adventurous opera companies, Odyssey Opera, continues its Tudor-inspired season with the fully-staged production of "Maria, Regina d'Inghilterra" (1843) by Giovanni Pacini.

"Maria, Regina d'Inghilterra" will be performed on Friday, November 1, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 3, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. They take place at the Huntington Avenue Theater, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston. (T: Green to Symphony, Orange to Mass Ave.) Tickets: $25 and Up. To purchase or to find more information, visit the Odyssey Opera website or call 617.826.1626.

"Mary Tudor, Queen of England" is an Italian opera in three acts, from a libretto by Leopoldo Tarantini, which is based on the play "Marie Tudor" by Victor Hugo. This largely overlooked yet remarkable work is an interesting example of mid-19th-century opera. Gil Rose conducts the Bel Canto masterwork with Amy Shoremount-Obra as Queen Mary and rising star Alisa Jordheim as Clotilde Talbot.

According to The Boston Globe, WBUR Radio, and Opera Wire, this performance is one of the must-see classical events of the fall season. "Beholding any of Pacini's 70+ operas is a rare occurrence. A performance of Pacini's 'Maria' is extraordinary!" says Gil Rose, Odyssey Opera's Artistic and General Director. "We hope audiences will join Odyssey in rediscovering both this forgotten composer and his wrongfully neglected masterpiece."

Pacini is one of the missing links in Italian opera of the first part of the 19th century. He produced more than 70 operas and yet has faded into oblivion. Pacini (1796-1867) wrote happily within the formal conventions of Italian opera in his time; perhaps, this is why he remains largely in the shadows, especially of his colleagues: Verdi, Bellini, and Donizetti.

"Maria" premiered in Palermo in 1843 to much acclaim, however, it disappeared from the stage until 1983 when it was revived by Opera Rara. Set in London 1553, Queen Mary I of England is infatuated with the Scottish adventurer Riccardo Fenimoore, whom she has ennobled as Lord Talbot, but he is in love with Clotilde, the only surviving child of the late Earl of Talbot. Clotilde is in love with Ernest Malcolm, a commoner.

"Maria" has two significant soprano roles: Queen Mary I played by Amy Shoremount-Obra who was recently hailed "a voice of true substance...incredible! (Boston Musical Intelligencer)," and Clotilde played by Alisa Jordheim who was lauded by the San Francisco Chronicle as being "vocally resplendent" and possessing "impeccable coloratura."

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). Odyssey ushers 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) followed by the fully-staged production of "Elisabetta, Regina d'Inghilterra" (1815) by Rossini Neapolitan (March 13 and 15, 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).

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 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. For more information, visit the Odyssey Opera website.

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