Sunday, June 4, 2023

Opera Southwest Debuts Comedic Masterpiece 'Le comte Ory'

Comedic masterpiece boasts beautiful music and laughs galore


While the men of the town are off at war, Count Ory (sung by tenor Christopher Bozeka) has designs on the Countess Adèle (soprano Lindsay Ohse). Through an increasingly funny series of escapades, he tries to win her, but the townswomen have vowed to remain chaste until the men return. This comic opera by Gioachino Rossini will delight audiences at three performances by Opera Southwest beginning this weekend.

"The music absolutely elevates the story. We’ve done a lot of Rossini here at OSW and Le comte Ory is, musically, one of the most interesting works so far. It’s also very funny - tons of laugh-out-loud moments in the rehearsal hall," said Tony Zancanella, executive director of OSW.

The opera company recently premiered Zorro, a work they co-commissioned with Ft. Worth Opera by Los Angeles composer Héctor Armienta, whose musical adaptation of Bless Me, Ultima was a local hit in 2018. Next up is Giacomo Puccini's masterpiece Turandot. Why does Le comte Ory fit so smoothly between the other two operas in OSW's 50th season?

"We chose this opera because of our specialization in the works of Rossini specifically and the lost gems of the bel canto repertoire more generally," Zancanella said. OSW's Artistic Director and Maestro, Anthony Barrese, is known all over the world as a Rossini scholar and a knowledgeable interpreter of the composer's works. He will conduct the Opera Southwest Orchestra for Le comte Ory.

Many aspects of this opera - the music, the costumes, the sheer fun - will endear it to Albuquerque audiences, but Zancanella points out another pleasing aspect. "Enjoy the impressive scenic design by Dahl Delu - it's the first real product of our new scenic facility at 3rd and Mountain, and I think the scale of the ambition that facility permits us will show through."

Le comte Ory by Opera Southwest will be performed at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Sun. Feb. 5 at 2pm; Fri. Feb. 10 at 7:30pm; Sun. Feb. 12 at 2pm. Tix:

Before the Friday night show, OSW offers Taste of Opera, a buffet at La Fonda at the NHCC. The cost of $39.95 per person includes conversations with the artistic staff, a dinner buffet, wine, tax and gratuity, starting at 5:45pm. Make your reservations for Taste of Opera at


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