Having come full circle in 12 years, Utah Opera will open its 1990-91 season with Verdi's "Otello" - the first opera that the company ever took into the Capitol Theater, back in 1979. Performances will be dedicated to the late Glade Peterson, who sang the title role then.
"Otello," acknowledged by many as the crown of Verdi's tragedies, will have five performances at the Capitol Theater, beginning Saturday, Oct. 13 and continuing Oct. 15, 17 and 19, all at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. Season tickets ranging from $25 to $90 or single seats from $10 to $30 are now on sale at the opera box office in the Theater, 533-6494.The libretto, fashioned from the Shakespearean drama by Arrigo Boito, will be sung in Italian, with English Supertitles.
The tragic Moor who "loved not wisely but too well" will be sung in alternation by George Gray and David Rampy. Metropolitan opera soprano Natalia Rom will play Desdemona, with Roy Stevens as Iago, and Utah artists in the supporting cast - James Miller as Cassio, Dave Arnold, Eric Glissmeyer and Andrea Evans. Bulgarian bass Valentin Peytchinov will portray Lodovico.
Conducting the Utah Symphony will be Anton Coppola, last here in 1987 to lead "La Traviata." During his long career, Coppola has worked with many important opera companies in the United States and Canada, led Broadway musicals and interpreted contemporary works.
Stage director David Morelock also returns, after last year's "Rigoletto." He's worked with such companies as Winnipeg, Edmonton, Sarasota and Knoxville Operas, and was for seven years in charge of the young artists program at Cincinnati Opera. U.O. music director Dean Ryan has prepared the chorus and supporting roles. Costumes of Renaissance design are by Susan Memmott Allred, lighting by Greg Geilmann, and sets from Syracuse and Indianapolis Opera.
Natalia Rom is a native of Leningrad and former student at Leningrad Conservatory. After immigrating to America she studied in New Orleans, making her operatic debut as "Aida" with the Seattle Opera in 1979. A Met audition winner in 1979, she joined the Young Artists Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera in 1980.
She has sung leading roles with the Met (Tatyana, Mimi, Emma in "Khovanschina"), and during the past two seasons, with the operas of Columbus, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Lyric of Chicago, Dallas, Montreal, Nice, Santiago, and Great Britain's Opera North and Scottish Opera; also with the symphonies of Baltimore, Cincinnati and Houston.
David Rampy, alternating as Otello on Oct. 15 and 19, most recently made his New York City Opera debut in that company's acclaimed "From the House of the Dead" by Janacek. He holds a Ph.D. in music from Indiana U., and has sung with the Seattle, Houston and Canadian Operas.
- "OPERABITES," the first in a series of Friday noontime symposiums sponsored by Utah Opera, will take place on Oct. 12 at 12:15 p.m. in the Capitol Theater auditorium. Speaking about "Otello" will be stage director David Morelock, conductor Anton Coppola and Susan Memmott Allred, who will show costumes. Music director Dean Ryan will moderate. Bring a bag lunch, or a $5 box lunch from Ruby's may be ordered through the opera office, 524-8377.