FGO’s 2020-21 season to include Rossini rarity, contemporary work

By Lawrence Budmen

Jonas Hacker and Joseph Lattanzi starred in the Lyric Opera Unlimited 2018 production of Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travelers. Photo: Todd Rosenberg

Two operatic evergreens, a Rossini rarity and a contemporary American work comprise Florida Grand Opera’s ambitious 2020-2021 season.

Verdi’s La Traviata opens the season November 14-19 at the Arsht Center, followed by performances at the Broward Center December 3 and 5.

Rossini’s rarely produced 1816 setting of Otello takes the stage at the Arsht January 30-February 4, 2021 and in Broward February 11-13. Predating Verdi’s familiar opera on the same subject, Rossini’s opus requires no less than six tenors in prominent roles. FGO claims to be only the second American company to ever produce the work. (Opera Southwest in Albuquerque, New Mexico presented Otello in 2012.)

Gounod’s Faust, last presented by FGO in 2002, follows March 20-25 at the Arsht Center and April 8-10 in Fort Lauderdale.

The season concludes with the Florida premiere of Fellow Travelers by Gregory Spears, which will be presented only in Miami at the Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall April 24-27. The opera concerns two young gay Washington officials caught up in the “Lavender Scare” during the McCarthy era of the 1950’s. Premiered by Cincinnati Opera in 2016, Fellow Travelers has been widely performed since, including in Chicago, presented by Lyric Opera Unlimited in 2018.

Casting for all productions will be announced at a later date. fgo.org

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2 Responses to “FGO’s 2020-21 season to include Rossini rarity, contemporary work”

  1. Posted Jan 13, 2020 at 2:26 pm by ps241

    Rossini’s Otello was given a fully staged production by Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1992 and by San Francisco Opera in 1994. Opera Southwest does many great things, but it is wrong to claim that its 2012 production was the U.S. premiere of this work.

  2. Posted Jan 13, 2020 at 3:59 pm by Bill DePeter

    The statement regarding Rossini’s Otello should be clarified. The opera was performed in New York as early as 1826. 20th Century performances include concert presentations by American Opera Society (1954 & 1957), Caramoor (2001), and Opera Orchestra of New York (2007). The Rome Opera presented this work at the Metropolitan Opera in 1968. Lyric Opera of Chicago staged it in 1993 and San Francisco Opera in 1994.

    The novelty of the performances in Albuquerque was the use of the “happy” ending (Rossini composed two versions). They offered both versions at the premiere and then gave the audience the choice as to which would be given at subsequent performances. http://www.newoutpost.com/1114/opera-southwest-presents-rossini-otello/

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