Christopher Bozeka, Amanda Crider & Lindsay Ohse to Headline Opera Southwest’s ‘Le Comte Ory’

By David Salazar

Opera Southwest is set to present “Le Comte Ory” starting on Feb. 5, 2023.

The production of the famed Rossini opera will run for a total of three performances with subsequent shows scheduled for Feb. 10 and 12, 2023 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center-Journal Theatre.

The comedy will star tenor Christopher Bozeka, soprano Lindsay Ohse, Amanda Crider, Matthew Hanscom, Laurel Semerdijian, Mary Brzezinski, and Tim Mix. Anthony Barrese conducts with Kristen Barrett directing.

Barrett’s love affair with the Rossini comedy started during her college years with the director noting that “I’ve always thought it has some of Rossini’s most beautiful music, and on top of that it’s a very funny show. To me what makes it funny is not just that Ory is such an obvious charlatan, but that the other characters onstage are absolutely fooled by him. It’s delightful to watch such silliness succeed, even for a short time.”

Her production will be set in La Belle Époque, “an age of real scientific and technological advances, but it was also filled with hucksters who successfully sold ‘cures’ for anything a person could want,” Barrett told OperaWire. “Quack pseudo-scientific practices like phrenology were immensely popular back then, and ordinary people had no way of knowing who was genuine and who was a fake. This is an ideal time to set a comedy full of trickery and bad disguises. The plot hinges on our antihero really being able to pull the wool over peoples’ eyes, even as we, the audience, know how ridiculous he’s being. It’s a wonderful experience to hear virtuosic singing and beautiful music and still be able to laugh and enjoy oneself, and I hope our audience has that experience.”