Michael Chioldi Headlines Odyssey Opera’s ‘Henry VIII’

By Francisco Salazar

Boston’s Odyssey Opera is set to open its seventh season with a concert performance of Saint-Saëns’ “Henry VIII.”

The work, based on “El cisma en Inglaterra” by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, will kick off the 2019-20 season featuring concert and staged operas about the great English dynasty of the Tudors.

The production will star an all-star cast that includes Michael Chioldi as King Henry, Ellie Dehn as Henry’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and mezzo-soprano Hilary Ginther as Henry’s second wife, Anne Boleyn.

Throughout the past years Odyssey Opera has resurrected little-known and intensely powerful works that are rarely performed today. “Henry VIII” made its North American premiere 1983 and since then has disappeared from the States.

In a statement, Gil Rose, Odyssey Opera’s Artistic and General Director, noted, “’Henry VIII’ has all the ingredients of a spectacular grand opera. It has a sensational historical subject and sweeping vocal melodies and rich orchestral writing. As often happens, much of the real meat of the opera was cut during the initial production. We are thrilled to be working with renowned Saint-Saëns scholar, Hugh MacDonald, to recreate ‘Henry VIII’ as the composer intended. This is a performance that, for all intents and purposes, represents the world premiere!”

The performances is set for Sept. 21, 2019 at the New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston, Massachusetts.