Michael Chioldi Headlines Odyssey Opera’s ‘Henry VIII’

By Francisco Salazar

The Odyssey Opera is set to open its 2019-20 season with a concert performance of “Henry VIII” by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Michael Chioldi is set to star in the title role as King Henry, with soprano Ellie Dehn as Henry’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and mezzo-soprano Hilary Ginther as Henry’s second wife, Anne Boleyn.

The company, which has been dedicated to performing neglected works, had its North American premiere in 1983. Gil Rose, artistic director of the company stated, “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 work marks the beginning of the company’s Tudor cycle season. Following the season-opening concert, Odyssey Opera will present “Maria, Regina d’Inghilterra” by Giovanni Pacini, Arnold Rosner’s “The Chronicle of Nine,” “Elisabetta, Regina d’Inghilterra” by Rossini, “Gloriana” by Benjamin Britten, and “Merrie England” by Edward German.