Barbarian King Invades Seattle Opera: Company Premiere of Verdi’s Attila, January 14 to 28, 2012

SeattleFor six performances only, Verdi’s Attila takes the stage at Seattle Opera from January 14 through 28, 2012.
This melodious bel canto opera, new to the company, presents the barbarian invasion of a decadent, crumbling empire and a compelling love triangle.
A fearsome warlord with a hidden tender side, the beautiful warrior woman who destroys him, a hot-headed refugee leader, and a two-faced general—plus chorus, dancers, and extras as crowds of soldiers, refugees, and slaves—square off for a two-hour feast of song and drama.
“I find Attila the most beautiful of Verdi’s early operas,” says Speight Jenkins, General Director of Seattle Opera. “The arias for all four principals and the great choral pieces were more than a suggestion of things to come; in the area of both solo and choral pieces he had arrived. This is the real Verdi. Attila will surprise a lot of people in its extraordinarily high quality.”
Canadian bass-baritone John Relyea returns to Seattle Opera in the role of Attila, which he sang for the first time in concert this fall in Washington, D.C.
The Washington Times praised his “powerful, clarion-clear instrument that establishes Attila’s dominance from the first note.”
Relyea’s previous Seattle Opera credits include the title roles in Don Quichotte and Bluebeard’s Castle, and Giorgio in I puritani.
He won the 2005 Seattle Opera Artist of the Year award for his Four Villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann.
Starring opposite Relyea is Venezuelan soprano Ana Lucrecia García as Odabella, the Italian woman who destroys the invading Hun.
García, who made her company debut as Aida in 2008, recently sang Odabella at La Scala. “She staked everything on ‘Santo di patria,’ the role’s intimidating calling-card, and emerged with all honors,” wrote “The two-octave descent in her opening line was excellent, but even more admirable was her use of mixed chest voice, which makes her transitions from the bottom of the range up into head voice fluid and painless.”
Italian tenor Antonello Palombi portrays Odabella’s lover, Foresto.
No stranger to the Seattle Opera stage, Palombi has previously starred as Manrico in Il trovatore, Radames in Aida, and Canio in Pagliacci.
Baritone Marco Vratogna makes his company debut as the sly Roman general Ezio.
On January 22 only, Finnish bass Mika Kares makes his Seattle Opera debut as Attila, with American soprano Susan Neves also debuting as Odabella.
Former Seattle Opera Young Artist tenor Russell Thomas makes his mainstage debut as Foresto, a role he sang in 2010 at the Metropolitan Opera.
Conductor Carlo Montanaro takes the lead in the pit, following a company debut with Don Quichotte that “wrought wondrously clear, elegant, stylish playing from the orchestra” (Opera Canada).
Bernard Uzan directs; Uzan’s recent credits with Seattle Opera include Macbeth, Pagliacci, and this season’s Carmen, for which The Seattle Times noted his vision: “The gifted Frenchman’s response to the operas he stages tends to be admirably specific and sharply individual. No exception, this Carmen…[is] brilliantly imaginative and utterly compelling.”
The set, originally designed for Opéra national du Rhin by Charles Edwards, has been enhanced with new digital media by Seattle Opera.

A war-torn space with both contemporary and antique elements, it is lit by Seattle Opera’s production of Attila is sponsored by Nesholm Family Foundation and Debra Dahlen and Robert Fries.
John Relyea’s performances are sponsored by the James and Sherry Raisbeck Lead Singers’ Fund. Seattle Opera’s 2011/12 Season is sponsored by Microsoft

Attila premieres Saturday, January 14, and runs through Saturday, January 28.
Single tickets start at $25 and are available online at, and by calling 206.389.7676 or 800.426.1619.
Tickets may also be purchased at the Box Office by visiting 1020 John Street (two blocks west of Fairview), Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Press Contacts:
Jonathan Dean

Tamara Vallejos

Visuals Contact:
Monte Jacobson


Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Temistocle Solera, with additional material by Francesco Maria Piave
In Italian with English Captions

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle, Washington
6 Performances: January 14, 18, 21, 22m, 25, and 28, 2012
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes, including one intermission
Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m.; matinee begins at 2:00 p.m.

Single ticket prices start at $25
Groups save 15%: 206.676.5588
Seattle Opera Ticket Office: 206.389.7676/800.426.1619
Online orders:

Premiere: Teatro La Fenice, Venice, Italy, March 17, 1846
Seattle Opera Premiere


Attila: John Relyea – Mika Kares †*
Foresto: Antonello Palombi – Russell Thomas *
Odabella: Ana Lucrecia García – Susan Neves †*
Ezio: Marco Vratogna †
Leone: Michael Devlin
Uldino: Jason Slayden †

Conductor: Carlo Montanaro
Stage Director: Bernard Uzan
Costume Designer: Melanie Taylor Burgess
Lighting Designer: Connie Yun
English Captions: Jonathan Dean

† Company debut
* On January 22 only

Jason Slayden is a current Seattle Opera Young Artist.
Russell Thomas is a former Seattle Opera Young Artist.

Costumes and new digital media by Seattle Opera.
Scenery originally designed for Opéra national du Rhin by Charles Edwards.

Learn more about Attila! Seattle Opera offers the following educational opportunities:
Pre-Performance Talks: An hour and a half before every performance, in the Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall, $7
Spotlight Guide: Download at (available in PDF and Kindle formats)
Podcast: Education Director Sue Elliott leads you behind the scenes and into the music. Available online at
Free Public Previews:

1/3, 7 p.m., Third Place Books
1/4, 6:30 p.m., Edmonds Library
1/5, 2 p.m., Green Lake Library
1/7, 2:15 p.m., Kitsap Library
1/8, 2 p.m., Frye Art Museum
1/9, 6:30 p.m., West Seattle Library
1/11, 2 p.m., Ballard Library
1/12, 12 p.m., Seattle Central Library

About Seattle Opera

Founded in 1963, Seattle Opera is one of the leading opera companies in the United States. The company is recognized internationally for its theatrically compelling and musically accomplished performances, especially the Opera’s interpretations of the works of Richard Wagner.
Since 1975, Seattle Opera has presented 38 cycles of the Ring (three different productions), in addition to acclaimed productions of all the other major operas in the Wagner canon. Seattle Opera has achieved the highest per capita attendance of any major opera company in the United States, and draws operagoers from four continents and 50 states.

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