Opera Southwest has built a reputation among opera aficionados as an under-the-radar destination for exceptional performances of rarely performed operas. Two Opera Southwest productions feature in the 2019 WFMT Radio Network Opera Series – the New Mexico state premiere of Bellini’s Norma, from April 2018, and a much-awaited performance of Giovanni Bottesini’s little-known work, Alì Babà. A comic opera in four acts, Alì Babà is based on the story of Alì Babà and the Forty Thieves and had virtually disappeared from opera houses over the last century and more, despite having been described as having “made its mark” in those first performances conducted by Bottesini himself in January 1871 at London’s Lyceum Theatre. Music director, Anthony Barrese, leads Opera Southwest in championing this long overlooked work, said to be modeled after Rossini.
Opera Southwest (OSW) is Albuquerque’s opera company and its mission is to produce quality, professional, enjoyable and accessible opera in an intimate setting for audiences of all ages. The company was founded in 1972 as Albuquerque Opera Theatre by Dr. Edward T. Peter, Maestro Kurt Frederick and others.