Broadcasts from the San Francisco Opera continue at noon this Saturday, October 20, with a performance of Attila by Giuseppi Verdi to a libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on the play Attila, König der Hunnen (Attila, King of the Huns) by Friedrich Ludwig Zacharias Werner. Initially, Verdi had enlisted Francesco Maria Piave to prepare the libretto, after Verdi's own scenario for the work. After finding Piave's proposal unsatisfactory, Verdi turned to Solera, but returned again to Piave for Act 3. The performance will be sung in Italian and will run approximately two hours and twenty minutes.
The ruler of the Huns fully intends to invade fifth-century Italy until a fierce female captive enchants him with her valiant defiance. In the popular imagination, Attila the Hun was a ruthless barbarian. But to Giuseppe Verdi, he was a far more complex and compelling figure: a brave, ambitious warrior tormented by fierce internal doubts. The intense, conflicted anti-hero comes vividly alive in this “vibrant and engrossing musical drama” (The New York Times).
Music Director Nicola Luisotti, a “superb Verdi conductor” (Sunday Times, London), leads a world-class cast featuring bass Ferruccio Furlanetto, whose "strong, dark, textured voice filled Verdi's lines with burnished sound and arching lyricism" (The New York Times), in the title role; exciting young Venezuelan soprano Lucrecia Garcia and “brilliant…magnificent” baritone Quinn Kelsey (San Francisco Chronicle). Legendary bass Samuel Ramey, whose “superb” performance (San Francisco Chronicle) in the title role of the Company's 2008 Boris Godunov won him critical praise, returns as Pope Leo I.