You may not know whom to root for in Verdi's 1846 Attila. Though the titular Hun is planning to conquer Italy, Verdi paints him with a certain amount of sympathy. He gallantly acknowledges the bravery of captured warrior Odabella, whose father he killed. Does that mollify her? No--so bent on revenge is she that she foils her lover Foresto's attempt to poison Attila because she wants to be the one to take him out. In gratitude, he offers to marry her; she accepts, but stabs him anyway. Curtain. Verdi scholar Julian Budden calls her "the most unpleasant heroine in all Verdian opera"--and the role's a voice-shredder, too, combining the ornateness of an earlier generation's soprano writing (Rossini, Bellini) with trumpeting dramatic force. This is one reason why when this rarity's staged at all, it's usually as a vehicle for a star bass, and Seattle Opera's got John Relyea, who's scored big in past seasons as Don Quixote and Bluebeard, to share the title role with Mika Kares. GAVIN BORCHERT [See Gavin's review.] 7:30 p.m. Wed. & Sat. plus 2 p.m. Sun., Jan. 22. Ends Jan. 28.
Wed., Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 22, 2 p.m.; Wed., Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m., 2012