2016 Spring Festival
May 14 | 8 pm, The Grand Opera House
May 20 | 7:30 pm, The Grand Opera House
May 22 | 2 pm, The Grand Opera House


The year was 1865 when 25-year-old Franco Faccio unveiled Amleto, based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, with libretto by his close friend Arrigo Boito. The premiere in Genova was so successful that friends urged a revival, which finally came in 1871 at La Scala (the year Wilmington’s Grand Opera House was built!). But triumph was doomed by a star tenor who wouldn’t admit he was too ill to perform and embarrassed the performance. Faccio, once burned, turned his genius into a career as a major conductor. Boito went on to write many famous libretti, including Verdi’s Otello and Falstaff.

Amleto was forgotten, lost, buried.

In 2001, young composer/conductor Anthony Barrese was determined to find its faint, unreadable manuscript — and recreate it note-by-note into a full-blown opera production in 2014 that had critics raving — “a fantastic night...” “truly thrilling... “...the standing ovations went on and on.”

Starring Joshua Kohl as Amleto, Sarah Asmar as Ofelia, Tim Mix as Claudius, Lara Tillotson as Geltrude, Matthew Vickers as Laertes, and Ben Wager as Lo Spettro. Maestro Anthony Barrese conducts and E. Loren Meeker directs.

This program is partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities Forum, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Amleto | Joshua Kohl
Ofelia | Sarah Asmar
Claudio | Tim Mix
Geltrude | Lara Tillotson
Laerte | Matthew Vickers
Lo Spettro/Luciano | Ben Wager
Polonio/Primo Becchino | Harold Wilson
Orazio | Justin Hopkins
Marcello/Un Sacerdote | Jose Sacin
Un Araldo | Douglas Rowland
Il Re Gonzaga | James Haughom
La Regina | Marcelle McGuirk
Production Team
Conductor | Anthony Barrese
Director | E. Loren Meeker