Donizetti - Pia de' Tolomei
English Touring Opera - March, April 2016
Conductor: John Andrews
Director: James Conway
Stage and Costume Designer: Loren Elstein
Lighting: Guy Hoare
Pia: Elena Xanthoudakis
Ghino: Luciano Botelho
Nello: Grant Doyle
Rodrigo: Catherine Carby
Ubaldo: John-Colyn Gyeantey
Lamberto: Craig Smith
Piero: Piotr Lempa
Bice: Susanna Fairbairn
"An exciting production of this taut bel cant drama… It is in its four central performances that ETO’s touring production scores most highly. (...) Luciano Botelho’s soft-grained tenor helps him create a credibly three-dimensional portrait of the conflicted Ghino."
Guardian, George Hall 11/05/16
"For the opera really to work, Ghino has to convince us of his change from serpentine, Iago-like malignancy to a state of complete remorse when he realises that he’s engineered the death of the woman he loves. The tenor Luciano Botelho just about achieved it with his assured technique and impressive range"
Classical source, Peter Reed 10/05/16
"Luciano Botelho ran the full, wide-ranging gamut of the volatile Ghino, throwing out thrusting top notes and displaying an exciting darkness in his lower registers."
Opera Magazine, Yehuda Shapiro April/2016
"Tenor Luciano Botelho demonstrates strength and a fine tone as Ghino. His bright ring and vocal stamina, allied with an ability to reallysing through a line, even at the top and at the quietest dynamic, make his evil swagger disconcertingly enchanting; at times it seems as if he believes his own lies - like Iago his villainy is greater because he has prodigious charm. Botelho rose to the demands of his Act 1 opener,‘Mi volesti sventurato’, his highlying phrases pulsing with the energy of grievance; yet, in his duets wit Nello and, in Act 2, Pia he revealed a softer tone, suggesting genuine sentiment. Even Ghino’s death scene was convincingly sincere; for once, too, there were no protracted ‘resurrections’ and his demise was all the more affecting for its swiftness. This was an admirable vocal portrayal of an intensely drawn reprobate, who was certainly no cardboard villain."
Opera Today, Claire Seymour 10/04/2016