Spotlighting the unpredictable, wild characters of opera, this year’s Festival explores parallels between human, animal and supernatural realms. dell’Arte opens the Festival with two fully-staged rarities: Francesco Cavalli’s La Calisto that combines the two Greek myths of Jove’s seduction of Calisto and Diana’s affair with Endymion; and Leoš Janáček’s Příhody lišky Bystroušky (The Cunning Little Vixen) that tracks the intersection of animal lives with those of humans and explores their common experiences. For audiences new to opera, the Festival offers a colorful tapestry of several works in UNTAMED! Opera Scenes: excerpts from Carmen, Rusalka, Pelléas et Mélisande, and more(August 18 and 22), and Wild Things: a recital of repertoire about the animal kingdom and other “untamed” creatures (August 26).
“La Calisto” – Opera by Francesco Cavalli sung in Italian with Baroque Chamber Ensemble and English Surtitles
August 12, 24 and 26 at 7:30 pm August 13, 19 and 20 at 2 pm
Stage Director: Brittany Goodwin | Music Director: Charles Weaver Costume Design: Claire Townsend | Scenic Design: You-Shin Chen Lighting Design: Dante Olivia Smith
With its cast of lustful gods, Sapphic virgins, libidinous half-animals and a brown bear, Francesco Cavalli’s (1602-1676) La Calisto kick-starts the Festival on August 12th. First performed in Venice in 1651, La Calisto retells Book II of Ovid’s Metamorphoses: an ancient myth that dives deep into matters of gender, homosexual love, and infidelity. This whimsical mythological drama was not among Cavalli’s most popular operas during his lifetime and can even seem edgy in today’s theaters. Sharing the title role of Calisto are sopranos Marie Marquis and Emily Hughes. Hailed by The New York Times for her “extraordinary virtuosity and elegance,” Marquis makes her dell’Arte Opera debut while dell’Arte alumna Hughes is fresh from receiving her Masters of Music from the Conservatory of Music of Brooklyn College.
“The Cunning Little Vixen” – Opera by Leoš Janáček sung in Czech with Chamber Ensemble and English Surtitles
August 19, 21, 23 and 25 at 7:30 pm August 27 at 2 pm
Stage Director: Ashraf Sewailam | Music Director: David Štech Costume Design: Claire Townsend | Scenic Design: You-Shin Chen Lighting Design: Dante Olivia Smith
The Festival’s second fully-staged production is the curious, endearing opera The Cunning Little Vixen (1924) by Leoš Janáček (1854-1928). Considered to be the most extraordinary and unconventional of Janáček's stage works, The Cunning Little Vixen tells a cautionary tale about the connections between people and animals, and the cyclical nature of life and death. Inspired by a comic strip about a female fox ‘rescued’ by an aging Forester, his fellow villagers, and the animals, both domestic and wild with whom they share their world. Singing the title role of Vixen is soprano Rachel Hall who received national attention for her mainstage debut with Santa Fe Opera in 2013.
“Untamed!” – Opera Scenes
August 18 and 22 at 7:30 pm
Featuring Excerpts from “Dialogues des Carmelites,” “Don Pasquale,” “Pelléas et Mélisande,” Carmen, Rusalka and more! Conductor and Music Director: Eldred Marshall
“Wild Things” – Concert Recital
August 26 at 2 pm
Songs about wild behavior both human and animal, with piano accompaniment featuring various artists from our “Untamed” Festival programs.