The Royal Theater opens in Madrid La Calisto, Francesco Cavalli

La Calisto

Between days 17 Y 26 of March Royal Theatre offer 9 functions from La Calisto, from Francesco Cavalli, insolently, lewd and hyperbolic Baroque opera, which will be presented for the first time in Madrid, in a production premiered at the Bavarian State Opera in 2005, answer three times at the theater and presented at the Royal Opera House in 2008, always with great success.

The prolific composer and impresario Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676) It is credited with the birth of opera in Venice and its consolidation as a popular art form, which came to fill, the mid-seventeenth century, six different theaters in the city of canals. An avid public show, fun and transgression came to the opera to enjoy the gruesome stories of its protagonists, wit stage machinery and fantasy costumes, in a world of illusion uncensored.

La Calisto It is the epitome of all this: a plot full of humor, machinations, sex, surreptitious social criticism and moral resonances; an inventive and melodious music and improvisation allows the showcasing singers; abundant scenes to encourage change of curtains, trampillas, and scenic tricks; transformismo essential games ─ Calisto is converted into a bear and then ascends to the heavens as a constellation ... ─ and a cast of fantastic characters ─dioses, semidioses, nymphs, satyrs ... ─ to display of exotic costumes.

Librettist of the opera, Giovanni Faustini (1615-1651), faithful and prolific collaborator Cavalli, who died prematurely after the premiere of the opera, articulates with wit two episodes of the extracted Greco-Roman mythology Metamorphoses from Ovid: the seduction of Calisto by the lustful young Jupiter and the forbidden love affair between Diana and the beautiful goddess shepherd efebo, Endimione.

The opera is a parody in which gods and humans face, men and women, libertines and chaste, nymphs and satyrs, moved by the desire, the passion, sex, jealousy and revenge: too human instincts which also suffer from the divinities of Arcadia. But nevertheless, beyond this sassy and bright satire, There is criticism of the censorship imposed on Galileo Galilei and moral depravity of Venetian society then, with a bittersweet subliminal message: “In the Realm of the Senses, which favors the lechery of the gods, leads to unhappiness” (Joan Matabosch, playbill article).

David Alden ─ which directs his fourth title at the Royal Theater, after Alcina (2015), Otello (2016) Y Lucia of Lammermoor (2018)─ presents the delusional world La Calisto, with winks to the viewer today, decorated in a psychedelic evocations of Paul Steinberg, with figurines inspired by the comic designed by Buki Shiff and lighting Pat Collins.

The musical director of the Royal Theater, Ivor Bolton, who directed this production at Covent Garden in London and the Bavarian State Opera, It will do so again at the Royal Theater, this time in front of Monteverdi Continuo Ensemble and of the Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla.

As it has happened in opera Idomeneo, recently presented at the Royal, Ivor Bolton will accompany the recitatives in one of the three keys that will be used at the opera.

A double cast of singers closely related to baroque repertoire will give life to the characters La Calisto: Karina Gauvin Y Rachel Kelly (Eternity / Juno), Monica Pods Y Teresa Iervolino (Fate / Diana / the fury), Luca Tittoto Y Wolfgang Schwaiger (Jupiter), Nikolay Borchev Y Maybe Borja (Mercury), Louise Alder Y Anna Devin (Calisto), Tim Mead Y Xavier Sabata (Endimione), Guy de Mey Y Francisco Vas (Linfea, Dominique Visse (The nature / Satirino / the fury), Ed Lyon Y Juan Sancho (Pane) Y Andrea Mastroni (Silvano).