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La Calisto, venecianaLA effervescence CALISTO
Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676)
dramma per musica in a prologue and three years
Libreto de Giovanni Faustini, based on the book II
Metamorphoses (8 d.C.) Ovidio
San Apollinare premiered at the Venice Theater
28 November 1651
Premiere at the Royal Theater
Bayerische Staatsoper production Munich
Madrid 25 of March, 2019
D. musical: Ivor Bolton
D. scene: David Alden
Scenographer: Paul Steinberg
Costume designer: Buki Shiff
Illuminator: Pat Collins
choreographer: Beate Vollack
Distribution: Dominique Visse, Karina Gauvin, Monica Pods,
Luca Tittoto, Nikolay Borchev, Louise Alder, Tim Mead,
Guy de Mey, Ed Lyon, Andrea MastroniLa seventeenth-century Venice is a suitable place for divertimento, full of life, carnivalesque mocking. Always wary of Roma who came to excommunicate the Venetian authorities to consider the city a hovel of sodomizing. It is in this context that born La Calisto, work that was the great dominator of the Venetian opera, Francesco Cavalli. With great dramatic sense and wisdom in choosing the librettos, I knew how to put in this work all his artillery to exert satirical critique gaunt clerics, Roman politicians and artists. This was his peculiar way of settling accounts with ellos.Cavalli worked as Kapellmeister of San Marcos without forgetting his true passion, composition operas. He wrote more than 40 of which they have lost nearly a third. Of the 27 preserved, Callisto is the most popular since it was rescued in the years 70 by director Raymond Leppard.Cavalli should be as well known as Monteverdi or Haendel, whose works are part of the standard repertoire of all concerned teatros.Esta Italian society is reflected in the artistic and musical expressions through a clear evolution. Are the first solo, Madrigals abandoned 5 parts, texts gain in importance and should be understood by an audience that, for the first time, attending such shows paying entry. new instruments that imbue the works of a continuous basis are needed more powerful than traditional lute. a new instrument then appears with Greek mythological basis, chitarrone, It is beginning to be heard in the early and Venetian operas.

La Calisto, as a good representative of the Venetian opera, It consists of short scenes and a variety of characters and plots that occur with great fluency.

This style manages to convey, effectively and dynamics, a story with scene transitions and assemblies that makes these works have a special appeal to new audiences, accustomed to rapid movements of television and media.
Stage directors have always had some qualms about addressing Baroque works. Not easy to dramatize the long recitatives and statism of his characters. It may be the reason why some directors are entangled in impossible positions and / or surreal, creating scenery not always successful.

David Alden has devised a kind of psychedelic parade going by parading a large group of characters who are always very attractive for scenographer, gods, humans and mythological animals occur in fun filled scenes of sexuality and lasciviousness. Alden has reflected well through satiric characters, Cavalli mockery to the Roman authorities.

But the scenery is also loaded with scenic dispensable items, that they make no contribution to drama and sometimes distracts from the scenes that do not need much embellishment sterile to be understood.

Ivor Bolton put this time in front of two excellent baroque ensembles, on the one hand, the Baroque Orchestra of Seville, with some of its prominent members, Sylvan James and Elisabeth Bataller, violins; Kepa Arteche y Elena Borderías, violas; Mercedes Ruiz, cello; Ventura Rico, double bass; Simone Nill y Katja Schönwitz, Recorders; Bork-Frithjof Smith y David Gebhard, cornetos and Philip Tarr was in charge of percussion that was excessive and even annoying at times.

And on the other hand, and Monteverdi Continuo Ensemble, a group led by self Ivor Bolton, specializing in baroque operas and improvisation and created for these occasions. La Calisto involved with 4 key touched by the Bolton own, Luke Green, Roderick Shaw y Bernard Robertson; Mark Lawson, organ; Fred Jacobs, Michael Freimuth y Joachim Held, the chitarrones, instruments in the seventeenth century there was scarcely see the stage to an audience protesting the length of your rod; Friederike Heumann, Lirona and viola da gamba; Joy Smith, Cello (continuous) y Frank Coppieters, double bass (continuous).

They have also introduced some wind instruments, as natural trumpets, performed by members of the Titular del Teatro Real Orchestra Ricardo Garcia and Marcos García Vaquero, not included in the original manuscript of Cavalli and part of the update of this new critical edition prepared by Alvaro Torrente, which it has provided a solid and true basis of the text from which it was possible to carry out this work of recomposition in a work with great ability to introduce the element of improvisation.

Bolton direction in front of these sets is extraordinary. Faced with a score like this, on which he has worked in depth, instrumenting passages, shows his great knowledge and mastery of the baroque repertoire. Does a great job of connection between the different bands that get perfect pitch. His success in the leadership demonstrated by the standing ovation before the start of the second part.

It should be noted the balance of vocal ensemble. Bass Luca Tittoto, como Jupiter, She showed her acting skills, especially disguised as Diana and using the falsetto. It proved a very interesting central register. Made good partner with Mercury Nikola Borchev.

Calisto was played by British Louise Alder. A beautiful timbre well and potently projected was enough to give life to his character, something sappy and simplón.

The Endimione Tim Mead was full of tenderness in the interpretive part, He gave the public time full of lyricism and taste in singing. He made very good theater and vocal partner with Diana Monica Bacelli, which he demonstrated his mastery of the baroque.

No doubt the winner of the night was Dominique Visse. This disciple of Alfred Deller is an expert on his rope and countertenor repertoire. His voice is not the same as when founded in 78 el Ensemble Clément Janequi, but his acting ability makes up any vocal difficulty and delights the public.

The rest of the cast was high, why not have it any easier from their platforms, as in the case of Ed Lyon, interpreting Pane.

An interesting production that allows us to be optimistic to think that there is a deficit of Baroque works in our theaters. Hopefully sets an example and good public acceptance is taken into account.

Text: Paloma Sanz
pictures: Javier del Real
Videos: Teatro Real

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).

Philippe Jaroussky

The great counter Philippe Jaroussky dedicated to Francesco Cavalli his new album “Ombra Mai Fu, to be published 8 March in digipack CD and digital formats.
Ombra Mai Fu It includes vocal and instrumental numbers more than a dozen operas by Cavalli, They are ranging from relatively well-known works as Calisto, Hercules lover, Ormindo, Jason or even Eliogabalo, represented in Paris and Amsterdam, to oddities as statira, Princess of Persia y The virtue of the arrows of Love. In the romantic duets, Particip la soprano Emőke Barath (whose new album under the label Erato, qualified I want Cantar, reviews the music of Barbara Strozzi, alumna of Horses) there contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux, that complements the comic duet "Ninfa bella" Callisto.
The piece title track is taken from the opera Xerse, created in 1654 and based on the same script he used for his famous Handel Serse, 80 years later. The latter version contains one of the most famous arias outside the world of opera, Ombra mai fu.

In the words of Philippe Jaroussky "Cavalli played an important role in the settlement of the opera (this new genre created by Monteverdi and others) as a form of popular entertainment. He composed several operas for the Teatro San Cassiano, which featured the first opera in Venice. "

Cavalli was also very active in the field of religious music. as a child, She sang under the direction of Monteverdi in the choir of the Basilica of San Marcos. He became organist of the cathedral and punctually, in 1668, He followed in his footsteps as Kapellmeister there, equivalent today to its musical director. Preparing this album, Ombra mai fu, Jaroussky could study the manuscripts of most 37 Cavalli operas preserved. "I wanted to show on this record all variety and qualities of the music of Cavalli. Sometimes, something may seem extremely simple but has a special melody, different and delicious taste in their harmonies. This project is designed to highlight the contrasts of his operas in the passage of some scenes to other, where the cry may be directly followed by a humorous element. "
PHILIPPE JAROUSSKY will present in concert the repertoire of this album:

7 April - Oviedo (Prince Felipe Auditorium)
9 April - Bilbao (Arriaga theater)
11 April - Santander (Palace of Festivals of Cantabria)

CDs / DVDs