“Il Viaggio a Reims” in Cape Town

 

Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims

Presented by Cape Town Opera in collaboration with the

University of Cape Town College of Music

FLIRTATION OBSESSION PANIC

Baxter Theatre
26-30 August 2014 (5 performances)
Presented by Cape Town Opera

Cape Town Opera and the UCT Opera school are proud to bring this critically acclaimed zany comic opera (which played to full houses at the Baxter Theatre in 2010) back to the opera stages.

They obsess, they flirt, they fight, they panic, they faint, they drink, fourteen Fashion-loving B-list celebrities find themselves stranded in a chic airport hotel lobby. The boredom of waiting in transit has never been more nuanced and entertaining than in this opera.

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Roberto Alagna will be Otello at the ‘Chorégies d’Orange’

otello2By Natalia DiBartolo

In the career of an Opera singer, the genesis of a character is not immediate, and the maturation of a role can mobilize a lifetime, not just a voice. The human voice is the most delicate and difficult instrument that exists and is subject to a thousand troubles, day after day. Thus, the choice of this or that repertoire, or this or that specific role, can also damage it if vocally inappropriate and/or dealt with at the wrong age or at the wrong time. For these reasons, lyrical singers are combining the various roles throughout all the duration of their careers, addressing some of them first, and not rising to others before maturity.  Over time, the voice is changing, evolving. That of today is no longer that of yesterday, and not yet that of tomorrow; top professionals are fully aware of that. This is the case of the tenor Roberto Alagna who, in the full plenitude of his career, is getting ready to tackle the role of Otello by Verdi in which he will make his stage debut at the ‘Chorégies d’Orange’ in August 2014.

otello3 This 27th June 2014, in the historical Pleyel Concert Hall (Paris), he performed it almost entirely, in a concert version, with a great intensity, alongside soprano Inva Mula as Desdemona and baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky as IagoThe National Orchestra of Île de France was conducted by Maestro Riccardo Frizza, who led the score in full compliance with the philological tempo, leading the singers in a careful reading of the score to the safe shores of success. Indeed, in a concert, a very personal interpretation of the conductor may always be detrimental to the artists: as always in these cases, even if they have the normal and legitimate opportunity to rely on their score at their stand, they are alone on stage and more exposed – without any safety net, than when they are in costume in a stage set.  Therefore, a concert cannot be directed nor dealt with as a stage performance would be, but should be performed with both good sense and good taste. These two prerogatives characterized this Pleyel’s evening, eagerly awaited by a wide and cheering audience.

otello4Going back to what was mentioned above, the great Roberto Alagna tackled the program (consisting of large excerpts from Otello’s role) with a mature voice, a flexible emission, clear and powerful, and great expressive and vocal skills, but sacrificing, because of the “concert” nature of the performance, part of his propensity for actively acting on stage. Far from being intimidated by the role, but rather particularly enjoying the most dramatic scenes of jealousy and the tragic ending, Alagna/Otello took over the successive parts of the program, also highlighting the most intense scenic passages. He demonstrated, if needed, he had reached the proper maturity to address this role at the appropriate moment of his career, well and sharp armed. A role which has been sung by decades of successive famous and glorious tenors and of which he will certainly offer a very personal and memorable performance on stage.

otello5The tenor was accompanied by a delicate Inva Mula, always at the dizzying altitudes that the role of Desdemona demands to its performers, earning a great personal success, especially in the divine and famous “Ave Maria” aria. Cool and experienced, the baritone Hvorostovsky was as Iago vocally robust and as treacherous as one could be. As mentioned above, the concert was preceding the presentation of Verdi’s masterpiece in the beautiful ‘Theatre antique’ in Orange, on 2nd and 5th August 2014. It has admirably foreshadowed the magic Otello to which the French-Sicilian tenor will certainly give life and soul. We are looking forward to this thrilling event with great anticipation.

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With Roberto Alagna in Morocco: the Voices and Sounds of the Mediterranean Sea

Written By:  for L’Idea Magazine, 23 June 2014|

With Roberto Alagna in Morocco: the Voices and Sounds of the Mediterranean Sea

10353190_790540664312498_3792124209396384892_nUnique musical sensations in Morocco on Saturday 14th June, 2014 with Roberto Alagna in concert, accompanied by the group of Palestinian origin The Khoury Project.

The famous tenor was performing as part of the 20th edition of the “Fez Festival of World Sacred Music “, which is held each year under the patronage of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

The show, called “Mediterraneo”, masterfully set and directed by David Alagna, was created to bring in Morocco the acoustic tones characterizing the music of the countries bordering ‘Mare Nostrum’ and all what they have in common, despite the wide range of continents and various Eastern nations it represents. Many regions which are evoking sand and deserts, oases and palm trees, but also the sea waves reflecting the silhouette of Vesuvius, olive and almond trees and the harsh and sunny Sicily.

Southern Italy, with its centuries-old history of domination and various invasions, but also its own unique culture and tradition, is a legitimate and full part of it. By its genuine nature, this folk music has integrated sounds and Arabic-Andalusian influences in particular, both in the music itself as well as in the manner of vocalizing the lyrics.

Here, the blend of all of that, magically balanced and mixed, gave the concert a very special atmosphere, making the happy synthesis of the sacred and the profane. The whole was performed in a full consistency with the Festival’s theme, resonating with the depth of feelings and human soul’s sensations in which peoples of the Mediterranean basin fully recognize.

10300761_787798067920091_2297250299638384048_nEverything was perfectly rendered by the great Alagna and highlighted by the refined arrangements of the Khoury Project, an Ensemble formed by Basil, Elie Khoury and Osama. They accompanied the tenor with ethnic and unusual music instruments, alongside other musicians forming on this occasion a rare and stunning orchestral mix.

The beautiful voice of Roberto Alagna captivated the crowd in Bab El Makina, while expressing their feelings, the ones that any “Mediterranean”-born is carrying in his own genes. He revealed himself and opened up with an irresistible passion through each note and each word. His emotion was palpable, his joy of singing obvious, his presence and stage performance truly charismatic.

10398056_651028758314332_1734833871088783249_nA swirl of notes, dialects, Neapolitan and Sicilian, coupled with the elegant presence of the French language, a true Ghibli of sounds, extended by the solo performances of the musical group, in a demonstration of their outstanding technical virtuosity.

The concert began with an Aria of “The Pearl Fishers” by Bizet, “De mon amie”, which immediately created the right atmosphere, followed by “Marechiare”: the oriental charm of the French Opera thus extended by a traditional Neapolitan song, into a parallel which certainly owes nothing to chance.

Then came the beautiful “Our Father” prayer, composed and written in French by Roberto Alagna, and “Panis Angelicus” by Cesar Franck: the sacred atmosphere properly installed, the concert continued with a new French Opera excerpt, with an Aria from “Marouf” by Rabaud, then in a still consistent style, came the “heart” of the concert i.e. a succession of Sicilian and Neapolitan songs alternately: “O Sarracino” and “Maruzzella” by the smiling and romantic Renato Carosone, “Napulitanata” by Costa, as well as Sicilian songs, traditional or not, such as “Amuri Carritteri”, “Cu ti lu dissi” and “Mattinata Siciliana”, the latter particularly dear to the heart of the singer whose own family origins are rooted in the Ancient Greece, in the legendary and great Syracuse.

Each sound has its own color and its own captivating charm. Every word has its own poignancy and perfect pronunciation, providing the audience with a wave of emotion, especially with the new song written in Sicilian by his brother Frederico Alagna, “Amuri feritu”, he delivered with a special intensity.

10468199_712067735520934_3058406523290562768_nAs long as the show progressed, the main protagonist announced the program in French, with all the clever charm, sensitiveness and tactful sense of humor that characterizes his way of addressing the people: that, coupled with his incomparable voice, did not fail to delight the public too. Many “Encore”, requested by an enthusiastic audience, concluded an unforgettable evening under the African sky, in a picturesque setting, definitively rare and lovely.

The show was both TV and web-broadcasted and a DVD is also expected

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Premiere performance of “Dr. Sun Yat-sen” in Santa Fe

THE SANTA FE OPERA PRESENTS:

Dr. Sun Yat-sen

Huang Ruo

2014 Dr. Sun Yat-sen Large (final)

One of the most enthralling historical operas, Dr. Sun Yat-sen by the distinguished Chinese-born American composer Huang Ruo makes its American premiere.

Charles MacKay calls Ruo “one of the most gifted and imaginative composers writing today,” whose music has galvanized critics and audiences internationally with its thrilling blend of Eastern, Western, folk and classical styles. Dr. Sun Yat-sen depicts the epic struggle to overthrow China’s ancient monarchy and build a modern national identity for one of the world’s oldest civilizations. The acclaimed tenor Warren Mok recreates the title role. The conductor will be the exciting Carolyn Kuan, in demand with opera and ballet companies throughout the world. James Robinson directs.

8:30 pm July 26
8:00 pm July 30; August 8, 14

Synopsis

 Composer Huang Ruo
Librettist Candace Mui-ngam Chong

Sung in Mandarin

MUSICAL PROLOGUE
(a wedding dress is wrapped, boxed, and taken on a journey by dancers)

ACT I
Charlie’s House, Shanghai

Charlie Soong, a Chinese revolutionary, is hosting a gala in his home, ostensibly to raise money to build a church, but actually to gather funds for his colleague and leader of the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance, Sun Yat-sen. His wife, Ni Gui-zhen, takes him aside and expresses her worry about Charlie’s illegal activities. Moments later, Sun Yat-sen arrives. From the second he enters the room, Sun becomes the focus of attention. His wife Lu Mu-zhen follows him at a much slower pace. She is a traditional countrywoman with bound feet. Charlie and guests feel sorry for Sun Yat-sen. Just as the guests begin to rally around the cause, a messenger arrives and hands Charlie a note: a reward has been placed on Sun’s head.

ACT II
Scene 1: Japan (Umeya’s Residence)
Fleeing to Japan where he is in exile, Sun Yat-sen takes up residence with his friend Umeya and continues his revolutionary activities with his new aide, Charlie Soong’s daughter Ching-ling. She is attracted to his revolutionary ideals, he to her vivacity. They fall in love.

Scene 2: Japan, Sun and Ching-ling’s wedding (Umeya’s Residence)
At their wedding, Charlie enters, furious. Not only has Charlie not given his consent to the marriage but Sun still remains married to a woman in China. To everyone’s surprise, Charlie brings in Sun’s first wife, Lu Mu-zhen, in the hope that she can ruin the wedding. With a touching aria, Mu-zhen instead sings about her misfortune and sacrifice. She, to everyone’s surprise, finally gives Sun her signed divorce paper, setting him free to marry Ching-ling. Outraged, Charlie walks out of the wedding, renouncing both Ching-ling and Sun, and his association with the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance.

ACT III
Scene 1: China
Back in China, Sun tries to overthrow the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty with the help of Yuan Shi-kai. Under Sun’s leadership the regime of the Qing Dynasty is overthrown and he is named provisional president of the new republic. The new government’s hold is weak and Yuan Shi-kai, an ambitious general in the revolution, betrays Sun and becomes president, a step in achieving his final goal of naming himself the new emperor of a new dynasty. Sun Yat-sen, accompanied by his newlywed wife Ching-ling, is giving speeches in various locations in China, gathering supports to overthrow Yuan Shi-kai’s rule. One night, Sun’s house is under attacks by Yuan’s assassins. During their escape, Ching-ling miscarries their baby. In the midst of all this tragedy, a messenger appears to tell Sun that Charlie is on his deathbed and wanting to see both him and Ching-Ling.

Scene 2: Charlie’s House, Shanghai
Charlie is ill and dying. Ching-ling arrives at his home alone, and assures her father that she is truly in love with Sun Yat-sen. Charlie, ashamed, confesses that he had all but given up his revolutionary dreams, but Sun’s indomitable determination and idealism has renewed his confidence. In an act of reconciliation he gives Ching-ling the wedding dress that he had made for her as a child, but refused to give her when she married Sun. His final speech, a blessing to Sun and Ching-ling and a meditation on the true meaning of what it is to be a revolutionary, is overlaid with a speech of Sun’s. The two men share this spiritual reunion, revolutionaries to the end.

The opera ends as a large statue of Sun Yat-Sen is revealed. A crowd honors the timeless man. The timeless wedding dress re-appears and is carried out by the dancers.

Artists

  • Dr. Sun Yat-sen – Warren Mok
  • Soong Ching-Ling – Corinne Winters
  • Ni – Mary Ann McCormick
  • Charlie Soong – Dong-Jian Gong
  • Mr. Umeya – Chen-Ye Yuan
  • Conductor – Carolyn Kuan
  • Director – James Robinson
  • Scenic Designer – Allen Moyer
  • Costume Designer – James Schuette
  • Lighting Designer – Christopher Akerlind
  • Choreographer – Seán Curran
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“Madame Butterfly” in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI OPERA PRESENTS:

Madame Butterfly

July 24 & 26 • 7:30 p.m.
Music Hall

Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa

THE OPERA
The 94th Summer Festival closes with Giacomo Puccini’s heartbreaking tragedy Madame Butterfly in the Cincinnati Opera production by Paul Shortt last seen in 1996.

THE CAST

Maria-Luigia-Borsi-sized Mathey-Shawn-sized Roberto-deCandia-sized Kelley-OConnor-sized Steven-Cole-sized Reginald-Smith-sized
Maria Luigia
Borsi

Cio-Cio-San
Shawn Mathey
Pinkerton
Roberto
de Candia

Sharpless
Kelley
O’Connor

Suzuki
Steven Cole
Goro
Reginald
Smith, Jr.

The Bonze

CREATIVE TEAM
Conductor … Ramón Tebar
Scenic and Costume Designer … Paul Shortt

Synopsis

ACT I
At the turn of the century, on the outskirts of the harbor town of Nagasaki, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton inspects the house which he has leased and is soon to occupy with his Japanese bride, Cio-Cio-San, known as Madama Butterfly. Goro, the marriage broker, has arranged both the match and the house with a 999-year contract cancelable at a monthës notice. Presently, Sharpless, the United States Consul arrives, and Pinkerton shares with him his carefree philosophy of a sailor and the beautiful Japanese girl who has captivated him. Sharpless tries to persuade him that there is danger in this convenient arrangement; the girl may not regard her vows so lightly. The Lieutenant laughs at such apprehension and proposes a toast to America and the American girl who will someday be his “real” wife.

The hour for the wedding ceremony approaches. Butterfly, accompanied by her friends, arrives joyously singing of her wedding. She tells Pinkerton that since the death of her father she has had to earn her living as a geisha. Her relatives noisily bustle in, commenting on the bridegroom. In a quiet moment, Cio-Cio-San shows Pinkerton her few earthly treasures and tells him that she has secretly renounced her traditional faith in favor of Christianity. The Imperial Commissioner performs the brief ceremony, and the guests toast the couple when, suddenly Cio-Cio-Sanës uncle, the Bonze, bursts in shouting. A Buddhist priest, he curses her for renouncing her ancestorís religion. The relatives instantly turn on the young bride. When Pinkerton angrily orders all the guests away, Butterfly is left weeping. Pinkerton consoles her with tender words, and as night falls, the lovers share a moonlit duet.

ACT II
Three years later, with a gaze fixed upon the horizon, Cio-Cio-San patiently awaits her husbandís return. Beside her, Suzuki prays to an image of Buddha, imploring the gods for aid. The money Pinkerton left is now almost gone. Butterfly bids her maid to have faith. One day, Pinkertonís ship will appear in the harbor and he will again embrace his beloved wife.

Soon Sharpless enters with a letter from the Lieutenant and tries several times unsuccessfully to explain the reason for his visit. The letter tells of Pinkertonís marriage to an American girl. But before he can break the news to Butterfly, Goro interrupts, bringing with him a noble suitor, the wealthy Prince Yamadori. Cio-Cio-San greets the prince with dignity but firmly refuses his offer of marriage, insisting that her American husband has not deserted her. Sharpless again attempts to read the letter and gently advises the girl to accept the prince. He asks her what she would do if Pinkerton never returned. Cio-Cio-San proudly carries forth her young son, “Sorrow.” As soon as Pinkerton knows of his son, she insists, he will return to them, and that day, “Joy” will become the childís name. If her husband does not come back, she says she would rather die than return to her former life. Utterly defeated, but moved by Butterflyës devotion, Sharpless quickly exits.

A cannon roars from the harbor. Seizing a spyglass, Butterfly discovers that Pinkertonís ship, the Abraham Lincoln, is coming into port. Deliriously happy, she orders Suzuki to help her strew the house with blossoms. As evening falls, Cio-Cio-San dons her wedding gown and with her maid and her son, she prepares to keep vigil throughout the long night.

ACT III
The pale light of dawn finds Suzuki and the baby asleep. Butterfly still stands watching and waiting. Suzuki awakens with the sunshine and insists that Cio-Cio-San rest. Humming a lullaby, the young mother carries her boy to another room. Before long, Sharpless, Pinkerton and Kate, his new wife, approach the house. Suzuki almost at once realizes who the strange woman is. Overcome with despair, she reluctantly agrees to aid in breaking the news to her mistress. Pinkerton, now surrounded by evidence of his fragile Butterflyís unwavering faith and devotion, bids an anguished farewell to the scene of his former happiness. He then rushes away leaving the consul to arrange things as best he can. Cio-Cio-San hurries in expecting to find her husband, and instead finds Kate. She instantly guesses the truth and with touching dignity, Butterfly wishes “the real American wife” happiness. She asks Kate to tell Pinkerton that he may have his son if he will return for him in half an hour. Kate sadly departs with Sharpless.

Butterfly orders Suzuki and the child away. She pulls from its sheath the dagger with which her father committed suicide. She reads aloud its inscription, “To die with honor when one no longer can live with honor.” As she raises the blade to her throat, Suzuki pushes the boy into the room. Cio-Cio-San drops the knife and embraces her child, passionately imploring him to look well upon his mother’s face. After finally sending him off to play, she takes her fatherís dagger and stabs herself. As Butterfly dies, Pinkertonís voice is heard crying out her name.

- Courtesy of Boston Lyric Opera

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“The Impresario” & “Le Rossignol” in Santa Fe

THE SANTA FE OPERA PRESENTS:

The Impresario & Le Rossignol 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Igor Stravinsky

2014 Double Bill Large

For the first time since 1993, The Santa Fe Opera presents two shorter operas paired as a double bill.

Divas vie for a plum role while a producer struggles to cope with their rivalry and with the stresses of work in the music business. That’s the scenario of Mozart’s brief, witty opera The Impresario, but it could also be a news story in tomorrow’s issue of The Hollywood Reporter. In these ingeniously framed productions, the stars’ rivalry centers on casting for Stravinsky’s exquisite one-act opera Le Rossignol, which forms the second half of a perfectly balanced double-bill. With English dialogue by the British dramatist Ranjit Bolt and additional Mozart concert arias folded into the score, The Impresario takes us to 1920s Paris for the high-stress auditions. With the same cast, Le Rossignol enfolds us in Hans Christian Andersen’s poetic fable in which an emperor learns the lesson of humility. Sopranos Erin Morley and Brenda Rae face off as the dueling divas. Making his Company debut is English stage director, Michael Gieleta. Evan Rogister who led King Roger (2012) and Oscar (2013), will conduct. This production of Le Rossignol honors the centennial of the opera’s premiere in Paris in 1914.

8:30 pm July 19, 23
8:00 pm August 1, 7, 15

The Impresario
Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto Gottlieb Stephanie

The one-act opera, The Impresario shares the trials and tribulations an impresario encounters in leading a group of traveling players. Herr Puff suggests to the impresario that he should sign the actors at low wages, and he recommends bribing the critics and disregarding artistic merit. The banker takes care of the finances for the impresario in return to have his mistress play a role in the production. As the impresario begins to hold auditions, it’s clear that Madame Tintement and Madame Popescu are divas trying to outdo each other for the same role. The two women continue their rivalry and the competition heats up. When the impresario cannot choose and threatens to cancel the production, the singers decide that only through peaceful collaboration can art thrive.

Le Rossignol
Based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen

Composer & Librettist Igor Stravinsky

Sung in Russian

Set in Ancient China, the fisherman acts as a narrator for the story’s events.

ACT I
Just before dawn, a fisherman awaits the arrival of the singing nightingale. The cook arrives bringing court officials and says how the bird’s beautiful song makes her cry. The Chamberlain, unable to hear, tells her he will appoint her as private cook to the Emperor if she can find the bird. The nightingale appears and the cook and Chamberlain invite it to sing for the Emperor. The nightingale accepts the invitation but reminds them that her sweetest song is in the forest.

ACT II
Couriers prepare the palace for the nightingale’s song with lanterns. They ask the cook about the bird and she responds that though the nightingale appears plain, tears of happiness will flow from listener’s eyes. The Emperor’s procession enters and he commands the bird to sing. The Emperor is moved by the beautiful singing and offers the bird a reward of a golden slipper. Three Japanese Envoys enter the palace and offer the Emperor a mechanical nightingale. The mechanical bird sings and the nightingale flies away. The Emperor banishes it from the empire. He names the mechanical bird “first singer” in the court.

ACT III
As the Emperor is dying and Death is near his side, the ghosts of his past deeds visit him. He calls for his court musicians, but instead the nightingale appears – disregarding the banishment. Death hears the nightingale sing and asks it to continue. The nightingale agrees, but only if Death returns the crown, sword and standard to the Emperor. Death agrees and the Emperor offers the nightingale “first singer” – the nightingale declines, stating that the Emperor’s tears are reward enough, and promises to sing each night from dusk until dawn.

Artists

  • Mme. Tintement/Nightingale – Erin Morley
  • Mme. Popescu/The Cook – Brenda Rae
  • Mon. Popescu/The Fisherman – Bruce Sledge
  • Impresario/The Emperor – Anthony Michaels-Moore
  • Fraulein Krone/Death – Meredith Arwady
  • Herr Puff/Chamberlain – Kevin Burdette
  • Eiler/The Bonze – Bradley Smoak
  • Conductor – Evan Rogister
  • Director – Michael Gieleta
  • Scenic Designer – James Macnamara
  • Costume Designer – Fabio Toblini
  • Lighting Designer – Christopher Akerlind
  • Choreographer – Seán Curran
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“La Calisto” in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI OPERA PRESENTS:

La Calisto

July 17, 20, 23 & 25 • 7:30 p.m.
July 27 • 3:00 p.m.
SCPA’s Corbett Theater

Music by Francesco Cavalli
Libretto by Giovanni Faustini

THE OPERA
Cincinnati Opera presents its first-ever Baroque opera with Francesco Cavalli’s La Calisto, first performed in Venice in 1651. The opera is the company’s second production to be presented in SCPA’s Corbett Theater, a state-of-the-art, 750-seat auditorium just a block away from the company’s home at Music Hall.

THE CAST

Nathalie-Paulin-sized Michael-Maniaci-sized Jennifer-Johnson-Cano-sized Alexandra-Seshorties-sized
Nathalie
Paulin

Calisto/Eternita
Michael
Maniaci

Endymion
Jennifer
Johnson Cano

Diana/Destino
Alexandra
Desho
rties
Juno
       
Daniel-Okulitch-sized Nathan-Stark-sized Blake-Aaron-sized Andrew-Garland-sized
Daniel
Okulitch

Jupiter
Nathan Stark
Sylvan
Aaron Blake
Pan
Andrew
Garland

Mercury

CREATIVE TEAM
Stage Director … Ted Huffman
Conductor … David Bates
Scenic Designer … David A. Centers
Costume Designer … Rebecca Senske
Lighting Designer … Thomas Hase

SYNOPSIS

Prologue

Destiny persuades Nature and Eternity that Calisto deserves a place among the stars in heaven.

 

Act One

The world is suffering the consequences of a war between mankind and the gods. Giove (Jupiter) and Mercurio (Mercury) are making sure that everything is as it should be on earth. Giove observes Calisto, a nymph, lamenting the lack of drinking water, for which she blames Giove. Charmed by the girl’s beauty, Giove immediately replenishes a spring and makes improper advances to Calisto. She, however, belongs to the retinue of Diana, a daughter of Giove, and has proclaimed that she will die a virgin. In great indignation, Calisto rejects Giove’s advances. Mercurio advises Giove to take on the form of Diana, to whose charms the unsuspecting Calisto will surely succumb. The plan succeeds: Calisto has no objection to accepting affectionate kisses from her beloved goddess.

Endimione (Endymion) is also in love with the chaste Diana. When she appears in the company of Linfea (Lynfea) and her nymphs, he can no longer hide his feelings and thus immediately incurs Linfea’s anger. Diana also treats Endimione rather coldly, in order not to betray the fact that she is secretly in love with him. Calisto joins Diana and the nymphs, ecstatic at the pleasure she has experienced with the kisses she and “Diana” have just exchanged, which understandably causes some confusion in Diana. She accuses Calisto of being a shameless hussy and banishes her from her entourage.

Linfea admits to herself that she would also really like to have a lover. A little satyr – Satirino – offers himself as a solution to her problem. Together with Silvano (Sylvano), the god of the woods, he subsequently tries to give new heart to Pane (Pan), the god of the shepherds, who is suffering from the throes of unrequited passion for Diana.

 

Act Two

Endimione wants to be near Diana and sees her in the form of the moon. When he has fallen asleep, Diana can no longer withstand her feelings for him. She kisses Endimione, who immediately awakes and finds that reality is as attractive as his dream, he has achieved his heart’s desire. Satirino, who has observed the scene without being noticed, now voices his own opinion on the constancy of women.

Giove’s jealous consort Giunone (Juno) suspects that her husband’s visit to earth is not only the result of his concern for the ravishes wrought by war and now decides in her turn to pay earth a visit. She immediately comes across Calisto, who in her despair innocently tells her how Diana was at first so loving and then so cold and cruel towards her for no apparent reason. Giunone knows her husband well enough to suspect immediately what has actually happened. Her suspicions are confirmed when Giove, in the form of Diana, comes into view with Mercurio and arranges another assignation with Calisto. Giunone angrily swears to be revenged on her rival, Calisto.

Before Giove, still in the form of Diana, can disappear for his rendezvous with Calisto, Endimione returns. Believing that it is Diana whom he has come upon, Endimione chats in lovesick fashion about the kisses he has exchanged with the goddess the previous night, thus revealing to Giove that Diana is perhaps not as chaste as he has been led to believe. Pane, Silvano and Satirino are also taken in by Giove’s disguise: convinced that they have caught Diana with her lover, they take Endimione prisoner and threaten to kill him. Mercurio urges Giove to have nothing to do with the whole affair and to disappear. Endimione has no choice but to think that Diana has heartlessly abandoned him to his plight and loses all will to live. Linfea, on the other hand, is now determined to go to any lengths in her urgent search for a lover.

 

Act Three

Calisto waits expectantly for “Diana” at the appointed time. In her place Giunone appears with furies and turns Calisto into a bear. In this form, she believes, her rival will no longer be quite so attractive in Giove’s eyes.  Giove, however, is determined to raise Calisto to divine status. He cannot, in fact, turn the clock back and restore Calisto to her original form, but he promises that when her life on earth as a bear comes to an end she will have a place among the stars in the firmament.

In the meantime the real Diana rescues Endimione from the hands of Pane and Silvano, who see this as a confirmation of their opinion of her as someone who appears chaste but who is in reality obviously sensual through and through. Diana decides that she will keep Endimione as her lover, in eternal sleep in the mountains.

In order to give Calisto some idea of her future glory, Giove shows her the firmament in all its magnificence, where her place in the constellation of Ursa Major is secure. But that time has not yet come; Giove and Calisto say farewell to each other. Calisto has to return to earth as a bear. 

Synopsis © Bavarian State Opera

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