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The genius of Francesco Cavalli has languished for centuries, and only now is his music being slowly drawn to our attention. Today, the joyfulness of La Calisto, is considered a fundamental title in Baroque opera. For its debut at the Teatro Real, Ivor Bolton and Christopher Moulds will alternate conducting the Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla and two first rate casts including Karina Gauvin, Monica Bacelli, Louise Adler ( 2017 recipient of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and the Young Singers Award at the International Opera Awards) Tim Mead and Xavier Sabata, among other specialists in Baroque repertory. David Alden draws on the marvellous eloquence and dramatic power of Cavalli’s music to create a stage where the gods, who in times gone past had been inapproachable, come across as characters who are just as irrelevant as the humans who govern them.

Approximate running time


Dramma per musica in a prologue and three acts

Music by Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676)
Libretto by Giovanni Faustini, based the Metamorphoses (8 AD), byOvid

Premiered at the Teatro San Apollinare of Venice on 28 November 1651

Premiere at the Teatro Real
Production by the Bayerische Staatsoper of Munich

Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla

Starting Point

Since its recovery in 1970, after having fallen almost totally into oblivion during centuries, La Calisto has come to be one of the inalienable works within the wave of recuperation of baroque opera repertory. This reconstruction is particularity interesting – with regard to other operas of the same period – since many documents have been conserved from its première.

We know, for example, that the original production was very sophisticated, with seven changes of scene, numerous special effects and a very complex system of machinery. Such was the degree of substantial resources assigned to a work that was to delve (in a most irreverent manner) into the relationships between the gods and human beings; that the audience of that time must have been blushing and short of breath throughout. Not in vain does the story that drinks from the Metamorphosis de Ovid, evolve around the love of Giove for the beautiful nymph Calisto, who rejects him in her masculine form in order to later succumb to his courtship when he disguises himself as the goddess Diana. Francesco Cavalli makes good use of a libretto that also includes amusing subordinate plots and which inspired him to compose very original and lyrical music.

Production Team & Cast

  • Musical director: Ivor Bolton (Mar. 17, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25)
  •   Christopher Moulds (Mar. 18, 26)
  • Stage director: David Alden
  • Set designer: Paul Steinberg
  • Costume designer: Buki Shiff
  • Lighting designer: Pat Collins
  • Choreographer: Beate Vollack
· - ·
  • La Natura / Satirino / Le furie: Dominique Visse
  • L’Eternità / Giunone: Karina Gauvin (Mar. 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26)
    Rachel Kelly (Mar. 18, 20, 24)
  • Il Destino / Diana / Le furie: Monica Bacelli (Mar. 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26)
    Teresa Iervolino (Mar. 18, 20, 24)
  • Giove: Luca Tittoto (Mar. 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26)
    Wolfgang Schwaiger (Mar. 18, 20, 24)
  • Mercurio: Nikolay Borchev (Mar. 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26)
    Borja Quiza (Mar. 18, 20, 24)
  • Calisto: Louise Alder (Mar. 17, 19, 21, 23, 25)
    Anna Devin (Mar. 18, 20, 24, 26)
  • Endimione: Tim Mead (Mar. 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26)
    Xavier Sabata (Mar. 18, 20, 24)
  • Linfea: Guy de Mey (Mar. 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26)
    Francisco Vas (Mar. 18, 20, 24)
  • Pane: Ed Lyon (Mar. 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26)
    Juan Sancho (Mar. 18, 20, 24)
  • Silvano: Andrea Mastroni

Performance Dates

  • 17 MAR (S) 18:00h
  • 18 MAR (M) 20:00h
    Turn X
  • 19 MAR (T) 20:00h
    Turn A
  • 20 MAR (W) 20:00h
    Turn B
  • 21 MAR (T) 20:00h
    Turn C
  • 23 MAR (S) 20:00h
    Turn G
  • 24 MAR (S) 18:00h
    Turn W
  • 25 MAR (M) 20:00h
    Turn H
  • 26 MAR (T) 20:00h
    Turn F
  • Place: Main Auditorium

Programme of show

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