Yale Baroque Opera presents Francesco Cavalli’s ‘La Calisto’

Lustful gods, jealous goddesses, and a panoply of bawdy satyrs, nymphs, demigods, and shepherds will cavort across a stage at Yale singing of love and conquest in a production of “La Calisto,” an opera by Venetian composer Francesco Cavalli (1602–1676).

The fully-staged production by the Yale Baroque Opera Project (YBOP) will have two performances at University Theatre, 222 York St., on Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5, at 5 p.m. No ticket or reservation required.

Based on Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” Cavalli’s comic opera tells of the complications that arise when gods and mortals mix, and the bizarre tricks immortals use to satisfy their earthly desires. The opera first played in 1651 at the Teatro Sant 'Apollinare in Venice.

The YBOP production of “La Calisto” features Yale undergraduates and graduate students performing under the direction of Grant Herreid, with stage direction by Sarah Peterson.  Students receive credit through the class “Performing, Analyzing and Directing Baroque Opera,” taught by Ellen Rosand and Herreid.

Now in its fifth year, YBOP introduces Yale students to historical, aesthetic, and performance issues related to Italian opera from the 17th and early 18th centuries. In addition to a full-scale annual production, the project supports courses in the Department of Music geared specifically to promoting awareness and building skills associated with the unique Baroque opera form.