Yale Baroque Opera to Present "Capriccio Barocco"

The Yale Baroque Opera Project (YBOP) will present two performances of staged scenes from works by Francesco Cavalli (1602–1676) on November 15 and 16 at 4 p.m.

Free and open to the public, the performances will take place in Trinity Lutheran Church, on the corner of Wall and Orange streets.

Reservations and tickets are not required; doors will open 30 minutes before each show. The performance will run approximately two hours with intermission.

Cavalli was the most-performed opera composer in the quarter-century following the death of Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi. While Monteverdi scored his early operas for the extravagant court of Mantua, Cavalli employed a smaller orchestra when writing for the first public opera houses in 17th-century Venice.

Conceived by producer Ellen Rosand and director Andrew Eggert, “Capriccio Barocco” — or “Baroque Caprice” — brings together selected scenes from Cavalli’s operatic works to create a two-act theatrical entertainment. In the first act, performers portraying theatrical designers and crew construct a show piece by piece; in the second act, they present the opera they have created, featuring selected excerpts from Cavalli’s “La Didone.”

Twenty costumed singers will join the Yale Collegium Players, an orchestra featuring strings and harpsichord as well as such early instruments as lute and theorbo. The singers are undergraduates enrolled in a course on early opera taught by Richard Lalli, while the musicians include both professional early music players and students. The director, Eggert, is a Yale alumnus who currently works for Chicago Opera Theater.

This is the third major production of YBOP. The first, a choreographed performance of Monteverdi’s madrigals, was presented in November 2007 to critical acclaim; the second was Monteverdi’s masterpiece “Orfeo,” performed in New Haven in April 2008 and again at the Norfolk Music Festival in June.

The Yale Baroque Opera Project aims to provide a professional and interdisciplinary educational experience to Yale undergraduates. The project is funded by a Distinguished Achievement Award granted by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to Rosand, the George A. Saden Professor of Music at Yale. Rosand’s “Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice: The Creation of a Genre” (1990) has been recently released in paperback. Her “Monteverdi’s Last Operas” was published in 2007. During each semester of this and the upcoming year, YBOP will present Yale undergraduates in performances of 17th-century Italian opera. For more information, visit: www.yale.edu/ybop

Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345