Eastman Opera Theatre’s Season Continues with Cavalli’s La Calisto

The Outrageously Funny Baroque Masterpiece

December 16, 2021

More Information:
For Media Inquiries: Eastman Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator: Katey Padden (585-274-1052, kpadden@esm.rochester.edu)

Eastman Opera Theatre (EOT) is thrilled to continue its season with the zany baroque opera La Calisto by Francesco Cavalli, February 16, 17, 22, and 23 at 7:30 p.m. Unlike the rest of their 2021-22 season, Eastman Opera Theatre will be performing La Calisto in the EOT Scene Shop, 1344 University Avenue (see information below). This production is directed by Madeleine Snow, an Eastman Directing Master of Music Candidate, with musical direction by Wilson Southerland, Assistant Music Director of Eastman Opera Theatre.

La Calisto is sung in Italian with English supertitles.

“When you envision opera in 1651, you might think it musty, fusty, and dusty.” Says Wilson Southerland. “Cavalli helped move opera from the private stages of wealthy aristocrats to the public theaters of Venice, and the ticket-buying public couldn’t get enough of Cavalli’s secular, bawdy operas. The music of La Calisto is as wonderfully circuitous as the subject matter: the fluidity of time and rhythm and pitch matches the fluidity of gender construct and plot surprises. You’re in for a treat!” 

Madeleine Snow adds, “Inspired by the myth of Callisto from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, this Baroque opera explores themes of gender and power, sex and consent, revenge and justice, mortality and morality. This production reinterprets the story through a queer, feminist lens. La Calisto takes place in a dark, dangerous, hidden world of sexual awakenings. This staging modernizes the mythology, setting it in a rave-like environment where illicit secrets and primal behavior abound.”

The Eastman Opera Theatre Scene Shop is an industrial space that lends itself to modernized staging, and can still accommodate a large cast, full orchestra and a live audience. The EOT Scene Shop is located at 1344 University Avenue, Suite #5000.

Tickets for Eastman Opera Theatre’s production of La Calisto are $20 for the general public and free to UR ID holders. Tickets can be purchased at the Eastman Theatre Box Office, 433 East Main St. or online at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/theatre/

Eastman Opera Theatre’s production of La Calisto will only be livestreamed March 22 and 23 at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/live/. The stream will start approximately 15 minutes before the event.

The three-semester-long Eastman Centennial celebration will begin in Fall 2021 and continues throughout 2022. Highlights include acclaimed guest artists performing alongside Eastman’s ensembles; national academic and music conferences; alumni events throughout the country; a documentary being produced in partnership with WXXI, and more. Pillar events include: “Opening of the Doors,” a community-driven celebration scheduled for March 3-6, 2022; “100 concerts to celebrate 100 years”; and a Meliora Weekend celebration in Fall 2022.

For up-to-date information on the Eastman Centennial, including feature stories, future events, videos, testimonials, ways to engage, and more, please visit our Centennial website at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/100.

# # #

About Eastman Opera Theatre:

Eastman Opera Theatre offers a comprehensive program of training and performance opportunities for the modern singer-actor. Each year, productions feature a wide range of musical styles, unusual lyric forms and both traditional and contemporary repertoire that prepare the motivated student for the professional lyric theater world of tomorrow.

Most productions have two complete principal casts (given equal performances), are fully designed, performed in the original language, and depending on the venue, use full orchestral accompaniment. Studio productions, scenes programs, and outreach events are also presented to further enhance the variety of performance experience. Eastman Opera Theatre utilizes both undergraduate and graduate students in all roles for all productions. 

Recent and past productions include Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea; Glass’s Hydrogen Jukebox and Les Enfants Terribles; Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza; Gordon’s The Tibetan Book of the Dead; Mozart’s Don Giovanni; Puts’ Elizabeth Cree.  EOT is committed to working with living composers and librettists.  Recent production collaborations have included Adam Guettel, Jake Heggie, Gene Scheer, Ricky Ian Gordon Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell.  In December 2020 during the pandemic, Eastman Opera Theatre represented a unique collaborative production, Our Voices, featuring the vocal music of six contemporary composers: Anthony Davis, Ricky Ian Gordon, Lori Laitman, Missy Mazzoli, Ben Moore, and Errollyn Wallen.  These six renowned composers programmed their own music, collaborated with our students and artistic team to create six unique lyric theatrical programs.  

About Eastman School of Music: 

The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training.

More than 900 students are enrolled in the Collegiate Division of the Eastman School of Music—about 500 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. They come from almost every state, and approximately 23 percent are from other countries. They are taught by a faculty comprised of more than 130 highly regarded performers, composers, conductors, scholars, and educators. They are Pulitzer Prize winners, Grammy winners, Emmy winners, Guggenheim fellows, ASCAP Award recipients, published authors, recording artists, and acclaimed musicians who have performed in the world’s greatest concert halls. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 900 concerts to the Rochester community. Additionally, more than 1,700 members of the Rochester community, from young children through senior citizens, are enrolled in the Eastman Community Music School. 

About the University of Rochester:

The University of Rochester is one of the nation’s leading private research universities, one of only 62-member institutions in the Association of American Universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives undergraduates exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by the Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery.