Pier Francesco Cavalli

opera in three acts
composer: Pier Francesco Cavalli
(born 14 February 1602, died 14 January 1676)
libretto: Giovanni Faustini
first performance: Venice, San Cassiano, 1643
conductor: Kenneth Montgomery
direction: Javier López Piñón,
set and costume design: Fer Smidt
lighting design: Joop Caboort
visual artist: Bert Feddema
costume supervisor: Reindert Kruse
set decoration: Stephan Reisig, Sita Feddema
make up artist: Pilo Pilkens
production : Marijke Reuvers
host performances: Ron Haagsma
company: De Nieuwe Opera Academie
premiere: Theaterschool, Amsterdam 6th May 1997





Pier Fransesco Cavalli was unquestionably the most profilic Italian opera composer of the seventeenth century, Francesco Cavalli wrote more than thirty operas. Indeed, his contemporaries so admired this achievement that they attributed to him several operas by other composers. Together with his principal librettists, G. Faustini, G. Busenello, and N. Minato, Cavalli vitalized the musical theatre through a sympathetic regard for the dramatic scene of the word and by a flair for creating compelling scenic action.


act 2, scene 9, underworld, amor, semele, fedra, didone, hero

The three Cavalli opera's (la Calisto, l'Ormindo, l'Egisto) I did with the director Javier Lopez Pinon were all designed on the same concept. As a trilogy we decided to use the following components; sub-titels, video, caractures for each role and a modern way to show baroc-machinery. In this way we tried to convince the audiance of the fun that is inside these baroc opera's and their mythological stories.



Plot: The island of Zakynthos, mythological times. Egisto relates to Climene how he and Clori were captured by Corsican bandits; Climene says she and Lidio endured a similar experience. Both are upset at the unfaithfulness of their respective lovers and go to Amor to seek revenge. When Venus sees that Egisto now has the means of release, she begs Amor to drive him mad. Egisto meets Clori, who wishes to have nothing more to do with him. He advises Lidio to break with Clori since she brings nothing but sorrow. Climene's brother Hipparco also loves Clori. He encourages his sister to stab Lidio, but she hesitates, asking the gods to forgive him. Lidio then appears, declaring his love for Climene is unaltered; the couples are reunited throug Amor's power.