North American Premiere Event!
An opera composed by Carlo Pallavicino in 1679 - Libretto by Francesco Maria Piccioli
Staged performances on November 19, 20 and 21, 2021 at ODC Theater.
The Plot: A sex farce with teeth. Clever, lecherous Messalina turns the tables several times on the gullible Emperor Claudius, who is hardly innocent himself. Meanwhile two other couples suffer their own romantic vicissitudes. Furtive assignations, frustrated trysts, kidnappings, betrayals, sudden recognitions, a heroine and a hero both in drag, and a plot as convoluted as only 17th-century Venetian opera can put together, all lead to a reconciliation that will last only as long as Messalina can keep pulling the wool over Claudius’ eyes.
The Composer: Carlo Pallavicino (1630-1688):
Italian composer Carlo Pallavicino wrote more than 20 operas, which premiered in the cities where he worked during his life: Venice, Italy and Dresden, Germany. He also wrote oratorios and sacred works. Pallavicino began his musical career as a church organist in 1665-66 in Padua, Italy. His first operas were staged in Venice, Italy in 1666. He moved on to the Dresden, Germany court in 1667, where he was a choirmaster for a few years. After that period, he returned to his organist position in Venice. He became the musical director of a Venice conservatory that provided musical training for orphaned children. Then, in 1685, he resumed his post in Dresden and then became director of chamber and theater music in 1687. Two of his operas were staged in Dresden, but he continued to compose mainly for Venice. Of Pallavicino’s operas, Vespasiano (staged in 1678 in Venice) was his most popular.
CAST: Empress Messalina: Aura Veruni Emperor Claudio: Deborah Rosengaus Tullio: Kevin Gino Floralba: Shawnette Sulker Erginda/Alindo: Kindra Scharich Caio: Patrick Hagen Ergisto: Zachary Gordin Lismeno: Marcus Paige ORCHESTRA Conductor: Jory Vinikour 1st Violin: Cynthia Black 2nd Violin: Laura Jeannin Viola: Aaron Westman Cello: Gretchen Claassen Theorbo: Adam Cockerham