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Bangkok premiere of LA CALISTO

Thailand Cultural Center(Small Hall) Bangkok, Thailand

Opera Siam presents another ASEAN first - the first production of an opera by one of the most important early baroque opera composers — Cavalli's wild, gender-bending romp through Greek mythology.

An intimate production created by Richard Harrell, former head of opera at San Francisco Conservatory and head of San Francisco Opera's world-renowed Merola program for young singers, the opera will be performed in the Small Hall of the Cultural Center, in a similar setting and size of theatre to how it was originally performed in 1651. As was originally performed, the staging and costuming blends elements of ancient Greece and 17th Century to form a phantasmagorical mélange.

Heading the music will be Thailand's early music expert Trisdee na Patalung, whose baroque credentials include conducting operas by Monterverdi and Handel in Amsterdam, and the work of Charpentier at the world-famous Concertgebouw, one of the great music venues of Europe. Trisdee has chosen some of the best international instrumentalists to perform and will direct the opera from the harpsichord as was the baroque practice.

True to Opera Siam's tradition of encouraging young singers to pursue international careers in opera, the cast includes almost all of the top local young singers, from Jak Cholvijarn, last seen as the Buddha in "The Silent Prince" to award winners like Areeya Rotjanadit.

Monteverdi may have been the "father" of opera, but Cavalli's operas were the most popular of his time, and really created an enduring popularity for opera that made all the big classical and romantic works possible.

La Calisto tells how the god Jupiter, smitten with love for the nymph Calisto, who has sworn everlasting virginity in service of her patron goddess Diana, disguises himself as the virgin goddess in order to attract the nymph's attention. Heaven and Earth are thrown into comedic chaos as Jupiter's passion knows no bounds, and meanwhile Diana herself has fallen for the beautiful but unresponsive youth Endymion. As Satyrs frolic and Furies cast spells, the only solution appears to be transforming Calisto into a bear and setting her among the stars.

Only 240 seats are available for each of two performances due to the nature of the hall. Tickets will be available shortly on Thai Ticket Major. Seats are 1200 and 800 baht with 50% discount for students and seniors. If you would like to reserve early, write directly to Khun Ohm at tickets@bangkokopera.com.

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from 13 to 14 May 2014



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