Cavalli's La Didone

Clément Hervieu-Léger (stage director), William Christie (conductor) — Les Arts Florissants

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Clément Hervieu-Léger — Stage director

Éric Ruf — Stage design

Caroline de Vivaise — Costumes

Bertrand Couderc — Lighting

Valérie Nègre — Artistic collaboration

Pierre Judet de la Combe — Collaboration to the dramaturgy

Rita de Letteriis — Linguistic advice

Anna Bonitatibus — Dido

Kresimir Spicer — Ænas

Claire Debono — Venus, Iris, a young woman

Tehila Nini Goldstein — Creusa, Juno

Katherine Watson — Cassandra, a young woman

Mariana Rewerski — Anna, La Fortuna, a young woman

Xavier Sabata — Iarba

Terry Wey — Ascanius, Amore, a hunter

Valerio Contaldo — Coroebus, Aeolus, a hunter

Joseph Cornwell — Hecate, Neoptolemus

Program notes

Opera in three acts with prologue, sung in Italian, after a libretto by Giovanni Francesco Busenello. Premiered in Venice at the San Cassiano Theatre, on March 1st, 1641.

The théâtre de Caen opens its 2011/2012 season with Francesco Cavalli's La Didone, an Italian opera composed in the 17th century. The recreation of this work is a mission entrusted to Les Arts Florissants, with William Christie's conducting, who will then conduct the opera at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. The mezzo soprano Anna Bonitatibus and the tenor Kresimir Spicer will respectively sing Dido and Æneas.

Premiered in 1641 in Venice, La Didone takes its inspiration from Virgilius' Æneid. On the advice of Venus, Æneas leaves Troy, attacked by the Greeks. When he arrives on the shores of Carthage, he meets the Queen Dido and the two young people fall in love. But the gods remind Æneas of his destiny: the creation of Rome. The hero continues on his journey.

A stalwart of the Comédie Française, Clément Hervieu-Léger has collaborated with Patrice Chéreau for Così fan tutte (Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Opéra de Paris) and Tristan und Isolde (Teatro alla Scala de Milan). La Didone is his first opera staging.

© Picture: Pascal Gely/théâtre de Caen

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