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Dell’Arte Opera Offers a Cavalli to Fill a Summer Lull


Chris Fecteau, who is directing Cavalli’s “La Calisto” (1651).

Brian Long

For over a decade now, the Dell’Arte Opera company has filled the summer lull with fresh productions of well-known classics and rarities, performed by emerging talents. Few works fit the company’s mission better than Francesco Cavalli’s 1651 “La Calisto,” a tender and alluring opera based on a tale from Ovid’s Metamorphoses in which a nymph allied with Diana is abducted by Jupiter, cursed by Juno and transformed into a constellation of stars — a metamorphosis the organization probably hopes to effect on its young singers, too.

Finely wrought melodies and crystalline textures make this one of Cavalli’s most charming operas, with melancholy arias like “Piante ombrose” and the occasional jealousy-fueled workout of divine proportions. The production is directed by Brittany Goodwin and conducted by Charles Weaver. (Through Aug. 26, La MaMa, dellarteopera.org.)

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