2016 Xerse

Opera by Francesco Cavalli

Music Direction Grant Herried

Stage Direction Ethan Heard

“Amante non è chi cede al furor d’irata Fortuna. Chi teme il dolore amante non è.”


An exciting labyrinth of an Opera by Francesco Cavalli- Erismena is the story of a young princess who disguises herself as a male warrior to pursue her beloved. Murder plots, star-crossed lovers and bawdy clowns fill the stage of this 17th century gem – famously, the first Italian opera to be translated into English back in 1674 from Aurelio Aureli’s libretto.


<p><em>L&#39;incoronazione&nbsp;di&nbsp;Poppea</em>&nbsp;has astounded audiences by its emotional power and modern spirit- written at&nbsp;the climax of&nbsp;Monteverdi&#39;s&nbsp;career- it is the third of his three surviving operas&nbsp;YBOP&#39;s&nbsp;chose for performance, following&nbsp;<em>Orfeo&nbsp;</em>in 2008 and&nbsp;<em>Il&nbsp;Ritorno&nbsp;d&#39;Ulisse</em>&nbsp;in 2011.</p>
<p>Music Director, Grant&nbsp;Herried</p>
<p>Stage Director, Toni&nbsp;Dorfman</p>

2013 La Calisto

La Calisto incorporates a number of the most popular musico-dramatic conventions of the time: Cavalli's setting of sleep scenes (Endymion), laments (especially Calisto and Endymion), love duets (both couples), and bawdy comic songs and dialogues (Linfea and Satirino) are some of the most memorable moments in the score.

2012 Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Monteverdi's version of Homer's Odyssey follows Ulisse on the final leg of his journey. Ulisse returns, disguised, to his home, where his faithful wife, Penelope, is trying to stall the greedy suitors who want her to take another husband. With the help of his son, Telemaco, Ulisse chases off the suitors and reestablishes his rightful place in his home.

2010 Scipione Affricano

One of Cavalli's last operas, Scipione Affricano tells the story of Scipio Africanus, a great Roman general who defeated Hannibal in North Africa and fell in love with a captive, Ericlea.

2010 La Finta Pazza

YBOP's production of La Finta Pazza, a virtually unknown opera, was the work's American premier. After being lost for centuries, the music for La Finta Pazza was discovered in 1984 by Italian musicologists in Lago Maggiore and lent to YBOP the Principessa Bona Borromeo. La Finta Pazza is based on the story of Achilles on Skyros (part of the events leading to the Trojan War). 

2009 Le Tre Stagione

An invented musico-theatrical entertainment, Le Tre Stagione drew on the Italian works of George Frideric Handel, creating a pastiche featuring duets and ensembles. The works selected for Le Tre Stagione, while chosen for musical reasons, centered around themes of autumn, winter, and spring.

2009 Giasone

Roughly based on the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece, Cavalli's Giasone follows two pairs of noble lovers, at first thwarted in love but eventually overcoming opposition, aided by comic servants. This version ends happily to satisfy the expected conventions of seventeenth century opera.

2008 Capriccio Barocco

A play on the concept of an opera, this work begins with a conversation between allegorical representations of Poetry, Music, Painting and Architecture as they prepare La Didone. Selections from Cavalli's La Didone follow, telling the story of Dido and Aeneas.

2008 L'Orfeo

Monteverdi's first opera, L'Orfeo follows the story of the Greek hero Orpheus, who uses his musical gifts to barter his way into the Underworld to rescue his dead wife, Eurydice. However, when leading Eurydice out of the Underworld, he turns to look at her, breaking the deal he struck with Pluto, ruler of the Underworld. Eurydice is lost to death, and Orpheus laments.

2007 Ardo, Ardo

YBOP's first performance, Ardo, Ardo brought together singers, instrumentalists, dancers, and faculty from across the University to stage a series of Monteverdi's madrigals, monodies, and ballis.