la calisto

Francesco Cavalli and Giovanni Faustini’s opera based on the ancient greek myth of the warrior nymph made Ursa Major, Callisto. 
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David Radamés Toro

director

Benjamin Bayl

conductor

Francesco Cavalli

composer

Giovanni Faustini

librettist

Opera NEO

San Diego, California

*Amanda Austin performed the role of "Calisto"

Francesco Cavalli and Giovanni Faustini’s “La Calisto”, which premiered in Venice in 1651, details the mythological story of the seduced nymph, Calisto. In this 368 year-old baroque opera we find Calisto, the Daughter of King Lycaon, living in the woods as a nymph in the moon goddess and warrior huntress Diana’s service. Jove (Zeus/Jupiter) visits earth and becomes enraptured with Calisto. In his original form, Calisto revokes the all-powerful God. After witnessing Calisto’s devotion to his daughter, Diana, Jove changes his form to Diana’s and seduces Calisto. Unaware of her father’s manipulation, Diana violently rejects Calisto’s affection and banishes her, amidst grappling with her own forbidden desires for the young shepherd, Endimione. In a jealous rage, Juno, Jove’s wife, hunts Calisto, ultimately ordering her furies to torture Calisto to death. Immortalizing her for her sacrifice, bravery, and tragedy, Jove transforms the dying Calisto into a collection of stars.

“Soprano Amanda Austin is impressive as the lovestruck Calisto, with a creamy voice and consistent tonal range.” 

—  Pam Kragen, The San Diego Union Tribune