©2019 by Ars Minerva

Ifigenia in Aulide, 1738, modern premiere by Ars Minerva inNovember/December 2018

Composed by Giovanni Porta, libretto by Apostolo Zeno

The Greek army, ready to battle against Troy under the command of King Agamemnon, was detained by contrary winds in the port of Aulis. The King appealed to the Oracle and the response was clear: it would not be possible to sail to Troy, without first placating the wrath of the Goddess Diana with a death. The death and sacrifice of Iphigenia, daughter of the King.

Cast and crew

 

CAST:  Aura Veruni (Ifigenia), Nikola Printz (Agamennone), Shawnette Sulker (Clitennestra), Céline Ricci (Achille), Cara Gabrielson (Elisena), Kevin Gino (Ulisse), Matheus Coura (Teucro), Spencer Dodd (Arcade)

ORCHESTRA: Derek Tam (harpsichord, (conductor), Cynthia Black (concertmaster) Paul Psarras (theorbo), Gretchen Claassen (cello). Strings: Laura Rubinstein-Salzedo, Anna Washburn, Toma Iliev, Tyler Lewis, Aaron Westman, Erik Andersen.

CREATIVE TEAM: Céline Ricci (stage-director), Nicole Spencer Carrera (projection design), Jack Beuttler (lighting design), Matthew Nash (costume designer), Joe McClinton (translation), Elisabeth Reeves (stage manager), Paul Miller (program notes).

Designed by Nicole Spencer Carrera

La Circe, 1665, modern premiere by Ars Minerva in September 2017

Attributed to Pietro Andrea Ziani, libretto by Cristoforo Ivanovich

The plot of La Circe was inspired by the adventures of Circe, the goddess and magician of Greek mythology made famous in Homer’s Odyssey and Ovid's Metamorphoses. After Ulysses escapes Circe’s clutches, the outraged enchantress remains on her island with a number of unlucky captives who will fall victim to her resentment and manipulations.

Cast and crew

 

CAST: Céline Ricci (Circe), Kindra Scharich (Andromaca), Kyle Stegall (Glauco), Ryan Belongie (Pirro), Aurélie Veruni (Scylla), Jasmine Johnson (Egle), Jonathan Smucker (Gligoro), Igor Vieira (Custode/Tissandro/Creonte), Katherine Hutchinson (aerial dancer)

ORCHESTRA: Derek Tam (harpsichord, conductor), Adam Cockerham (theorbo), Gretchen Claassen (cello), Laura Rubinstein-Salzedo (violin I), Nathalie Carducci (violin II), Addi Liu (viola) 

CREATIVE TEAM: Céline Ricci (staging, concept), Katherine Hutchinson (choreography), Patricia Nardi (projection design), Maximilian Urruzmendi and Saskia Lee (lighting design), Matthew Nash and Lindsi Bristow (costumes), Joe McClinton (translation), Paul Miller (program notes), Saskia Lee (stage manager)

Press

 

The Berkeley Daily Planet: "La Circe turned out to be a wonderful, thoroughly engaging opera, both musically and dramatically."

 

The Opera Tattler: "The breadth of Bay Area musical talent was on full display here and the diversity of sound was impressive."

The Reverberate Hills: "Outstanding and delightful... a useful reminder of the operatic riches that remain yet uncovered beyond the constant revivals of Traviata and Bohème."

The Rehearsal Studio: "Delightful Holy Roman Entertainment from Ars Minerva"

Civic Center: "Once again... a musical and stylistic triumph."

Designed by Patricia Nardi

The Amazons in the Fortunate Isles, 1679, modern premiere by Ars Minerva in May 2016

Composed by Carlo Pallavicino, libretto by C.M. Piccioli

Long lost in the archives of Venice’s Biblioteca Marciana, Pallavicino's opera takes place in the legendary Fortunates Isles located in the Atlantic Ocean, a winterless earthly paradise inhabited by the heroes of Greek mythology. After their defeat by the Greeks at the battle of Thermodon, the Amazons migrated to the Fortunates Isles. One day, a Moorish corsair is shipwrecked on the shore… and everything changes.

Cast and crew

PROLOGUE CAST: Tonia d'Amelio (Il Genio), Molly Mahoney (La Difficoltà), Spencer Dodd (Il Timore)

 

OPERA CAST: Aurélie Veruni (Pulcheria), Kindra Scharich (Florinda), Ryan Matos (Numidio), Tonia d'Amelio (Auralba), Cara Gabrielson (Jocasta), Molly Mahoney (Cillene), Spencer Dodd (Sultan), Casey Lee Thorne (dancer), Coral Martin (dancer)

ORCHESTRA: Derek Tam (harpsichord, conductor), Adam Cockerham (theorbo), Gretchen Claassen (cello), Addi Liu (violin I), Laura Rubinstein-Salzedo (violin II), Henry Reed (timpani), Amanda Cienfuegos (trumpet), Jose Sanchez (trumpet)

CREATIVE TEAM: Céline Ricci (staging), Muriel Maffre (choreography), Patricia Nardi (projection design),

Brian Poedy (lighting design), Metamorphosis Salon (hair and makeup), Joe McClinton (translation), Paul Miller (program notes)

Press

 

Opera Today: “The Amazons Enchant San Francisco"

San Francisco Classical Voice: "The staging and fine singing made for a vibrantly entertaining performance."

San Francisco Early Music Society: "A Conversation with Ars Minerva’s Céline Ricci"

L'Italo-Americano: "'The Amazons in the Fortunate Isles' - A Preview"

San Francisco Classical Voice: "Ars Minerva Discovers Lusty Amazons Opera"

Designed by Patricia Nardi

La Cleopatra, 1662, modern premiere by Ars Minerva in March 2015

Composed by Daniele da Castrovillari, libretto by Giacomo dall'Angelo

Daniele da Castrovillari’s La Cleopatra – lost in the archives of Venice’s Biblioteca Marciana since its premiere in 1662 – bears the name of the femme fatale whose legend has been recounted by everyone from Plutarch to Burton and Taylor. But those who anticipate yet another version of that famed tragedy should brace themselves for a hefty dose of the unexpected. Castrovillari and his librettist Giacomo dall’Angelo conjure up a lively salmagundi of romance, jealousy, skullduggery, sensuality, comedy, political catastrophe and attempted murder, climaxing in a surprise ending that is entirely in the spirit of Carnevale. 

Cast and crew

CAST: Céline Ricci (Cleopatra)Randall Scotting (Marc Antonio), Nell Snaidas (Ottavia), Jennifer Ellis Kampani (Coriaspe), Molly Mahoney (Arsinoe), Michael Desnoyers (Filenia), Igor Vieira (Clisterno), Spencer Dodd (Dolabella/Arante), Anders Frohelich (Augusto), James Hogan (Domitio)

ORCHESTRADerek Tam (harpsichord, conductor), Adam Cockerham (theorbo), Gretchen Claassen (cello), Natalie Carducci (violin I), Laura Rubinstein-Salzedo (violin II)

CREATIVE TEAMCéline Ricci (staging), Matthew Holmes (video design), Kellie Chambers (assistant video design), Brian Poedy (lighting design), Joe McClinton (translation), Paul Miller (program notes)

Press

Opera Today: “It is thanks to Céline Ricci, mezzo-soprano and director of Ars Minerva, that we have been able to again hear Daniele Castrovillari’s exquisite melodies because she is the musician who has brought his 1662 opera La Cleopatra to life."

The Berkeley Daily Planet: "This revival of Castrovillari’s La Cleopatra was a rare treat for San Francisco audiences."

The Iron Tongue of Midnight: "And getting to the heart of the matter: the music is extremely beautiful, in that austere, 17th c. Italian style. If you've heard any of the Monteverdi operas, well, you have some familiarity with what La Cleopatra sounds like. I counted three separate rage arias, which might be some kind of record, not to mention love duets, quite a bit of hilarious flirtiness from the nurse, and a gorgeous lament from Cleopatra."

Designed by Patricia Nardi
The Amazons.