mannes opera presents: la calisto

Performances run November 18-20, 2022 at the Playhouse Theater at Abrons Arts Center

October 26, 2022, New York - Mannes Opera is thrilled to present La Calisto with rising star conductor Kamna Gupta working with Artistic Director Emma Griffin to create a vivid and contemporary take on this wild tale. This presentation of La Calisto is part of the @Abrons Series Program, a subsidized theater rental program that provides access to spaces and subsidized production services.

La Calisto, first performed in 1651 in Venice, is the best known of Pier Francesco Cavalli’s 40+ operas and is an astonishing example of early Baroque opera. Based on a libretto by Giovanni Faustini, it’s a wild, bawdy romp through the libidinous underbelly of mythology. The first story is the Ovidian myth of Calisto, in which the nymph is seduced by Jupiter disguised as Diana (a gorgeous reminder that people have been exploring gender on stage, and in life, for hundreds of years). The second story is the myth of Endymion, whose love for Diana is secretly reciprocated by the chaste goddess. Decidedly unchaste complications ensue as gods, satyrs, nymphs, and fools twist and turn within a raucous, unraveling plot. La Calisto’s synergy of sublime music and extravagant emotion feels modern and fresh today - undeniably one of the greatest music-dramatic pieces in the operatic repertoire.

"Working on baroque opera - with its sensuality, its rhythms, its exuberance - feels like working on something written today," shares Griffin. "It's incredibly inventive and immediate - if you can meet the musical demands, the rewards are so rich. This particular opera has got the bawdy sophistication of an autuer 70s sex comedy, and it's just been incredibly fun to work on it with this cast of incredible young singers. We've all found it refreshing to work on something that feels so silly and so emotional at the same time - and the singing is just amazing."

Creative Team:
Conductor: Kamna Gupta
Director: Emma Griffin
Student Assistant Conductor: William Cabison
Student Assistant Director: Mihika Miranda
Production Stage Manager: Eve Kelly
Lighting Design: Alejandro Fajardo
Costume Design: Susanne Houstle
Assistant Costume Design: Ryan Ginter
Musical Preparation: Cris Frisco and Gary Wedow 
Rehearsal Pianist/ Harpsichordist: Reed Woodhouse
Assistant Stage Manager: Anna Mondragon
Student Assistant Stage Manager: Zo Kiballa
Student Directing Observer: Raina Lawrence

Friday, November, 18 at 7:30 PM 
Saturday, November, 19 at 3:00 PM 
Saturday, November, 19 at 7:30 PM 
Sunday, November, 20 at 2:30 PM 

La Calisto will be available to stream on-demand on December 2 at 7:30pm - RSVP

Mannes Opera
Under the leadership of Managing Artistic Director Emma Griffin, the Mannes Opera is a training program with a curiosity for the new and a devotion to craft for operatic artists. As part of the College of Performing Arts, the program uses the medium of opera to innovate, improvise, and create and offers young artists extensive performance practice and opportunities.

The program engages with the rich tradition of classical repertoire as a lens with which to better understand today’s world and trains students to be professional artists with agency and control over what they do and how they do it. Mannes Opera draws on the best opera and theater-makers that NYC has to offer.

The College of Performing Arts at The New School (CoPA) was formed in 2015 and draws together the iconic Mannes School of Music, the legendary School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the ground-breaking School of Drama. With each school contributing its unique culture of creative excellence, the College of Performing Arts is a hub for cross-disciplinary collaboration, bold experimentation, innovative education, and world-class performances.

The over 1,100 students at CoPA are actors, performers, writers, improvisers, creative technologists, entrepreneurs, composers, arts managers, and multidisciplinary artists who believe in the transformative power of the arts for all people. Students and faculty at CoPA collaborate with colleagues across The New School in a wide array of disciplines, from the visual arts and fashion design, to the social sciences, public policy, advocacy, and more. 

The curriculum at CoPA is dynamic, inclusive, and responsive to the changing arts and culture landscape. New degrees and coursework, like the new graduate degrees for Performer-Composers and Artist Entrepreneurs are designed to challenge highly skilled artists to experiment, innovate, and engage with the past, present, and future of their artforms. New York City’s Greenwich Village provides the backdrop for the College of Performing Arts, which is housed at Arnhold Hall on West 13th Street and the historic Westbeth Artists Community on Bank Street.


79 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003


Media Contacts:

Will Wilbur,
The New School

[email protected]

Follow @TheNewSchool 

Bookmark and Share