Mannes Opera at The New School’s College of Performing Arts
18–20 November 2022
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.
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 of 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.
College of Performing Arts at The New School
Formed in 2015, the College of Performing Arts at The New School (CoPA) brings 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.
As a part of The New School, students across CoPA experience a supportive and rigorous environment that provides abundant opportunities for collaboration with students and faculty in a wide array of disciplines including the visual arts, fashion, design and technology, architecture, philosophy, psychology, public policy, advocacy, and more. CoPA has over 1100 students seeking degrees and diplomas in performance, composition, acting, writing, as well as arts management and entrepreneurship. 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.
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 through 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.