June 11-21, 2009
THE WOOSTER GROUP: LA DIDONE
West Coast premiere
The Wooster Group's production of Francesco Cavalli's La Didone takes up a work from the days when opera was an emerging art form, born out of the power of the voice and the lute in pure acoustic space, and sets it down in a new world splintered by telepresence and made brazen by the electric guitar.
Then, traveling further forward in time, and stirring another Italian cultural artifact into the mix, the Group brings into collision the ancient shipwreck tale of Aeneas with the crashed spaceships of Mario Bava's 1965 low-budget sci-fi horror film Terrore nello spazio (Planet of the Vampires).
The elements of this cult movie—the sleek matching leather space uniforms, the forbidding planetary landscapes, the battles with the walking dead over the all-important meteor rejector—come into unexpected synergy with the baroque textures of Cavalli's score and the classic themes of the Dido story: the loss of culture and family, the destructive (and redemptive) power of erotic passion, and the sheer tenacity of human nature in the face of annihilation.
With: Hai-Ting Chinn, Ari Fliakos, Jennifer Griesbach, Hank Heijink, Andrew Nolen, Kamala Sankaram, Scott Shepherd, Harvey Valdes, Kate Valk, David Walker, Judson Williams, and John Young-