Irresistibly charming and wickedly funny, Orontea deftly combines Cesti’s melodic inventiveness with Cicognini’s clever and comic libretto.
Despite renouncing love, Queen Orontea finds herself falling for a handsome refugee artist, Alidoro, only to discover that she has most of the women in her court as rivals. Add to the mix her moralistic councillor Creonte, the scheming courtesan Silandra, and the maidservant Giacinta, who disguises herself as a boy – only to accidentally inspire the affections of Alidoro’s lascivious mother, Aristea.
Orontea features an artfully assembled cast led by stunning soprano Anna Dowsley – star of the film A Delicate Fire – together with Pinchgut fan-favourites Max Riebl, David Greco, Jacqueline Dark and Andrew O’Connor. New Zealand tenor Jonathan Abernathy joins American soprano Sofia Troncoso in their Pinchgut opera debuts.
Musical heir to Monteverdi and a younger contemporary of Cavalli, Cesti was one of the most popular composers of the 17th century. When it premiered in 1656, Orontea immediately captured the public’s attention through its brilliant and skilful combination of poetry and music.
Studded with memorable arias and remarkable duets, Cesti’s gifts for musical characterisation and melodic storytelling are here on display for the first time in Australia.
In the spirit of Cavalli’s The Loves of Apollo & Dafne, Pinchgut Opera brings you another delicious taste of Italian opera made fresh for today’s audiences, with the promise of revelry, beauty and laughter.
Venue conditions may change prior to your attendance. Please be aware that when you come to the show, requirements will be in accordance with the Public Health Order prevailing at the date of the performance, not at the time of buying your ticket.
All requirements are in accordance with the current Public Health Orders and NSW and Victorian Health department guidelines where relevant and will be updated.
Please refer to the relevant health and safety information at our two performance venues which stipulate what to expect in terms of:
Permitted capacity of audiences in the venues
Venue ventilation information
Other key information
Visitors who do not comply with the venue conditions will not be admitted or will be asked to leave the venue to ensure the safety of all visitors and staff.
We look forward to welcoming you and appreciate your support and cooperation.