PINCHGUT OPERA PRESENTS
CITY RECITAL HALL 20 – 26 MAY, 2021
CELEBRATING 20 YEARS
WE EXIST BECAUSE OF YOU.
DONATIONS RECEIVED BEFORE 30 JUNE WILL BE DOUBLED* Our incredible audience and supporters have seen us through the worst of times, and in this our 20th year, we look forward to celebrating again with you the best of times. We are driven by a passion that binds us like family. We aspire to the highest possible standard of excellence to create musical experiences to uplift and inspire. Thanks to the enormous generosity of Emily and Yvonne Chang and another anonymous donor, every donation received toward this year’s Annual Giving Campaign will be matched – dollar for dollar.* Please help us secure this exceptional opportunity by making a gift towards our Annual Giving Campaign. All donations over $2 are fully tax deductible. *Matched funding applies to cumulative donations up to $50,000 received before 30 June 2021
pinchgutopera.com.au/donate or call (02) 9318 8344
THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE
Francesco Cavalli (1602–1676)
Giovanni Francesco Busenello (1598–1659)
Alexandra Oomens Aurora, Dafne
Max Riebl Titone, Cirilla, Cefalo, Apollo
Stacey Alleaume Itaton, Amore, Procris, Eco
Jacqueline Dark Morfeo, Venere, Filena, Musa
David Hidden Sonno, Alfesibeo, Pan
Andrew O’Connor Panto, Giove, Peneo
Claudia Mackay, Olivia Payne, Elias Wilson, Andrew Taylor Knight * Shepherds, Nymphs, Muses
Orchestra of the Antipodes
20, 22, 23, 25 and 26 May 2021
City Recital Hall, Sydney
There will be one interval of 20 minutes at the conclusion of Act One.
Sung in Italian, with English surtitles.
he performance will finish at approximately 9.30pm on Thursday, T Tuesday and Wednesday, at 4.30pm on Saturday and 7.30pm on Sunday.
he Loves of Apollo & Dafne was first performed at the Teatro San T Cassiano in Venice in the 1640 carnival season. These are the Australian premiere performances.
he Loves of Apollo & Dafne is being recorded for broadcast on T ABC Classic on Sunday 6 June. Any microphones you observe are for recording and not musical amplification.
he Loves of Apollo & Dafne is being filmed by Australian Theatre Live T on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 May for cinematic and digital release.
* Claudia, Olivia, Elias and Andrew appear courtesy of Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney.
These performances of The Loves of Apollo & Dafne are dedicated to the memory of Taryn Fiebig.
THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE WELCOME FROM PINCHGUT OPERA
It is with great joy – and some relief – that I write these words of welcome to Pinchgut Opera’s first fully staged opera performance since 2019. Like all other arts companies, both here in Australia and around the world, Pinchgut battened down the hatches to ride out the storm of lockdowns, cancellations and restrictions. We only managed to survive 2020 through your generosity, as a significant portion of our audience donated the price of already purchased tickets back to the company when we were forced to cancel our projects. Many of you also gave money to enable us to undertake recording projects and other creative endeavours as we waited for conditions to improve. For these gestures – both small and large – I am eternally grateful. I also want to thank Create NSW which significantly supported Pinchgut throughout 2020 and into this year. Despite enormous setbacks, in 2020 Pinchgut was able to record an opera film based on the madrigals of Barbara Strozzi. A Delicate Fire was directed by Constantine Costi and designed by Charlotte Mungomery and was Pinchgut’s first foray into the world of film. Initially released in a limited online viewing to great critical acclaim, we are currently in discussions with film distributors. So, stay tuned for more news. 2020 was also a moment which allowed the company to reassess, re-examine and reinvigorate. The many debates about the function of the arts in our society, as we talked about ‘essential’ and ‘nonessential’ jobs and services, led us to think freshly and rigorously about what we do at Pinchgut. What has emerged is a renewed sense of vision: continuing and magnifying our support of Australian artists just as we think about the new creative journeys that the company may take, as we tighten our belts on the somewhat precarious path ahead. The plans for international collaborations I hinted at back in 2019, in my previous welcome letter, have sadly all evaporated – at least for the moment – but with our move into film, our global outreach will continue, just in a different form. It is with a heartfelt grief that I reflect on the recent death of my beloved friend and colleague, Taryn Fiebig. Taryn was to have been in this production. I had the honour of first conducting Taz in her debut with Pinchgut Opera, in Cavalli’s L’Ormindo (2009), and this inaugurated a long and fruitful association with the company and a long friendship with myself. Because of her seemingly inexhaustible creativity and imagination, Baroque music (which gives much freedom of interpretation to the performer) suited her expressive persona. Under my direction, she sang Michal in a feted production of Saul at the Adelaide Festival in 2018. Taz sang in three more productions and many concerts with Pinchgut Opera: outstanding among them were her luminous performances in a Rameau triple bill in 2017 and also Vivaldi’s Farnace in 2019. One of her last major projects was starring alongside Anna Dowsley in A Delicate Fire last year. This season of performances is dedicated to Taz. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we are all very fragile and delicate creatures. Those in Venice in the 1630s knew it viscerally – death was never very far away. The Serene Republic had survived the Great Plague of Milan (1629–1631), which claimed one million lives. In the opera you are to witness now, one of the characters sings: Una volta si nasce, Una volta si muore, Lo spazio della vita E’ una carriera sola. Godiam la luce in fin, che dura il giorno, Che l’andata mortal non fa ritorno.
This beautiful poetry by the great Busenello is in four seven- and two eleven-syllable lines: the classic versi sciolti (‘loose’ or ‘free’ verse) that characterises all early Venetian opera. It is set exquisitely by Cavalli and might be translated as: You are only born once, Only once you die; The space given for life is our only occupation. Let’s enjoy the light as long as the day lasts Because from our mortal journey there is no return. We had to greatly alter our 2021 plans to accommodate the very different world in which we all now live. That we have done so well in doing this – and at the same time honouring the company’s celebrations in its twentieth year – makes me very proud indeed. In 2021 we welcome back old friends and welcome new ones, as we celebrate Australians on the cusps of stellar careers as well as those already renowned and acclaimed. We present works from the very beginning of opera’s history, when the opera house was novel and exciting, through to works of the Enlightenment, in which composers and librettists began to use opera to ask fundamental questions about human existence. Opera – indeed, all the expressive and exquisite music of the past – seems to hold an even more special place in my heart these days. Every creative experience feels so precious. Recognising the great fragility of this beauty might be part of a deeper appreciation for all that life offers us.
Erin Helyard Artistic Director
As we return to the live stage with an opera for the first time since 2019, we reflect on how in each year, Pinchgut brings together a special combination of exceptional artists, arts workers and creatives for our operas and concerts, employing over 200 people annually. We are driven by a passion that binds us like family. We aspire to the highest possible standard of excellence to create musical experiences to uplift and inspire. Our incredible audience and supporters have seen us through the worst of times, and in this, our 20th year, we look forward to celebrating again with you the best of times. Looking ahead to our December opera, Platée by Rameau will be one of the most ambitious productions Pinchgut has ever undertaken. Planned specifically as the culmination of our 20-year celebrations, Platée has provided the opportunity for us to work with some of the country’s most celebrated artists so we can continue to raise the standard of excellence in our presentation of Baroque opera. The Platée Giving Circle will raise crucial financial support to assist us in bringing this deliciously twisted comedy, by one of the greatest French Baroque composers, to the stage. Please get in touch if you are interested in joining this giving circle to support Pinchgut in this focussed way. Pinchgut is exceptional music making. Pinchgut is many things, but… Pinchgut would be nothing without you. Please help us continue to uplift and inspire by giving to our Annual Appeal. All donations go directly towards helping us bring this extraordinary music to the stage, and are tax deductible (over $2). Thank you for supporting us through the challenging year that was 2020, and for joining us for The Loves of Apollo & Dafne.
Cressida Griffith General Manager
THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE ABOUT PINCHGUT OPERA
Pinchgut Opera celebrates the beauty and breadth of emotions through music and the human voice. Other companies do the more familiar operas and early music repertoire excellently; Pinchgut helps audiences discover something new. Early opera is like wine; it comes in a fascinating variety of different styles, genres, tastes and colours. Before steamships, railroads and mass production, music thrived in widespread but localised centres of experimentation and reﬁnement. As cities became more connected, operas became less varied and more standardised. Pinchgut Opera scours this period from opera’s birth to its ﬂowering in the Baroque to bring you the very best masterworks from this dazzling and fertile time in music history. No one in Australia is better placed than the award-winning Pinchgut Opera to bring you these works, delivering an experience true to the composers’ intentions, through a contemporary visual lens. Pinchgut’s Operas:
2015 Vivaldi Bajazet
2002 Handel Semele
2015 Grétry L’Amant jaloux
2003 Purcell The Fairy Queen
2016 Haydn Armida
2004 Monteverdi Orfeo
2016 Handel Theodora
2005 Rameau Dardanus 2007 Vivaldi Juditha Triumphans
2008 Charpentier David et Jonathas
2017 Monteverdi The Coronation of Poppea
2009 Cavalli Ormindo
2018 Handel Athalia
2010 Haydn L’anima del filosofo
2018 Hasse Artaserse
2011 Vivaldi Griselda
2019 Monteverdi The Return of Ulysses
2006 Mozart Idomeneo
Triple Bill: Rameau Anacréon Rameau Pigmalion Vinci Erighetta & Don Chilone
2012 Rameau Castor et Pollux
2019 Vivaldi Farnace
2013 Cavalli Giasone
2021 Cavalli The Loves of Apollo & Dafne
2014 Salieri The Chimney Sweep
2021 Rameau Platée
2014 Gluck Iphigénie en Tauride Our journey into concert repertoire has continued this year with acclaimed performances of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. Later in the year, in both Sydney and Melbourne, we will perform Henry Purcell’s glorious Come Ye Sons of Art and Welcome Glorious Morn, with Charpentier’s mighty Te Deum and his beautiful three-voice Magniﬁcat. With Cavalli’s sensual The Loves of Apollo & Dafne and Rameau’s wickedly funny Platée, we are proud to present our wonderful 2021 season to you. We are forever grateful to you, our audience, who buy tickets and place your trust in us to lead you on a journey of musical discovery. And we especially thank our donors, whose support allows us to continue to present music that inspires, and the NSW Government through Create NSW that supports Pinchgut Opera through the Annual Organisation and Rescue & Restart Funding.
Photography by Jasmin Simmons. 5
THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Erin Helyard Conductor / Harpsichord Erin Helyard has been acclaimed as an inspiring conductor, a virtuosic and expressive performer of the harpsichord and fortepiano, and as a lucid scholar who is passionate about promoting discourse between musicology and performance. Erin graduated in harpsichord performance from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with first-class honours and the University Medal. He completed his Masters in fortepiano performance and a PhD in musicology with Tom Beghin at the Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal. He was named the Westfield Concert Scholar (Cornell University) on fortepiano for 2009-2010, and from 2003 to 2012 was a central member of Montreal’s award-winning Ensemble Caprice. As Artistic Director and co-founder of Pinchgut Opera and the Orchestra of the Antipodes, he has forged new standards of excellence in historically informed performance in Australia. The company won Best Rediscovered Opera for Hasse’s Artaserse at the 2019 International Opera Awards in London. Operas under his direction have been awarded Best Opera at the Helpmann Awards for three consecutive years (2015–2017). He has himself received two Helpmann Awards for Best Musical Direction: one for a fêted revival of Saul (Adelaide Festival) in 2017 and the other for Hasse’s Artaserse (Pinchgut Opera) in 2019. As a conductor Erin has distinguished himself in dynamic performances with the Adelaide, Tasmanian and Queensland Symphony Orchestras and the Australian Haydn Ensemble. Erin regularly collaborates with Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and duets with Stephanie McCallum on historical pianos and with baritone David Greco. In 2020 Richard Tognetti and Erin won the ARIA Award and the AIR (Australian Independent Record) Award for Best Classical Album, for their ABC Classic release of Mozart and Beethoven sonatas. In 2018 Erin was recognised with a Music and Opera Singers Trust Achievement Award (MAA) for his contribution to the arts in Australia. He is a part-time lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. 20th Pinchgut opera production Mitchell Butel Director Mitchell is the Artistic Director of State Theatre Company South Australia. He holds four Helpmann Awards, four Sydney Theatre Awards, three Sydney Glug Awards and two Victorian Green Room Awards for his work as a director and performer over the last three decades. Mitchell’s directing credits include the Sydney and Melbourne seasons of Violet (Blue Saint / Hayes Theatre), Spring Awakening (ATYP), Porgy and Bess, The Bernstein Songbook and Funny Girl (Sydney Symphony Orchestra), Candide (Sydney Opera House / Sydney Philharmonia), Marjorie Prime (Ensemble Theatre), Dead Cat Bounce (Griffin), An Act of God (Darlinghurst Theatre Company – co-director), Caroline, or Change (Hayes Theatre), and Decameron 2.0 and Ripcord (State Theatre Company South Australia). Performing highlights include Dance Nation and Unidentified Human Remains… (STCSA), Mr Burns: A Post-Electric Play (STCSA / Belvoir), Pinocchio and Rumpelstiltskin (Windmill / STCSA), The Government Inspector, Angels in America, Strange Interlude, A View from the Bridge and Dead Heart (Belvoir), Stones in his Pockets and The Venetian Twins (Queensland Theatre), The Merchant of Venice and Othello (Bell Shakespeare), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Arms and the Man, Romeo and Juliet, Mourning Becomes Electra, Tartuffe and Six Degrees of Separation (Sydney Theatre Company), Disgraced, Urinetown, Tomfoolery and Piaf (Melbourne Theatre Company), Meow Meow’s Little Match Girl and Woyzeck (Malthouse), South Pacific, The Mikado and Orpheus in the Underworld (Opera Australia), Biographica (Sydney Chamber Opera), Killing Time and My Vagabond Boat (Adelaide Cabaret Festival), A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Sugar, The Producers, Little Me and Hair (The Production Company) and commercial productions of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Avenue Q and Little Shop of Horrors. Film and TV credits include Stateless, Holding the Man, Gettin’ Square, The Bank, Strange Fits of Passion, Dark City, Stateless, Deep Water, Hiding, Janet King and Rake. He is delighted to be making his Pinchgut Opera debut and dedicates his work on this show to the late and very great Taryn Fiebig. First Pinchgut opera production Mitchell Butel’s services are provided courtesy of State Theatre Company South Australia.
Alexandra Oomens Aurora, Dafne London-based Australian soprano Alexandra Oomens is a recently appointed Harewood Artist with the English National Opera. She is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music Opera Programme and an alumna of the Georg Solti Accademia. Alexandra has previously worked with Pinchgut Opera as Isabelle in Grétry’s L’Amant jaloux, Lisel in Salieri’s The Chimney Sweep and Alinda in Cavalli’s Giasone, and in the 2019 concert series of Bach’s Easter Oratorio and Telemann’s Thunder Ode. In early 2020 Alexandra appeared as Barbarina in Opera North’s production of The Marriage of Figaro. In February this year, she performed with the Chamber Orchestra of Geneva as Laurette in their production of Le docteur Miracle. Further operatic engagements have included Zerlina (Don Giovanni) for Clonter Opera; The Vixen, (Cunning Little Vixen), The Princess and The Bat (L’Enfant et les Sortilèges), Laurette (Le docteur Miracle), Tina (Flight), Cupidon (Orphée aux Enfers), Damigella (The Coronation of Poppea) and the title role in Semele for Royal Academy Opera; Clizia (Teseo) for the London Handel Festival; and Childerico (Faramondo) and Second Lady / First Witch (Dido and Aeneas) for Brisbane Baroque. Alexandra has performed as a soloist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Eroica Ensemble and the Orchestra of the Antipodes, and has appeared in recitals at the London Coliseum, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Hall and City Recital Hall in Sydney. Alexandra holds an Advanced Diploma of Opera, a Masters of Arts and an honorary DipRAM for outstanding performance (Royal Academy of Music), and a Bachelor of Music with Honours (Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney). During her time at the Royal Academy of Music, Alexandra was a RAM/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata soloist, the winner of the 2018 Michael Head Song Prize and a member of the prestigious Royal Academy Song Circle. Fourth Pinchgut opera production Max Riebl Titone, Cirilla, Cefalo, Apollo Countertenor Max Riebl has performed with Pinchgut Opera, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Opera, La Cetra Baroque Orchestra, London Handel Orchestra, The Song Company and Orchestra Victoria. He appears regularly at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Hamer Hall, the Athenaeum Theatre and Sydney’s City Recital Hall. Career highlights include performances at the Vienna Concert House, Musikverein and the Royal Albert Hall. Max studied Baroque performance in Switzerland, at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, working with Gerd Türk, Jörg-Andreas Bötticher and Andrea Marcon. He studied voice with Silvia Purcar in Vienna, and in Melbourne with his long-time singing teacher Dermot Tutty. During his time attending middle-school at the Vienna Musikgymnasium, he sang in the Hofburg Chapel Choir and the Clemencic Consort. Max’s 2021 concert season includes performances with the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall, solo appearances in the Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne Recital Centre and the iconic Chapel Off Chapel, and lead roles with Victoria Opera, Adelaide Baroque and The Song Company. He has participated in many vocal competitions, with first prizes in the Herald Sun Aria, the IFAC Australian Singing Competition and the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria, and third place in the Chicago Classical Singer Competition, and has been a finalist in the London Handel Competition. Max has curated and performed contemporary-Baroque shows for the Adelaide Festival, the Melbourne Cabaret Festival and the Melbourne Fringe Festival. He has recorded with The Cat Empire (EMI) and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (ABC Classic), and featured in the soundtrack for the critically acclaimed Australian film Remembering the Man. Second Pinchgut opera production
THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Stacey Alleaume Itaton, Amore, Procris, Eco Australian-Mauritian soprano Stacey Alleaume has established herself as one of Australia’s most accomplished performers. After being invited to join the Moffatt Oxenbould Young Artist Program at Opera Australia in 2016, Stacey was awarded the Dame Joan Sutherland Scholarship for outstanding Australian operatic talent. In her first year as a Young Artist, she made three role debuts at the Sydney Opera House: Micaëla in Carmen, Leïla in The Pearl Fishers and Alexandra Mason in The Eighth Wonder. Since then, her principal roles with Opera Australia have included Violetta Valéry (La traviata), both on the main stage and in Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, Fiorilla (Il turco in Italia), Sophie (Werther), Gilda (Rigoletto), Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro) and Valencienne (The Merry Widow). Stacey has also toured with Opera Australia, performing the roles of Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Pamina (The Magic Flute) and Rosina (The Barber of Seville). On the concert stage, Stacey has performed works with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, notably Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3 under Sir Andrew Davis. In 2019, Stacey made her European debut performing Gilda in Rigoletto in the Bregenz Festival, and was invited to return in the 2021/22 season to reprise the role. She also covered the title role in Lakmé, and appeared as Frasquita in Carmen, both for the Royal Opera House Muscat. Stacey features in the romantic comedy Falling for Figaro, as the singing voice of Millie (Danielle Macdonald). Directed by Ben Lewin, the film will be released internationally in 2021. Stacey has enjoyed considerable success in important vocal competitions, winning the Waiariki Institute of Technology New Zealand Aria in 2011, as well as the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship 2012 and the Herald Sun Aria 2013. Her artistic development has been supported by Melba Opera Trust scholarships in 2010 and 2012. She is a graduate of the University of Melbourne (Bachelor of Music, 2008) and an alumna of the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara (2015). First Pinchgut opera production Jacqueline Dark Morfeo, Venere, Filena, Musa Jacqueline Dark’s recent performances include Mother Abbess in the National Tour of The Sound of Music, Herodias in Salome, Fricka in Opera Australia’s Ring cycle (for which she won a Helpmann Award), Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana for State Opera South Australia (Best Female Performance – ‘Curtain Call’ Awards), the title role in Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna for the Adelaide Festival, Berenice in Farnace for Pinchgut Opera, Mrs Sedley in Peter Grimes for the Brisbane Festival, The Old Lady in Candide for New Zealand Opera, Anne in Tom Waits’ Black Rider for Malthouse Theatre and Victorian Opera, and major concerts with the Sydney, Melbourne, West Australian and Darwin Symphony Orchestras, MONA and the New Zealand Symphony. In 2019, Jacqui joined the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to chair a discussion panel on music and physics, with esteemed physicist Brian Cox. After completing a Bachelor of Physics degree, Jacqui graduated from the Opera Studio at the Victorian College of The Arts. Her performance experience encompasses opera, music theatre, cabaret and the concert platform, and includes the roles of The Composer (Ariadne auf Naxos), the title role in Carmen, Amneris (Aida), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), the title role and Tisbe in Cenerentola (for which she won a Green Room Award), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Rosmira (Partenope), Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (her second Green Room Award) and Lady Billows (Albert Herring). A period as a Young Artist at the Vienna State Opera included the roles of Giovanna (Rigoletto), Grimgerde (Die Walküre) and Mercédès (Carmen). Jacqui won a Helpmann Award for her portrayal of Herodias in Opera Australia’s production of Salome, later singing the same role for Opera Hong Kong. In 2021, she makes major role returns to Opera Australia and is guest vocal soloist with The Australian Ballet. Jacqui also performs her critically-acclaimed Jacques Brel cabaret show and has appeared as soloist in Paul Mac’s new work The Rise and Fall of St George. Second Pinchgut opera production
David Hidden Sonno, Alfesibio, Pan A Sydney local, David Hidden graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium in 2011. His career started with Opera Australia’s touring arm, OzOpera, and he has performed with a wide variety of small opera companies around Australia. Major operatic roles include Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Dr Dulcamara (The Elixir of Love) and Tonio (Pagliacci). Highlights include Barrie Kosky’s Saul for Adelaide Festival (2017) and Weill’s Mahagonny-Songspiel in the Spiegeltent (2018). David regularly performs with Opera Australia in the extra chorus. David greatly enjoys outreach and education projects. He has run workshops (WotOpera, Opera Express) and performed in education programs for Musica Viva and Sounds Baroque. A versatile performer, David seeks out new and interesting pieces to perform and develop. He recently appeared in Blush Opera’s scathing satire Chop Chef, pre-recording three roles and appearing in the live show via projector. In 2020 David starred in the premiere of a new chamber opera by Ian Whitney, David Davis. Later this year he will develop and record a song cycle being composed by Whitney. On the concert platform David has sung with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy, with Bryn Terfel and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and with the Australia Ensemble, Sydney University Graduate Choir and the Perth, Willoughby and Canberra Symphony Orchestras. David has also appeared in concert and on stage with The Song Company. David has appeared several times with Pinchgut Opera: Athalia (2018), Anacreon and Pigmalion (2017), Theodora (2016), Iphigénie en Tauride (2014), The Chimney Sweep (2014) and Castor and Pollux (2012). Seventh Pinchgut opera production Andrew O’Connor Panto, Giove, Peneo As a performer and educator, Perth-born Andrew O’Connor is versed in a wide variety of styles and genres. He is a Lay Clerk with St Mary’s Cathedral Choir, was an Associate Artist with Pacific Opera in 2019, won the 2020 Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria Competition, and in mid-2021 joins the newly formed Australian Vocal Ensemble for their first national tour. From 2015 to 2019 he was a core member of The Song Company and has since developed a busy freelance career – singing with virtually all of Sydney’s leading music organisations in both an ensemble context and increasingly as an emerging soloist. Recent concert highlights include Bach’s St John Passion with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with Pinchgut, Handel’s Messiah with Sydney Chamber Choir, Royal Melbourne Philharmonic, The Song Company and Canberra Choral Society, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Canberra Youth Orchestra, Pärt’s Passio with The Song Company, the premiere of Katy Abbott’s Hidden Thoughts at the Canberra International Music Festival, and a number of projects with Bach Akademie Australia, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Vocal Detour. His operatic experience includes five years of mainstage and regional touring with West Australian Opera and a wide span of roles with independent companies, including Caronte (L’Orfeo), Polyphemus (Acis and Galatea), Papageno (The Magic Flute), Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), Don Magnifico (La Cenerentola), Zeus (Orphée aux Enfers), Die Totengraber (Der Rose Pilgerfahrt), Pooh Bah (The Mikado) and originating the roles of Bill (Dreamers of the Day) and Daniel (Plains of Promise). He has sung with Opera Australia in productions of Verdi’s Attila and Alan John’s The Eighth Wonder, the semi-chorus of Brett Dean’s Hamlet for the Adelaide Festival, and with Cantillation in Handel’s Theodora. Second Pinchgut opera production
THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Claudia Mackay Muse, Nymph, Shepherd Emerging Australian soprano Claudia Mackay is in her final year of a Master of Music (Opera Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney, where she studies with Anke Höppner-Ryan. She has been supported by the Bud Brown Memorial Scholarship for the past year. Prior to commencing her opera studies, Claudia completed a Graduate Diploma in Classical Voice and a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance, both at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She studied violin under the tutelage of Goetz Richter for six years. Claudia recently performed in the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s film production of Massenet’s Cendrillon in the role of Noémie, directed by Kate Gaul, and will be appearing as Titania in the Conservatorium of Music’s production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream later this year. First Pinchgut opera production Olivia Payne Muse, Nymph, Shepherd Olivia Payne completed her Bachelor of Music (Performance) in 2020 and is currently studying a Master of Music Studies (Opera Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney. She has previously been involved in productions of Bizet’s Carmen, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (The Dragonfly). Olivia was a featured artist in the Katrina Dawson Foundation concert series and she performed at The University of Sydney’s INSPIRED campaign concert. Olivia made her film debut in Bruce Beresford’s Ladies in Black, forming part of the ‘Goodes Christmas Choir’, and she was involved in the recording of the Australian Government’s Healthy Ageing advertisement. In 2020, she was a guest performer at the One Land, Many Stories reconciliation concert which premiered Kevin Hunt’s original composition Yabun Wuganmagulya. She was also a finalist in the Demant Dreikurs Song Competition. First Pinchgut opera production Elias Wilson Muse, Nymph, Shepherd Elias Wilson is an emerging tenor and performer of opera, sacred and chamber music, who is currently completing his final year of postgraduate opera studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney. Elias appears regularly as an associate artist with The Song Company, and as cantor and tenor scholar for the Choir of Christ Church St Laurence, Railway Square. He has performed as concert soloist for the Conservatorium Early Music Ensemble alongside Erin Helyard, and with Luminescence Chamber Singers under the batons of Roland Peelman and Tamara-Anna Cislowska. Elias recently appeared as Satyavan in Gustav Holst’s Sāvitri for The Co-Operative, and in 2020 he adapted the role of Madame de la Haltière for tenor in a filmed version of Massenet’s Cendrillon, directed by Kate Gaul. Elias has previously performed in the chorus for Verdi’s La traviata, Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, and Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah. First Pinchgut opera production Andrew Taylor Knight Muse, Nymph, Shepherd Australian-Malaysian baritone Andrew Taylor Knight is an up-and-coming performer studying for his Master of Music (Opera Performance) degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney. He has trained under the tutelage of Maree Ryan am and Simon Lobelson since he first moved to Sydney in 2017 to pursue his bachelor’s degree. Raised in the New England region of NSW, Andrew thrived in the excellent performing arts program at The Armidale School. In his time there he was offered both the Jim Graham Scholarship for Performing Arts and Honours in Music; he was subsequently awarded an Opera Australia Regional Scholarship. Since moving to Sydney, Andrew has been the recipient of the Patricia Bell Grant Scholarship, the John Holt Todd and Florence Todd Scholarship, a St Andrew’s College Vocal Scholarship and a Country Education Fund Scholarship. First Pinchgut opera production Claudia, Olivia, Elias and Andrew are on secondment to Pinchgut Opera courtesy of Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney. 10
Jeremy Allen Set Designer Jeremy Allen is a Sydney-based set and costume designer, a graduate of the NIDA Design course and Bachelor of Architectural Studies at the University of South Australia. His most recent work includes the design of the set and costumes for the Sydney Chamber Opera production of Diary of One Who Disappeared, performed at the Joan Sutherland Theatre and broadcast as part of the Sydney Opera House digital season. He has also designed White Pearl (Sydney Theatre Company / National Theatre of Parramatta), The Rise and Disguise of Elizabeth R. (Hayes Theatre Co), John (Outhouse Theatre), Small Mouth Sounds (Darlinghurst Theatre), Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes at the Old Fitz and If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You at the Kings Cross Theatre. Other design credits include Stupid Fucking Bird (New Theatre) which won the 2018 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Independent Production, 4:48 Psychosis (Old Fitzroy), Ironbound (Kings Cross Theatre), The Tempest, Reagan Kelly and Love & Honour & Pity & Pride & Compassion & Sacrifice for NIDA, West Side Story, Grand Hotel, and the 2015 Sydney Fringe Festival production UNEND. First Pinchgut opera production
Melanie Liertz Costume Designer Melanie is a freelance designer and maker for theatre, film, dance, opera and circus. Design highlights include The Return of Ulysses for Pinchgut Opera in 2019, costumes for the immersive theatre work A Midnight Visit (Broad Encounters), Romeo and Juliet (Bell Shakespeare), Good Cook. Friendly. Clean (Griffin Theatre), and Pinchgut Opera’s Athalia (nominated for an Australian Production Design Guild Award). She received two Sydney Theatre Award nominations this year for her work on HMS Pinafore (Hayes Theatre Co). Melanie designed set and costumes for the Sydney Opera House’s sell-out seasons of circus cabaret The Funatorium – Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and Captain Hook’s Pirate Party, as well as Alice in Wonderland for Sydney Festival, and No End of Blame and the critically acclaimed Sport for Jove production of Antigone, for which she won two Sydney Theatre Awards in 2016. For the Q Theatre in Penrith, Melanie re-imagined Frankenstein, and for Australian Theatre for Young People, she designed The Trolleys and Between Us, both works commissioned for the company. With Melbourne-based design company Making Space, Melanie has produced and created the interactive design-based performances Closed for Maintenance and Beneath and Beyond, presented by La Mama Theatre. Also in Melbourne, Melanie designed Yellow Moon (MTC), This Is Beautiful (Malthouse), Yarn and Button (La Mama). Other design highlights have included working with Firenza Guidi and the National Institute of Circus Arts’ production Dreams from the Second Floor, and creating The Dream Factory, a new musical for St Martin Youth Arts Centre. Melanie graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2001 with a Bachelor of Creative Arts. Fourth Pinchgut opera production
THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Damien Cooper Lighting Designer Damien’s career highlights include Neil Armfield’s productions of the Ring cycle for Opera Australia and Exit the King on Broadway, starring Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon; Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake for The Australian Ballet; Australia’s most successful subsidised-theatre show ever, Keating – The Musical; and Australian Dance Theatre’s Birdbrain, which played over 60 venues around the world. In 2021 Damien lit Force Majeure’s Sydney Festival production of The Last Season, Ensemble Theatre’s Kenny, The Merry Widow for Opera Australia, Impermanence at Sydney Dance Company, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Adelaide Festival, and Supernature for Australian Dance Theatre. Damien works with many leading dance companies in Australia and his work has toured extensively around the globe. Highlights include Ocho, Grand, Air and Other Invisible Forces and Orb for Sydney Dance Company, Chunky Move’s Mortal Engine, Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Of Earth and Sky, and The Australian Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet, Firebird and The Narrative of Nothing. Damien’s live stage work includes over 300 shows at major performing arts companies in Australia. His opera designs include work at Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Canadian Opera with director Neil Armfield. Damien has won three Sydney Theatre Awards, four Green Room Awards and two Australian Production Design Guild Awards. First Pinchgut opera production
FOR THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE STAGE MANAGER ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER COSTUME SUPERVISOR PRODUCTION ASSISTANT HEAD ELECTRICIANS DIRECTING SECONDMENT DIRECTING SECONDMENT LIGHTING PROGRAMMER SET CONSTRUCTION WIG DRESSER WIG REALISERS COSTUME ASSISTANT COSTUME MAKER SURTITLES PROGRAM EDITING LANGUAGE COACHING SURTITLE OPERATOR PROJECTOR SUPPLIED BY APOLLO & DAFNE EDITION ADDITIONAL MUSIC PREPARATION HARPSICHORD SUPPLIED, PREPARED AND TUNED BY
Cecilia Nelson Madelaine Osborn Renata Beslik Byron Cleasby Ian Garrard and Pádraigh Ó Súilleabháin Stevie Haimes Kate Millett Ren Kenward Feather Edge Annabel Cameron Lauren Proietti and Isabel Northey Emily Pires Brooke Cooper Scott Erin Helyard, Stevie Haimes and Mitchell Butel Natalie Shea Nicole Dorigo Jacob Lawler TDC Benjamin Bayl and Erin Helyard Erin Helyard and Jacob Lawler Carey Beebe
ABOUT THE ORCHESTRA
Orchestra of the Antipodes Orchestra of the Antipodes is Pinchgut Opera’s flagship orchestra and has played in every production since Orfeo in 2004. This year it celebrates its 18th year and, with The Loves of Apollo & Dafne and Platée this year, its 23rd and 24th Pinchgut productions. Founded by Antony Walker and Alison Johnston, the Orchestra of the Antipodes is renowned for its virtuosity, precision, sensitivity and attention to lyrical beauty. Erin Helyard conducts the Orchestra of the Antipodes from the keyboard and its members perform on period instruments. The orchestra is passionate in its attention to historically informed performance practice. The Orchestra’s debut CD and DVD, Handel’s Messiah, drew widespread critical acclaim; a subsequent disc, Bach Arias and Duets with Sara Macliver and Sally-Anne Russell, quickly became a best seller, and was nominated for an ARIA Award in 2004. The Orchestra’s most recent releases on the ABC Classic label are the complete Brandenburg Concertos (nominated for an ARIA Award in 2012), Mozart’s Requiem, Magnificat with Emma Kirkby, and a disc of Baroque choruses performed with Cantillation, entitled Hallelujah!. Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, Grétry’s L’Amant jaloux, Cavalli’s Giasone, Salieri’s The Chimney Sweep, Vivaldi’s Griselda and Bajazet, Rameau’s Castor and Pollux, Haydn’s L’anima del filosofo and Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea are available on the Pinchgut LIVE label. Past performance highlights have included Haydn’s Isola disabitata with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Handel’s Orlando, both for Hobart Baroque, Dido and Aeneas and Acis and Galatea for Opera Australia, and a recital for the World Harp Congress with Andrew Lawrence King. In 2015 Orchestra of the Antipodes played for the inaugural Brisbane Baroque in award-winning performances of Handel’s Faramondo, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Bach’s Coffee Cantata; in 2016 the orchestra returned to Brisbane Baroque for Handel’s Agrippina and Purcell’s King Arthur (with Miriam Margolyes). Both Faramondo and Agrippina won Helpmann Awards for Best Opera in their respective years. Other engagements include Monteverdi’s Vespers of the Blessed Virgin with St Mary’s Cathedral Choir and The Song Company, Handel’s Dixit Dominus with Sydney Chamber Choir, and Christmas concerts at St Mary’s Cathedral. Orchestra of the Antipodes now performs exclusively for Pinchgut in their mainstage opera and concert series. Violins Matthew Greco
Recorders Alicia Crossley
David Christian Hopf, Quittenbach, Germany, 1760
Alto recorder in F by Adrian Brown, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2013, after Denner Soprano recorder in C by Jean-Luc Boudreau, Canada, 2013, after Steenbergen
21st Pinchgut opera production Rafael Font Viera Steffen Nowak, Bristol, UK, 2012, after Nicola Amati, Cremona, Italy, 1666
10th Pinchgut opera production Violas Karina Schmitz Francis Beaulieu, Montréal, Canada, 2011, after Pietro Giovanni Mantegazza, 1793
Second Pinchgut opera production Marianne Yeomans Australia, 1992 after Techler, Austria, 18th century
Sixth Pinchgut opera production Basse de violon Anton Baba Martin Bowers, Maldon, UK, 1995, after a 17th-century Italian original
10th Pinchgut opera production Viola da gamba / Lirone Laura Vaughan Bass viol by Henner Harders, Mansfeld, Germany, 2007, after Michel Colichon, Paris, France, 1691 Lira da gamba by Ian Watchorn, Melbourne, Australia, 2009, after Giovanni Maria da Brescia, Italy, 16th century
10th Pinchgut opera production
First Pinchgut opera production Theorbo / Baroque Guitar Simon Martyn-Ellis Theorbo by Jirí Čepelák, Prague, Czech Republic, 2004 Baroque guitar by Marcus Wesche, Bremen, Germany, 2011
Sixth Pinchgut production Harp Hannah Lane Italian Baroque triple harp by Claus Hüttel, Düren, Germany, 2014, after the painting L’artista con la sua famiglia by Carlo Francesco Nuvolone, c. 1650 (Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan)
Third Pinchgut opera production Harpsichord / Chamber Organ Erin Helyard Neapolitan harpsichord by Carey Beebe, Sydney, Australia, 2002, after Boccalari, 1685 Continuo organ by Henk Klop, Garderen, Netherlands, 2007. Courtesy of ABC Classics, Cantillation & Pinchgut Opera
20th Pinchgut opera production Early Keyboards prepared by Carey Beebe Pitch: A440 Temperament: Sixth comma meantone
THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE ABOUT THE ORCHESTRA
Anton Baba Cello
Alicia Crossley Recorders
Rafael Font Viera Violin
Matthew Greco Violin
Erin Helyard Harpsichord/Chamber Organ
Hannah Lane Harp
Simon Martyn-Ellis Theorbo/Baroque Guitar
Karina Schmitz Viola
Laura Vaughan Viola da gamba/Lirone
Marianne Yeomans Viola
THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE ABOUT THE OPERA
SYNOPSIS Prologue Sonno, the god of sleep, and his three assistants, Panto, Itaton and Morfeo, promise the sleeping world happy and fantastic dreams. Act I The young Aurora, goddess of the dawn, declares her love for the ancient and decrepit Titone, a mortal granted immortality but not eternal youth. She explains to him that she must leave Olympus for a while to follow the sun in its course, but really she is off to see her handsome mortal lover, Cefalo. Down in the mortal world, the old Cirilla declares her love for a life free of possessions. She seeks out Alfesibeo to find out the meaning of a dream in which a nymph was turned into a tree. Venere (Venus, the goddess of love) asks her father Giove (Jupiter, the king of the gods) to punish Apollo, who revealed her to her husband Vulcan (the god of fire) when she was lying naked with Mars (the god of war). Giove sends Venere’s son Amore (Cupid, the god of desire) to shoot Apollo with one of his arrows. Back in Thessaly, Dafne, dancing and singing with her fellow nymphs, celebrates her liberty and the joys of a life at one with nature. Dafne rejects love and desire, preferring a life of freedom. Filena warns her of the transitory nature of youth and beauty, and counsels her to search for love, but to no avail. Aurora and Cefalo meet for their lovers’ tryst. Aurora reassures Cefalo that she only pretends to love her older husband; it is Cefalo she truly loves. Cefalo’s wife, Procri, witnesses the secret tryst and bitterly laments her betrayal and her fate. INTERVAL Act II Apollo, the god of the sun, descends from Olympus to visit his favourite part of the mortal world, Thessaly. With his muses, he celebrates the beauty and virtues of the land. Amore arrives and taunts Apollo, who angrily mocks him. He wounds Apollo with an arrow and Apollo immediately falls in love with Dafne, who rejects him. Cefalo, jealous of Titone, declares his eternal love to Aurora, and extracts an oath of love from her before she makes her way back to Olympus. Act III Filena advises Dafne to accept Apollo’s love and thus become a goddess herself. Dafne refuses, as she prefers her life of freedom. She seeks help from her father, the river god Peneo, who explains that his powers are nothing compared to Apollo’s. But there is one remedy he can think of: to remove her from Apollo’s unwelcome advances he can transform her into a laurel tree. Dafne accepts. Apollo arrives and laments the transformation of Dafne. Amore celebrates the vengeance that has been wreaked upon Apollo. Pan, the god of nature, arrives and asks why Apollo is so upset. Apollo explains his unrequited desire. Pan suggest that Apollo pluck a branch of the laurel to act as a palm of victory for poets and musicians, in memory of his lost love. Dafne complains that Apollo is being even more insensitive. But she now sees that Apollo was wounded by Amore and explains to the sun god that his rays will now sustain and nourish her in her laurel tree, while she lives on in peace. Apollo is humbled and all sing in celebration of love.
THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE ABOUT THE OPERA
From the Conductor In 1637 the very first public opera house – the Teatro di San Cassiano in Venice – opened its doors to a paying audience. Created as a commercial venture by one of the city’s wealthiest merchant families, opera was for the first time in history no longer the exclusive entertainment of royalty and nobility. Everyone but the very poorest sectors of Venice’s urban population could now purchase a ticket to see and hear the musical and scenic wonders that were on display. By the end of the 17th century, Venice had nine public opera houses – all vying for a lucrative slice of the domestic and international market. But in the 1630s, at the birth of Venetian opera, there was only the Teatro di San Cassiano. This is the site where Francesco Cavalli, a pupil of Monteverdi’s, had his earliest triumphs. Cavalli was the first composer to identify himself completely with the public opera houses and the new art-form. He even contributed to the management of the San Cassiano theatre for a while and his very first opera, Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo (The Marriage of Thetis and Peleus), was given its premiere there in 1639, only two years after the house had opened. Gli amori d’Apollo e di Dafne, Cavalli’s second opera, had its premiere at the San Cassiano during the Carnival season of 1640. It set a play by the brilliant Giovanni Francesco Busenello, a Venetian poet best known to us today as the librettist of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. Cavalli was 38 years old at the time, having recently won the competition for second organist at San Marco in 1639. But unlike his colleagues there at the cathedral, who built their reputations on sacred music, Cavalli put all his energies into opera composition and production, and to great acclaim. More Cavalli operas were staged in Venice during the 1640s and 1650s than those of any other composer. Cavalli very adroitly understood not only the infinitely expressive potential of the new art-form, but he also knew how to enliven and animate in an immediate and entertaining fashion the many styles of poetry that were popular at the time. He was a master craftsman – every expressive word received a corresponding musical inflection. Cavalli was equally at home in comic scenes and in the most tragic laments. The title of Busenello’s drama hints at an important aspect of Venetian operatic performance practice – that of role doublings. Gli amori d’Apollo e di Dafne means ‘The Loves of Apollo and Daphne’. This is at first somewhat confusing when one considers that Apollo and Dafne’s single encounter is not consummated. So why ‘loves’, in the plural? Taking the practice of role doubling into account, though, one sees that the title references the other love stories in the show, as sung by the performers whose main roles were Apollo and Dafne. Just like the actors across the Channel, in Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, the original actor/singers who created Apollo and Dafne also doubled other characters: Cirilla, Cefalo, Aurora and Titone. Librettist and composer wink at the audience with allusions to these doublings throughout the show, as the characters refer to themselves in their other guises. For example, Cavalli has Aurora (who doubles Dafne) sing in her first scene a phrase that is almost identical to Dafne’s very final line – a neat circular gesture of great elegance. Such allusions contributed to the rich and multitextual atmosphere of the Venetian opera house in the 1630s, which had its origins in the literary environments of the academies. Gli amori d’Apollo e di Dafne has all the very fresh and vibrant characteristics of a novel and exciting genre then in its first flush. There are three lamenting scenes of great pathos for three very different characters (Apollo, Procri and Cefalo) and, just as in his later highly successful run of Giasone (1649), there is the profusion of scene types – in embryonic form – that would become increasingly standardised as Cavalli’s career solidified. Outstanding among these in Gli amori d’Apollo e di Dafne are the opening pastoral/music scene for Dafne and the poignant final lamento for Apollo. Like Monteverdi, Cavalli also paints the lower-class characters, the old Cirilla and the unloved and regretful nymph Filena, with exceptional attention and care. Both Busenello and Cavalli poke fun at the gods of Olympus, with their pretentions and affectations. Venetian opera in its earliest manifestation valued vocal and visual splendour over orchestral colour. More money was spent on the sets, costumes and singers than any other element of the production. The ‘orchestra’ was then just a hodge-podge of fiddles, harpsichords, bass violins and lutes of different sizes – basically whatever was at hand. I have had to complete some missing ritornelli in Cavalli’s score with some sinfonie by Monteverdi’s younger colleague Salamone Rossi. The music for this production was first edited and brilliantly fleshed out by friend and colleague Benjamin Bayl. Only a single source for this opera exists (Venice, Biblioteca nazionale Marciana, MS It. IV, 404). I was alerted to this opera by my colleague Magnus Tessing Schneider at the University of Stockholm, who has served as a musicological advisor to many a Pinchgut production. We were recalibrating the 2021 season to be compliant with the then-current health restrictions in New South
Wales and Magnus noted how in this opera only five people at any one time were on stage (in the choral ensembles with Apollo and Dafne) and very often there were only two people on at any one time. So it seemed the perfect opera to stage under those conditions, and it was also possible to cast it without international singers. Thankfully the restrictions on singing (if not on international travel) have relaxed since that time. I also have Magnus to thank for his advice on the doubling roles in this opera. For those interested, I invite you to read his excellent article on the matter: ‘The Poet and the Nun: Doubling and Petrarchan Allegory in Gli amori d’Apollo e di Dafne’, Performing Premodernity Online 1 (2015): 1-18. Erin Helyard © 2021 The Metamorphoses of Love Going to the opera is like dreaming. As the sun sets on the real world, we let the darkness envelop us and our senses be opened to another reality. The performer, the costume designer and the set designer then create (as Sleep sings in the prologue) ‘a thousand apparitions, a thousand shapes’ that haunt the imagination and call for interpretation when the light of reason returns. As in our dreams, the narratives we encounter in The Loves of Apollo & Dafne may seem random and disconnected, but that is only on the surface. The librettist Giovanni Francesco Busenello told those who thought that ‘the unity of the story is split by the doubleness of the loves, which is those of Apollo and Dafne, of Titone and Aurora, of Cefalo and Procri’, to keep in mind that ‘these intertwinements adorn the unity rather than undo it’. It is for each of us to discover wherein that unity consists, as our dreams are our own. Busenello took his cue from Petrarch, the greatest of Italian love poets who, for twenty years, worshipped a married woman, Laura de Noves, whom he first laid eyes on during an Easter mass in Avignon in 1327. As she remained inaccessible, he was constrained to give expression to his feelings in his famous sonnets where he adorned her name with multiple puns, some of which recur in the libretto: l’aure (breezes), l’ora (hour), l’aurora (dawn), l’aurato (golden), lauro (laurel) and finally Dafne, which is Greek for laurel. One woman is concealed behind the stream of epithets and images, the ever-shifting identities. Similarly, the poet figured himself as Apollo, the god of poetry, whose love of Dafne is unrequited but at least secures him his laurels, the symbol of eternal artistic fame. At other times, however, he is Titone, Aurora’s old and impotent lover, or he is Cefalo, her young lover who lives and breathes for their fleeting encounters, neglecting his wife Procris. While Aurora and the tearful Procris are personifications of dawn and of the dew, Titone and Cefalo are personifications of the day (in whose arms dawn rests after flying across the sky) and of the rising sun (who kisses the dawn and kills the dew). When the breezy and golden hour of dawn has passed, Cephalus turns into the sun, Apollo. The symbolism is complex, which explains why Alfesibeo decides to consult the ‘ancient studies and arts’ in his attempt to interpret the dream that constitutes the action of the opera. But the images and identities are all metaphors for emotional states. The story they convey is that of an impossible love, like that of Petrarch and Laura, or that of the young Busenello and an unnamed woman who was forced to become a nun and with whom he carried on an affair through the grating of the convent parlour. Inevitably, these loves were mental rather than physical, dreamt rather than real, exuberance and intense passion alternating with despair and resignation before they finally turned into poetry and music. Magnus Tessing Schneider © 2021 From the Director In 2020, I think the park saved my life. I think parks saved many lives. In the midst of such strange and surreal lockdown days, the park was a place of respite from the confines of domesticity, the endless Zoom meetings, the too many eves of digital dreaming. The park was a place where we could still gather – see a friend, meet someone new, take a stroll, feel the sun on our face or the dew on our feet. Parks, gardens, forests – they have also been the location of many of our greatest stories. From Ovid to Shakespeare to Tolkien, they’re places where new adventures begin, where quests commence, where lessons are learned, where disorder hopefully spins to order. And where love may be found. In his book, Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition, Stanford University’s Robert Pogue Harrison writes: ‘For millennia and throughout world cultures, our predecessors conceived of human happiness in its perfected state as a garden existence. They may be as far away as Gilgamesh’s garden of the gods or the Greeks’ Isles of the Blessed or Dante’s Garden of Eden at the top of the
THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE ABOUT THE OPERA
mountain of Purgatory; or they may be on the margins of the earthly city, like Plato’s Academy or the Garden School of Epicurus or the villas of Boccaccio’s Decameron; they may even open up in the middle of the city, like the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris or the Villa Borghese in Rome or the homeless gardens in New York City.’ Meanwhile, Czech playwright Karel Čapek writes: ‘We hold dear the activity of gardening because it is an opening of worlds – of worlds within worlds – beginning with the world at one’s feet. The cultivation of soil and cultivation of spirit are connatural, and not merely analogical, activities. What holds true for the soil – that you must give it more than you take away – also holds true for nations, institutions, marriage, friendship, education, in short for human culture as a whole, which comes into being and maintains itself in time only as long as its cultivators overgive of themselves.’ The anthropomorphised tree in literature is equally prevalent and powerful. In Norse mythology, Ask and Embla, the first human beings, were made from the trunks of two trees, an ash and an elm. Transformation from human to tree meanwhile occurs in Dante’s Divine Comedy, where the sinners who have passed away make up a forest of trees that can speak, and bleed when a branch is broken. The Ents in The Lord of the Rings, Treebeard in particular, get plenty of page space too. In Cavalli and Busenello’s magnificent and alternately mournful and mischievous opera, flowing from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Dafne is transformed into a tree by her father, Peneo, god of the river, because she doesn’t want the love of Apollo, the sun god. Another myth, another opera where a woman’s fate is determined, to a degree, in response to a man’s desire. While staying true to the notion of this transformation, we wondered with this production, and with the age in which we find ourselves, if there could be a degree of choice and agency in Dafne’s transition to a new reality. What if outside pressures or unwanted attention led Dafne to opt for a ‘tree change’ rather than a literal donning of a trunk? What if, at base, her new direction resulted from the simple fact that when it comes to Apollo, she’s just not that into him? Or in fact, any man or god like him. She’s complete enough as she is. And what if this transformation occurred not in a field of Ancient Greek nymphs and shepherds, but in a modern metropolitan park, filled with the kind of characters you would find near the chessboard in Hyde Park, near the duck ponds of Centennial, glancing on the harbour at Rushcutter’s Bay or by the bike tracks bordering the Georges River? Once we were inside the world of this modern park in rehearsals, we realised (happily) that from Ovid to Cavalli to now, the ways in which we love or talk about love remain pretty timeless. There are those who relish the quest for new love, those who quest for multiple loves, those who yearn for love but never find it and those whose love of self or nature fulfils all their needs. We also realised (also happily) that exploring love in all its facets remains delicious and moving and kind of wonderful. There are directors too who fall in love with their casts, their creative teams, musicians and crew. I confess to being such a lover. It has been an utter privilege, joy, education and honour to work alongside all these amazing artists. My particular thanks to Maestro Erin Helyard for his knowledge, style, intelligence and humour and Pinchgut gems Alison and Andrew Johnston and all the Pinchgutian diamonds for being such incredible and supportive collaborators. And if you’re walking home through a park after the show, think of us fondly if you decide to hug a tree. Mitchell Butel © 2021
Unlike in Cavalli’s day, it is now the custom for house lights to be turned down during dramatic performances. This libretto is provided for later reference.
ACT ONE PROLOGUE SONNO Già dell’alba vicina L’aure percorritrici, I venticelli amici Fomentano cortesi La mia placida forza, E le palpebre umane (Seppelliti i lor moti in dolce oblio) Resister più non ponno Alla soave deità del sonno. Questa è l’ora felice Da me più favorita, In cui godo vedere Dentro a un dormir profondo, La natura sopita. Poco lunge è la Diva, Che sparge a man profusa umide perle. Poco lunge è la luce, Che per sentier dorato il dì conduce. Voi miei cari ministri Panto, Itaton, Morfeo, Mentre vengono i sogni Dalla porte fatali, Servite pronti al vaticinio loro Con le vostre figure, E con mille apparenze, e mille forme Itene a visitar chi posa, e dorme.
SLEEP Now the dawn is near, the shifting light and friendly breezes gently ignite my powers of serenity, and the eyelids of humankind (their movements weighted with sweet oblivion) can no longer resist the divine call of sleep. Now is that happy hour— my most favoured, where I can delight in seeing natured soothed in a deep sleep. Soon the goddess will begin to scatter her dewy pearls, soon the light will lead the day on its golden path. You, my dear emissaries: Panto, Italon, Morpheus, while dreams come through the doors of fate, be ready to deliver their prophecies with your bodies that can change into any appearance and into any form and visit those who lay prostrate and sleeping.
MORFEO Sonno Dio del riposo, Dator della quiete, e della pace, Tutti gli umani volti Io prenderò ben tosto, e com’è l’uso Delle mutanze mie Vaneggerò col sogno avanti il die.
MORPHEUS O Sleep, god of rest, giver of peace and quiet, all of humankind will I pretend to be, and, as always with my metamorphoses, I will wander in their dreams before morning.
ITATON E Io d’augelli, e fere Vestirò le sembianze, E son pronto a cangiarmi in tante guise, Che non potranno i numeri adeguare E spesso in un oggetto Unirò, mescerò più d’un aspetto.
ITATON And I will put on the appearance of the birds and beasts. I’ll be ready to change into so many guises that no one will be able to count them, and I will take parts of them and mix them together into new forms.
PANTO Le figure diverse D’insensibili cose io prenderò, E tra chi dorme andrò; Del quadro, del triangolo, del cerchio Figurerò le prospettive belle, E tutte inventerò l’arti novelle.
PANTON Strange shapes of indiscernible nature I will make, as I walk among those who sleep; Squares, and triangles, and circles will appear in beautiful scenes and new arts will be invented.
TUTTI INSIEME Uscite in varie forme Immagini gioconde, e strane forme, E all’addormito mondo Portate in sogni lieti Metamorfosi mille, e mille segni, E l’uomo frale a indovinar s’ingegni.
ALL TOGETHER Go forth in all your forms— playful images, freakish bodies— and while all the world sleeps bring happy dreams, a thousand metamorphoses, and a thousand signs, and let frail humankind use her ingenuity to interpret them.
ATTO PRIMO SCENA PRIMA
ACT 1 SCENE 1
TITONE Delicata fanciulla Delle dolcezze mie Principio singolar, fonte, e radice,
TITON Delicate and fanciful girl, all sweetness, my singular purpose, my font and radiance.
Aurora mia diletta, Perché sorgi in sì fretta? Perché godi vedere Con feroce talento, Mentre io lagrimo, o Bella, Aspergersi di brine dolorose Di mia canizie il vilipeso argento? Se di rugiada dispensiera sei, Rugiade non voler dagl’occhi miei.
Aurora, my beloved, why do you rise so early? Why do you take such ferocious pleasure— while I weep, my love— to see painful frost scattered in the scorned silver of my aged hair? Though you are the dispenser of dew, you reject the dew that comes from my eyes.
AURORA E che vuoi ch’io consumi In sciapite dimore La vita mia con ozioso amante, Che in pigra volontà le forze tiene, E gode in fretta imagine il suo bene. Abbraccia queste piume, Bacia questi guanciali, Con essi puoi sfogar in dolci errori Tuoi disarmati, e impotenti amori. Giovanetta, che tiene Il senso pien dell’amoroso affetto, Tramortisce, ed isviene Se sforzata tenessi un vecchio al petto. Che solo sa tra stenti, e tra rumori Tossire i baci, e borbottar gl’amori. Ma però non temere Caro Titon, affé credi ch’io t’amo, E se teco talora Scherza e ride l’Aurora, Non è però, ch’ella ti sprezzi e scherna. Ti dirò la cagione Del mio si tosto abbandonar le piume: Pregommi il Dio del lume, Che volend’ei per suo diporto in terra Oggi scender a volo, Io voglia in vece sua Regger l’aurato, e luminoso carro; E però qui ti lascio Tra i riposi felici, E vado ad eseguir del Sol gl’uffici. Or và, di tu, che femminil bellezza Non sia pompa divina Se il sol istesso, il Sole Imperator de gl’astri a lei s’inchina.
AURORA And how would you have me spend my days, in an insipid house, with an idle lover who carries himself with lazy weakness, and fretfully imagines himself to be good? Hug these feathers, kiss these cushions. You can pour out to them in blissful ignorance your feeble and impotent loves. A young woman whose soul is full of amorous afflictions goes numb and faints, when forced to hold to her breast an old man who only knows how, with gasping grunts, to cough kisses and sputter affection. But do not fear, dearest Titon, I swear to you that I love you. And if sometimes, you are teased by your Aurora, it’s not because she despises or scorns you. I will tell you why I depart so early from our bed. The god of light, wants to fly down and amuse himself on earth today, so he asked me to come and take his place, driving that golden and luminous chariot. So I’ll leave you here, in this happy repose, while I carry out the sun-god’s duties. And now you cannot say your lady-love’s figure, does not hold divine splendours, if the Sun himself, that Sun, the Emperor of the Stars, bows before her.
TITONE Vanne felice; ma sta ferma, aspetta; Guarda, che tu non perdi Le redini, e non volga Sossopra il lume un’altra volta, e il mondo, Come fece Fetonte, Abbi gl’occhi, e le man veloci, e pronte.
TITON Go in peace, but wait, one moment: be careful not to lose hold of the reins, lest you turn the light and the world upside down again, like poor Phaeton did. Have clear eyes, fast hands, and ready wits.
AURORA Dommanda all’ alma tua Interroga il tuo core Se mia bellezza saprà far da sole. Volgiti in là, e t’acquieta, Che ben saprà con ordine novello Trattar raggi di Sole un viso bello.
AURORA Ask yourself, truly, if my beauty is not like the sun itself. Go back and calm down because a beauty like me—with her new ways— knows how to treat the Sun’s rays.
CIRILLA Gradita povertà, Mentre beni non ha A litigar non và: Stolto il mondo non sa, Ciò, ch’entro all’oro stà. Dormo in piume innocenti Di rondini e colombe, O pur cortese paglia Adagia i miei dolcissimi riposi Ad onta vostra, o letti alti, e pomposi. Gradita povertà, Mentre beni non ha A litigar non và: Stolto il mondo non sa, Ciò, ch’entro all’oro stà.
CIRILLA Blessed poverty, she who has nothing, has nothing to lose. The foolish world doesn’t know, the true value of such gold. I sleep in the sinless feathers of swallows and doves, or else the kind straw receives me in quiet repose, in shame of your lofty and pompous beds. Blessed poverty, she who has nothing, has nothing to lose. The foolish world doesn’t know, the true value of such gold.
Il rio, che qui vicino Corre con pié d’argento, Comparte a questo corpo, Che rassembra del tempo il simulacro, Dolce bevanda e comodo lavacro. Ma che torbido sogno M’inquieta stamane. Mi par che in questa piaggia Una donzella vaga, e delicata Siasi in ruvido tronco trasformata. Ma colà vedo il saggio Alfesibeo, ch’intende Di natura, e del Cielo Le ragioni recondite, e profonde, Ei saprà dir ciò, che il mio sogno asconde.
This river that flows nearby furrows along a silver path, endowing this body, which is like a simulacrum of aging, with sweet drinks and comfortable bathing. But what a peculiar dream disquiets me today. It seemed to me that in this park, a young woman, lithe and delicate, was transformed into the rough trunk of a tree. But there is that wise man, Alfesibeo. He understands both nature and the heavens, and their hidden and profound meanings. He will know the meaning of my dream.
ALFESIBEO Sorgi bianco principio Del luminoso giorno E con tuoi vivi, e lucidi splendori Risuscita dall’ombre i bei colori. Par che rinasca il mondo Dal grembo della notte, E mentre dalla tenebre rinasce I primi albori a lui servon di fasce. Deh quanto è più felice Quel mondo glorioso, Che non soggiace all’ombre oscure, e rie, E lieto gode un infinito die.
ALFESIBEO Rise, white beginning of the bright day, and with your vibrant and shining splendours resurrect the beautiful colours hidden in shade. It seems that the world is reborn from the womb of the night, and as it emerges from the darkness, the first light of dawn serves as swaddling. Oh! How much happier is that glorious world, which no longer suffers through darkness and shadows, but happily enjoys an infinite day.
CIRILLA Cerco te solo Alfesibeo gentile, Per intender da te ciò che protenda Un sogno, che m’apparse poco dinanzi.
CIRILLA It is from you alone that I seek, noble Alfesibeo, to understand with your guidance the meaning of a dream that I just had.
ALFESIBEO E quale il sogno fu?
ALFESIBEO And what was the dream?
CIRILLA Or l’intenderai tu. Parevami, che nel suol S’abbarbicasse il pie’ D’una Ninfa gentil, Ch’arbore divenuta in un momento Rumoreggiasse con le frondi al vento.
CIRILLA I will tell you: it seemed to me that in the ground a foot became a root. And a noble nymph, became a tree, rustling its foliage in the wind.
ALFESIBEO Altrettanto vid’io Già poco d’ora in sogno, E interpretar non so tanta figura. Andianne, e fia mia cura Di ritentar gli antichi studi ed arti, Per ritrovar un così occulto senso, Che instupidir mi fa più che ci penso.
ALFESIBEO I had the same vision in a dream of my own and I do not know how to interpret such a thing. Let us go, and I will attempt to resume my old studies and arts, and uncover an occult meaning which intrigues me the more I think about it.
CIRILLA Vanne, che passo passo L’andar tuo seguirò. Tremulo pié non può Muover celere il corso, E vicino al suo fine il moto umano Tardo vien, lento move e va pian piano.
CIRILLA Onward! And step by step I will follow your path. Trembling feet cannot move at a fast pace … As we get older … we get slower … and slower.
GIOVE Figlia, le cui bellezze Illustrano di raggi i Cieli, e gl’Astri, Qual novello cordoglio Osa introdur i pianti Negl’occhi tuoi divini? Se consolar si ponno Dell’alma tua le angosce Tutte si tenteran l’arti e le prove, Tutto farà sol per giovarti Giove.
JUPITER Daughter, whose beauty illuminates the skies and the stars, what new grief dares to bring forth tears from your divine eyes? If anything can soothe the anguish of your soul, every art and effort will be tried— nothing is too much for your father Jupiter.
VENERE Quell’insolente altero Quel temerario Apollo Che ardì mostrarmi ignuda Al mio Zoppo marito,
VENUS That insolent rogue, that wicked Apollo, he dared to show me naked to my lame husband
Quand’io stavo con Marte Ad imparar della milizia gl’usi, Sempre più mi schernisce, E dalle offese mie cava lo scherzo, Né comparir può in Cielo L’amorosa mia stella Senza sentir da lui gl’oltraggi, e l’onte. Padre, e Signore ti prego, Mentre puoi ciò che vuoi, E vuoi sempre giustizia. Con una voce sola Leva il mal, lui castiga, e me consola.
when I was with Mars to learn the art of war. He never stops mocking me, forever joking at my expense, such that my loving star cannot appear in the sky without being subjected to his insults and offence. Father! My lord, I beg you —you who are all powerful and always just— with a single word, rid me of this evil, punish him, and console me.
GIOVE Non ti turbar, o Citerea gentile; Sono scherzi giocondi, Non ingiurie e dispetti Quelli che adopra teco il biondo Dio. E s’egli chiamò tutta La stellante contrada, Acciò vedesse le tue membra ignude, Fu perché non essendo egli capace Di tanta gloria in vagheggiarti solo, Chiamò compagni tutti gl’altri Numi, Che gli diedero aita, Per non restar confuso in tanti lumi.
JUPITER Do not be upset, noble Kythera, they are light-hearted jokes, not affronts or insults, that the blond god teases you with. If he summoned the whole celestial neighbourhood to gaze on your naked limbs, it was only because he was unable to contemplate so much beauty by himself. And with the company of the gods coming to his aid, he was no longer lost in your transfixing light.
VENERE Io vorrei castigar tanta baldanza, Vorrei fiaccar l’ardire a tanto orgoglio.
VENUS I would like to punish his brazenness, I would like to break the courage of his pride.
GIOVE Al tuo possente figlio Imponi le vendette. Egli ha ben tanto ardire, E può vibrar tal armi, Che Apollo sentirà del tuo disdegno Qualche per sempre memorando segno.
JUPITER Entrust your vengeance to your powerful son. He has plenty of courage and can launch such weapons that Apollo will forever wear an eternal mark of your disdain.
AMORE Comanda, o genitrice, Ch’io farò, non dirò, E il Sole oltraggiator, castigherò.
CUPID Command me, mother. With actions, not words, I’ll punish the offending Sun.
VENERE Vattene figlio và, Nel tuo valor la mia vendetta stà.
VENUS Go, my son, go! Your valour will fuel my vengeance.
DAFNE O più d’ogni ricchezza Prezioso tesoro, Disoccupato core Dalle voglie d’amore. Gradita libertade, Volontà non offesa, Contento sopraumano Aver l’arbitrio sano; Anima, che non sente Sforzo, che tiranneggia, Veramente confessa Esser Cielo a sé stessa. Mentre limpida e pura Concede a suoi pensier liberi i voli. Core, che non soccombe All’amorosa forza, Felicità respira invece d’aure, E se palpita mai Lo fa per allegrezza, e non per guai. Aprimi l’uscio d’oro Condottiera del dì lucida Diva, Sempre mi troverai In libertà sicura Del velenoso amor senza paura. Erbe dalla rugiada Vagamente imperlate, Vegetanti smeraldi, Dilettose verdure, Riconoscete Dafne a tutte l’ore Inimica d’Amore.
DAPHNE One of life’s richest and most precious treasures is the heart that’s free from the desires of love. Grateful for freedom, a mind unafflicted finds supreme contentment in the gift of free will. A soul that’s free from the powerful tyranny of Love can truly confess to be heaven to herself. Light and pure, she can allow her thoughts to fly free. A heart that doesn’t succumb to the forces of Love breathes happiness instead of air. And if it ever beats, it is for joy, not sorrow. Open those gilded doors, conductor of the day, O luminous goddess, you’ll always find me safe and secure from Love’s senseless poisons. Blades of grass exquisitely beaded with pearls of dew, blossoming emeralds, delicate greenery, recognise that Daphne remains the enemy of Love.
Mormoranti ruscelli Ondosi specchi, e incristallite fonti, Di lubrico zaffir correnti vene Di liquefatti argenti; Preziosi, e dolcissimi canali Non ho timor degli amorosi strali. Colle aprico, Bosco ombroso, Verde prato, Siano delizie mie, siano diletti, Stiano in disparte gli amorosi affetti. Porgimi Ninfa bella L’armonica mia cetra, Ch’io vò cantar con giubilosi modi Dell’alma libertà le vere lodi. Libertade gradita, Balsamo della vita, Che ne preserva al core Dall’infezion d’amore, L’alma mia ti richiede, Che in lei tu voglia stabilir tua sede. Tu sei l’unico bene, Che l’anima sostiene, Tu sei la sola pace Della vita fugace, Che dove tu non vivi I cori in servitù d’alma son privi. Danzate con pastori Liberi dagli amori, Schietta dolcezza, Pura bellezza Sian di tessali cori i godimenti, Ne lascivo sospir mai turbi i venti.
Murmuring streams, shimmering mirrors and crystal fountains, veins flowing with tumbling sapphires and liquified silver, precious and sublime canals, I do not fear the arrows of Love. Sunny hills, shady forests, green meadows, be my delights, be my pleasure, let amorous affects be put aside. Give me, dear nymph, my harmonious lyre, for I wish to sing with joyful tones in praise of the freedom of the soul. Welcome freedom, the balm of life, protecting the heart from the infection of Love, my soul begs you to establish your throne in her. You’re the one true thing that sustains the soul. You’re the only peace for a fragile life. For where freedom is not found, a heart is enslaved and soulless. Dance with shepherds free from love. Sweet innocence and pure beauty are the delights of Thessalian hearts— let no lascivious sighs disturb the breeze.
DUE NINFE E DUE PASTORI Danzate, o Ninfe, e pastorelli, e siano Le vostre danze sacrifici al genio, Pria che l’età ci adduca al freddo segno Di letizia gentil segni si diano. Cantico e giubilo Mormori armonico, Danzino e saltino Femmine e uomini, Ridano, esultino Gl’animi Tessali. Deponga l’alma ogni gravoso incarico, Mentre or gaie allegrezze si rinnovano, Mentre felici i nostri cori provano Vacanza d’ogni torbido rammarico. Cantico, e giubilo, etc.
TWO NYMPHS AND TWO SHEPHERDS Dance, you nymphs and shepherds, let them be sacrificial dances to this spirit, for before age leads us to lay cold in the ground, let’s be joyful. Sing and rejoice, murmur in harmony, so men and women, may dance and leap, and the spirits of Thessaly can laugh and cheer. Let the soul release its weary burden, while cheerful joy makes its return, while our choirs lift hearts in happiness, and break free from turbid regrets. Sing and rejoice …
DAFNE Musica dolce, musica tu sei Vera similitudine Celeste, Eco al suono del Ciel fan le foreste, E imitati da noi ridono i Dei. Seguite pur l’incominciato ballo Giulive ninfe, allegri pastorelli, Facciano i passi vostri paralleli A chi di voi non pon mai piede in fallo.
DAPHNE Sweet music, music, you are truly heavenly. The forests grow as an echo to the sound of the heavens, the gods laugh and we imitate them. Continue the ballet that has begun, joyful nymphs, happy shepherds, may your steps dance in tandem with those who never set a foot wrong.
DUE NINFE E DUE PASTORI Or rinnoviamo i lieti balli, e vengano Dal Ciel sopra di noi vere letizie, Chi vive senza amor sempre ha delizie, Dunque d’amar i saggi cor s’astengano. Cantico e giubilo etc. Chi sprezza libertà stolto si nomini, servitute d’amor indegna, e ignobile, Chi libero non è, non può esser nobile, La sola libertà fa illustri gl’uomini Cantico e giubilo, etc.
TWO NYMPHS AND TWO SHEPHERDS Let us renew the happy dances, and may the sky rain true joy upon us: They that live free from love always have delight, so let wise hearts refrain from loving. Sing and rejoice… They who despise freedom make themselves fools: worthless and ignorant slaves of Love. Those who aren’t free, have no honour— only freedom gives rise to the illustrious. Sing and rejoice…
FILENA Quel bel fior di giovinezza, Che le guancie t’invermiglia, Quel candor d’alta bellezza; Che le mani, e il sen t’ingiglia,
PHILENE This beautiful flower of youth that brings a rosy glow to your cheeks; the candour of your beauty that touches hands and breast with purest white;
L’oro fin, che per vaghezza Ne tuoi crini s’assottiglia, Perirà, caderà, Più fugace del lampo è la beltà. Quel tesor del labbro bello, Che vezzosa coralleggia, Quel loquace spiritello, Che tra perle rubineggia, Quel purpureo serpentello, Che dolcissimo lingueggia, Perirà, caderà, Più fugace del lampo è la beltà, Sconsigliata verginella, Tu non sai del tempo i danni, Gl’aurei titoli di bella Calca al fine il pié degl’anni, Questa età fresca e novella, Vana Dafne, non t’inganni, Perirà, caderà, Più fugace del lampo è la beltà.
the fine gold that spins itself so delicately through your hair: they will perish, they will fall! A bolt of lightning is less fleeting than beauty. The treasure of your full lips, that gently assumes the colour of coral; that loquacious sprite which blushes behind the pearls of your teeth; that little violet serpent, moving with sweet words: they will perish, they will fall! A bolt of lightning is less fleeting than beauty. Ignorant innocent, you don’t know the damage time can do, to the golden title of beautiful— in the end time’s foot will crush the freshness and novelty of youth. Imprudent Daphne, make no mistake: It will perish, it will fall! A bolt of lightning is less fleeting than beauty.
DAFNE Pur sempre mi tormenti Con queste tue follie, E vorresti condurmi A tradir la mia vita, A porre in servitù l’arbitrio mio, Se d’altro non mi parli, io parto, addio.
DAPHNE You always torment me with your follies, and you forever encourage me to betray my ideals and to enslave my free will. If this is how you speak to me, I’m leaving, goodbye!
FILENA Ferma insipida Ninfa: Non essere aspe agl’ottimi consigli. Se non ami, che vuoi far? Chi non conosce amore Serra nel petto un’ozioso core. Ti produsse natura, Il Cielo ti creò, Perché fosse il tuo fiore Nell’alba de tuoi dì colto e goduto, E tu aspetti l’occaso Dell’inutile età sol per vedere Secco il fior di bellezza Cadente e infracidito Dal vilipendio altrui mostrato a dito. Ho pietà della tua Stolidità insensata: Sappi, superba, sappi, Che i veri documenti Chi presto non riceve Diffuso in pianti il pentimento beve, Una volta si nasce, Una volta si muore, Lo spazio della vita E’ una carriera sola. Godiam la luce in fin, che dura il giorno, Che l’andata mortal non fa ritorno.
PHILENE Stop, you insipid nymph, don’t sneer in the face of good advice. If you don’t love, what will become of you? Those who don’t know love have a lazy heart in their chest. The product of nature, you were created by heaven, so your flower could be plucked and enjoyed in the dawn of your days, And yet you wait for the twilight, that useless age, which dries the flower of your beauty until it falls, rotten, pointed at in mockery by others. How I pity your senseless stupidity; learn, proud girl, how those given prudent advice that they don’t accept quickly drink their repentance in dissolute tears. We are born just once, and we die just once. The moment for living only comes once. Let’s enjoy the light for as long as the day lasts because from this mortal journey there is no return.
DAFNE Orsù non mi turbar, Filena mia, Ch’io vò di queste selve Godendo le bell’ombre, e i grati orrori, E lascio te coi tuoi cantati amori.
DAPHNE Come now, don’t annoy me, dear Philene, I came to these woods to enjoy the pensive shadows and melancholy darkness. I’ll leave you here to sing your songs of Love.
FILENA Come folle sei tu Superba e pertinace gioventù. Il colorito pomo, Che in alto ramo è nato, Sdegna d’esser toccato Dalle mani dell’uomo, Ma cade a terra alfin dai rami infermi, E la superbia sua finisce in vermi.
PHILENE How crazy you are, stubborn and impertinent ingenue. The colourful fruit that blooms on high branches may disdain the touch of a man’s fair hand but in the end it falls to the earth from weakened branches, and its arrogance is consumed by the worms.
CEFALO E quando sarà il dì, Che ti piaccia quaggiù
CEPHALUS Once the day comes, may it please you to descend to earth
Scender, luce mia sola, Aurora mia; Quando il tempo verrà, Che il tuo Cefalo avrà Quel che con tanto ardore sempre desìa. Tormentoso aspettar Quando finirai tu Coll’arrivo fatal della mia vita? Che più sperar non so, Resister più non può L’anima da sospiri indebolita. Lagrimato mio ben Pon fine a miei martir, Discendi a consolar l’angoscie mie; Vieni dal puro Ciel In braccio al tuo fedel, Fa, ch’io goda beato un solo die. Conosco ben, conosco, Che l’amar una Dea Trascende troppo le fiacchezze umane. Castigato rimane L’ardimento del core Dal suo proprio acerbissimo dolore.
here, my only light, my Aurora. Once that time comes then your Cephalus will have what his burning love has always desired. Tormented, I wait for you to end the mortal trappings of my life. I cannot wait much longer, I can resist no more, my soul sighs with weakness, crying out for goodness. Put an end to my martyrdom, descend and console my anguish, leave the purity of Heaven to be embraced by your faithful lover— let me enjoy just one blessed day. I understand, I know, that to love a goddess, transcends the limits of human feeling. Chastised, the boldness of my heart remains the source of bitter pain.
AURORA Ben è cieco Titone, se crede ch’io Siasi per tempo sorta, Per regger inesperta Del Pianeta maggior l’aurato carro. Altro mi punge il core, Che dimostrare al mondo D’essere vicaria in Ciel de rai del Sole. Ho fabbricato un’apparente scusa Su’l discender d’Apollo in queste piagge, Ma in terra m’ha condotto il sol desio Di veder il mio Cefalo, il cor mio.
AURORA How stupid Titon is to believe that I arose at such an early time to drive so inexpertly the supreme planet’s golden chariot. Something else pulls at my heart— besides showing the world that I am comparable in heaven to the rays of the Sun. I fabricated an apt excuse, that Apollo was descending to these fine regions, but what called me to earth was the sole desire to gaze upon my Cephalus, my love.
CEFALO Se il lume non m’abbaglia Ecco la mia diletta; Sì ch’ella e dessa, sì: Mio cor lascia i lamenti, Risorgi da tormenti, Mira quegl’occhi cari, Raffigura il dolcissimo sorriso, Divinizza il tuo foco in quel bel viso,
CEPHALUS If the light does not blind me, here is my beloved: Yes! It is her, yes! Oh heart, abandon your complaints and arise from your torments, gaze into those cherished eyes, comprehend that sweet smile, divine your flame of desire in that beautiful face.
CEFALO Aurora mia!
CEPHALUS My Aurora!
AURORA Mio dolce amico!
AURORA My sweet friend!
CEFALO Ohimé quanto indugiasti A venir, vaga mia; La penosa dimora Ha fatto del mio core anatomia.
CEPHALUS Alas! You took so long to come, my beautiful one; the painful wait has cleft my heart in two.
AURORA Ho finto con Titone D’ascender l’orbe quarto, Per sostener le veci oggi del Sole, Mentr’egli scende in queste selve amene, Il vecchio m’ha creduta E in tanto son venuta a te mio bene.
AURORA I made Titon believe that I went up to the fourth circle to take the place of the Sun today, while Apollo descended to these pleasant forests. The old fool believed me and so I have come to you, my beloved.
CEFALO Non nominar Titone; Il suo nome è un coltello, Che passa, ohimé, per questi orecchi e viene A far dell’alma mia strage e macello.
CEPHALUS Do not mention Titon’s name! That name is like a knife which, alas, passes through my ears and comes to torture and butcher my soul.
AURORA Pazzerello sei tu: quel vecchio adunque Agita la tua pace, E quel canuto mento, In cui decrepita registra gli anni Ti muove gelosia?
AURORA How crazy you are to let this old man disturb your peace, and let the white hairs of his chin (that decrepitly record the years that pass) provoke your jealousy.
CEFALO Tu dormi seco, e io Qui per le selve vo’ mendico amante, Ed egli tra guanciali agili, e lievi Gode in piacer eterno Del tuo ben seno l’incarnate nevi.
CEPHALUS You sleep with him, while I wander as a tormented lover in the woods. He reclines in pampered comfort, enjoying the eternal pleasure of the snow-white flesh of your lovely breasts.
AURORA So, che vaneggi, o Cefalo gentile. E mi pungi da scherzo e d’allegria. L’amante giovinetto Non dee temer del vecchierello inerme; Amor può dar a tutti Guiderdoni, e mercede, Ma non può sua virtute Far amabili mai chiome canute. Ben da dovero stolti Son gl’amanti canuti, Se in paragon de lor rugosi volti Credon, che un giovinetto si rifiuti. Son sempre mal veduti, e mal graditi Vecchi narcisi, e Adoni rimbambiti. Sappia l’ispida piuma, Che la lanugin d’oro E’ quella, ch’alle Ninfe il cor consuma In dolce, e soavissimo martoro. Cedano i padri pur, cedano ai figli, Ch’amor ricerca forze, e non consigli. Però Cefalo mio, Non temer di Titone, Né sospettar, che la mia fede pura Abbia lusinghe in bocca, e frodi in seno. Te solo adoro, E per te solo amando In dolcissime fiamme ardo e sfavillo.
AURORA I know you’re only raving, gentle Cephalus, and you tease me in good humour. The young lover must not fear the infirmities of old men; Love can gift us all trophies and rewards, but it does not have the virtue to make white hair charming. They truly are foolish, these white-haired lovers, to believe that for their wrinkled faces we would give up the love of the youthful. They have always been scorned and unwelcome, those ancient narcissists and expired adonises. Let bristly feathers see that the golden down is what consumes the hearts of nymphs in sweet and delicious martyrdom. May the fathers give way and make room for their sons, for lovers crave strength, not idle conversation. So, my Cephalus, have no fear of Titon, do not suspect that my loyalty is not pure, nor that I have embellished my words, or there is fraud in my heart. It is you alone I adore, and for you alone, my darling, I am consumed in the sweet fires of Love.
CEFALO Credo, che m’ami sì, ma il cor vorrebbe un giuramento, sai?
CEPHALUS I think that you may love me, but the heart requires, an oath … you understand?
AURORA Giuro per questi rai, Che m’han trafitta l’anima innocente, E giuro finalmente Per te stesso a te stesso, In questo core ha scritto il cieco Dio, Cefalo sei il mio ben, l’idolo mio.
AURORA I swear by these rays, that pierced my innocent soul, and finally I swear, by you yourself and to you yourself, as on my heart the blind god inscribed, ‘Cephalus, you are my own, my idol.’
CEFALO Andianne dunque, o bella, E nell’antro più cupo Confessino gli orrori Di non invidiar la luce al die, Mentre nel solco fosco loco vedrassi Meco scherzando in dilettosa guerra Sul meriggio albeggiar l’Aurora in terra.
CEPHALUS Let’s go, my darling, and in the darkest of caves the dark shadows will confess that they no longer envy the daylight, for in their deepest furrows, embroiled with me in a delicious wrestle, the light of Aurora will dawn at midday.
AURORA Andiam, Cefalo, andiamo, E non più le parole, ma il fatto t’assicuri, E l’opra stessa i miei tormenti giuri.
AURORA Let us go now, Cephalus, let us go, and actions, not words, will assure you: they will attest to my torments.
PROCRI Volgi, deh volgi il piede Bellissimo assassin della mia fede. Dico rivolgi il pie’ O mancator, perché Del tuo novello e infocato amore Non spero più che tu rivolga il core; Sia pur la mia rival de sensi tuoi, E di pensieri il punto, e il compasso, E lasci a me sol del tuo piede un passo. Io son pur quella Procri, Che degli amori tuoi delizia fu. Lassa, io m’inganno, io non son quella più. O spergiuro infedele, Io nell’Aurora tua sospiro la mia sera, E vede in disperato mio desio
PROCRIS Turn, oh turn back your foot, beautiful assassin of my fidelity. Hear me; retrace your steps, traitor, for it seems that from this new and fiery love you cannot withdraw your heart. For though my rival has taken over your senses and captured your thoughts, though you leave me with one step of your foot, yet I remain that Procris who was the delight of your heart. Alas, I am betrayed—I am erased. O, perjurer of fidelity, from your Aurora I breathe my twilight and my desperate desire sees
Nell’altezze di lei l’abisso mio; Eppur ancor io t’amo, Il tradimento, ohimé mi svena il core, El mio dispetto adoro il traditore. Così povero adunque E’ il cielo di bellezze, Che cercano le Dee gli amanti in terra? Ha penuria l’Olimpo D’amaibili sembianze? Né sa l’Aurora ritrovare amanti, S’alle mie calde innamorate voglie Le dolcezze non ruba e il bel non toglie. Cefalo torna a me, Io son colei, che tua diletta fu; Lassa, io m’inganno, io non son quella più. Ohimé la gelosia Mi stimola a bestemmie e a furori. Ma perché Diva l’alta mia rivale, Religione e riverenza insieme Sul fondo al core i miei singulti preme; Ma il peggiore del mio non ha l’Inferno. Pon maledire i miseri dannati, Io trafitta e ardente, e lacerata Dal duol che passa le midolle, l’osso Dannata son e maledir non posso. Cefalo riedi a me; Io sono colei, ch’Idolo tua già fu; Lassa, io m’inganno, io non son quella più. Deh ricevete o selve, Accettate, o deserti D’un pianto amaro il tacito tributo: Eccessivo è il dolor quand’egli è muto.
in her apex my abyss. And yet I still love you, though treason slashes the veins of my heart. In spite of myself, I love a traitor. So lacking in beauties are the heavens that goddesses must seek their lovers on earth? Olympus must have a dearth of attractive faces. Doesn’t Aurora know how to find lovers? Must she see the warmth of my desires and steal their sweetness and take their good? Cephalus, return to me, I am the one who was the delight of your heart. Alas, I am betrayed—I am erased. Now cruel jealousy pushes me to blasphemy and fury, but as a goddess is my rival religion and reverence together quell the sobs deep in my heart. There is no greater evil than mine in Hell, for the wretched damned may curse, but I, stabbed, scorched, and lacerated with pain that penetrates the bones to the marrow, damned as I am, I cannot curse! Cephalus, return to me, I am the one who was your idol, Alas, I am betrayed—I am erased. Receive, O forests, accept, O deserts, my silent tears as bitter tributes: the pain is too much when it is mute.
ACT TWO ATTO SECONDO SCENA PRIMA
ACT 2 SCENE 1
APOLLO Discendo dall’Olimpo In queste piagge apriche Favorite così da raggi miei, Che non veggio del mondo, Più bella mia, più dilettosa parte. Non può increscere il cielo Aggregato immortal di tutti i beni; Ma se potesser mai Fastidirmi le stelle, Qui tradurrei la sede, il carro e il lume; Così Tessaglia bella Sarebbe al Sole l’eclitica novella. Rassomiglia così, così confronta Questa bella contrada Con le celesti amenitadi eterne, Che se potesse equivocare un Dio, Deluso all’improvviso Crederei questo loco il Paradiso. Il fiume mormora, L’aure sussurrano, Le fondi brillano, Con dolci saltellar l’acque zampillano. Soave musica, Concento armonico, Gli augei gorgheggiano, E col canoro fiumicel gareggiano. Voi ritornate, o mie dilette Muse, Del sacro monte alla beata cima. Di vostra pura e immortal bellezza Innamorate i peregrini ingegni. Ogni nobile fronte per voi sudi, Perché vincon la morte i vostri studi.
APOLLO I come down from Olympus to these sunny regions so favoured by my rays. I do not see any part of the world that is more beautiful or more delightful. Heaven could not be any bigger or full of immortal glories. But if ever I became tired of the stars, I would move my throne, chariot, and my light here. Thus beautiful Thessaly would be a new orbit of the sun. This beautiful country so resembles and compares to the eternal heavenly pleasures, that you could believe that the gods had made a mistake: that this place is Paradise! The river murmurs, the winds whisper, the leaves glisten, and the waters spout in gentle leaps. Sweet music, harmonious consonance, the birds chirp and compete with the singing brook. Return, O my delightful Muses, to the blessed summit of the sacred mountain. With your pure and immortal beauty make each wandering soul fall in love. For you every noble forehead perspires, because your arts defeat death.
TRE MUSE Sulle rive d’Ippocrene, Sotto l’ombre degli allori Nube và; Resta solo, caro Apollo, Senza te la nostra schiera Ben non ha.
THREE MUSES On the banks of the Hippocrene, under the shade of the beautiful laurel trees, a cloud passes; stay here, beloved Apollo: without you our band has no happiness.
Torna tosto, torna Febo Orna il colle, Illustra il fonte Di splendor; La Tessaglia non ritardi, E non rubi agli occhi nostri I raggi d’or. Armonia di glorie e lodi Celebrando il tuo decoro Canterà; Il tuo nome da noi tutte Veri ossequi, umili affetti Sempre avrà. Or diciamo: il volo al monte Ove sale ognun ch’adora la virtù Nobili alme invitti cori V’invitiamo a veri onori colà su.
Come back soon, come back, Phoebus, adorn the hill, adorn the fountain with your splendour. Thessaly should not delay you, nor should it steal from our eyes your golden rays. A harmony of glory and praise will be sung in celebration of your propriety. Your name from each of us will always summon true deference and humble affection. Now we say: we fly back to the mountain from where everyone who adores virtue lives. Noble souls, invincible hearts; we invite you to true honours up here.
AMORE Io voglio certo Far le vendette Della mia genitrice; A questi dardi, A questa face Ogni grand’opra lice. Voglio che Apollo Senta nel core Del mio poter la forza, So che il mio foco Dove s’apprende Non mai, non mai s’ammorza. Tra queste selve Per suo diporto Apollo vien talora; Voglio ferirlo D’acuto dardo, Poi beffeggiarlo ancora.
CUPID I am determined to take revenge for my mother. These arrows, this torch may be wielded freely in such a great work. I want Apollo to feel in his heart the strength of my power; I know that my fire, once lit, never goes out. In these forests, Apollo sometimes comes to have some fun; I want to wound him with this sharp arrow, and then humiliate him.
APOLLO Vanne, Amor, col tuo dardo A ferir l’ombre, a saettar i venti, Nudo guerriero, Soldato in fasce, Marte bambino, Campion lattante, Gran Cavalier, che pargoleggia in culla, Nume pigmeo dell’ozio, e Dio del nulla. Io ch’Apollo mi chiamo Con opere sì belle Quasi con vivi e lucidi colori La mia divinità dipingo, e mostro Agl’occhi de viventi, E mi acclaman là sull’eterne menti. Vanne amor etc.
APOLLO Go, Cupid, take your arrows and injure the shadows and pierce the winds. You’re nothing but a naked warrior, a soldier in swaddling clothes, a child Mars, an unweaned champion, you’re too big for your boots and stumbling in a crib, you’re a tiny deity of laziness, a god of nothingness! I, who call myself Apollo, with beautiful works of art and with lifelike and lucid colours paint my divinity and show it to the eyes of the living— and the eternal spirits above applaud me. Go, Cupid ...
AMORE Così, Apollo, tu mi chiami Un imbelle garzoncello Scioperato e sfacciatello? Che sì, Febo, che sì, Che ti faccio pentire in questo dì. Così picciolo e minuto Come appunto tu mi vedi Ho sconvolte ognor le sedi E degl’uomini e del Ciel Oggi tu ancora mi sarai fedel.
CUPID So, Apollo, you call me a harmless little boy? An idle and cheeky youngster? O yes, Phoebus, certainly, I will make you regret it today. I may appear small and tiny to you, but I have upset the hearts of humans and gods alike. Today you too will be faithful to me.
(Qui Amor ferisce Apollo e fugge via.)
(Here Cupid shoots Apollo, and runs away.)
APOLLO Ma che veggio, che miro Ohimé che dolce raggio Lampeggiator di glorie agl’occhi miei Balenator d’imperiosa luce
APOLLO But what do I see, what do I see? Ah, what sweet ray, flamboyant with glory and radiating an imperious light,
Veggio tra quei cespugli? O bellissimo viso, O ninfa leggiadrissima, e gentile; Questa è la vaga Dafne, La Stella delle selve La Deità novella D’ogn’altra ninfa bella. Ahi, come in un momento Ferito in cor mi sento; Ahi come in un’istante Amor da me oltraggiato Avventa in me l’acute sue saette, E vede nel mio mal le sue vendette. Bella Ninfa Volgi il guardo Saettami sul core un raggio ormai Di quei soli gemelli, Ch’a questo caro dì, fan doppio lume; Stampa sol col mirarmi Un paradiso nuovo Su queste luci mie; Passi, e venga l’imago Del tuo bel viso ad arrichirmi il core, E vinca te, se già me vinse Amore.
presents itself to my eyes through these bushes? O splendid face, O noble and charming nymph! It is the graceful Daphne, the Forest Star, the young goddess, more beautiful than any other nymph. Ah! In an instant I feel my heart wounded. Ah! it is as if in a single moment Cupid, whom I had offended, had shot his sharp arrow in me, and now he sees his revenge in my pain. Beautiful nymph, turn your eyes to me, shoot a ray into my heart from those twin suns that give a double light to this blessed day; Grant me the vision, just by looking at me, of a new paradise in my eyes; go on, let the image of your beautiful face enrich my heart; and if Cupid has defeated me, may he defeat you too.
DAFNE Più tosto cadami Dal seno il cor, Che persuadami Voce d’amor. E perché tu t’accorga, Ch’io non voglio ascoltarti, Impenno l’ali al pié Fuggo da te. Più tosto cadami, etc.
DAPHNE I’d rather have my heart fall out of my chest than be persuaded by the voice of love. And so that you realise that I don’t want to listen to you, I will put wings on my feet and escape from you. I’d rather my heart…
APOLLO Dafne, chi ti consiglia A fuggir si veloce Da me, che sono un Dio? Frena gl’alati passi, Accioché le mie braccia Ti possan far dolce catena al collo; Gradisci omai l’innamorato Apollo. Apollo io son, quel biondo Dio, Indorator dei giorni, Distinguitor dell’ore, Delle stagioni padre, De pianeti monarca, Mastro dell’armonie, nume dei carmi, Piegati dunque, o Dafne, a consolarmi. Non fuggir mia diletta Volgimi un guardo solo, Mostrami per passaggio Un lampo ancorché irato Di quei beati lumi, La mia luce abbagliar le viste suole, Or nelle stelle tue s’abbaglia il Sole.
APOLLO Daphne, who advises you to run away so fast from me: a god? Stop your winged steps, so that my arms may form a soft chain around your neck; Welcome the enamoured Apollo. I am Apollo, that blond god: conductor of the days, he who distinguishes time, father of the seasons, monarch of the planets, master of harmonies, the god of songs! Yield therefore, O Daphne, to comfort me. Do not flee, my delight, just give me just one look, show me in passing a flash of lightning—even if it is only a flash of anger— from those blessed eyes. My brightness usually blinds the eyes of others, but now the Sun is blinded by your stars!
DAFNE Lascia Apollo ogni speranza, Torna in Ciel, se tu sei Dio; Non tentar la mia costanza, Ch’ascoltar non ti vogl’io: Porta in pace i miei martir Verginella io vò morir. Se dei giorni il lume sei L’astro destro di natura, Non voler, che gl’onor miei Sian sepolti in notte oscura; Nato sei per illustrar, E me sola vuoi macchiar? Ma ostinato più che mai Deflorar vuoi mia bellezza, Vuoi col lampo de’ tuoi rai Abbagliar mia debolezza. Se nel labbro o dolce miel, Non vò darlo a te crudel.
DAPHNE Apollo, abandon all hope, and return to Heaven if you really are a god. Do not tempt my constancy, I don’t want to listen to you so go bear your torments in peace, as I’d rather die a virgin. If you are the light of days, the noble star of nature herself, then you would not want my honour to be buried as if in a dark night; you were born to enlighten others, it is only me you want to blacken? But stubborn more than ever, you want to deflower my beauty, you want, with the lightning of your rays, to dazzle my weakness. If I have sweet honey on my lips, I don’t want to give it to you, cruel one.
CEFALO Dunque tu vuoi partire? Saran dunque, ben mio, Le nostre giocondissime dolcezze Infrequenti spezzate, E da rapidi instanti misurate? Appena il cor risorge Dagli andati sospiri, Ch’a sospiri mestissimi ritorna.
CEPHALUS So, you want to leave? Is this how it will be, my beloved? Our joyful trysts, so infrequent, are to be interrupted and terminated by your whims? No sooner has the heart emerged from the sighs of the past than it returns already to the same melancholy sighs.
AURORA No, no, Cefalo, no Te sempre bramerò d’aver in seno, La memoria di te Sarà perpetua in me, Non dubitar ohimé, Nel pensar di lasciarti io vengo meno. Più spesso ch’io potrò A te discenderò mia sola speme; Nessun oggetto in Ciel (Sia pur quanto vuol ben) Dal mio core fedel Torrà l’imago tua mio dolce bene. Vanne mio solo amor, Vanne mio vero cor, Cefalo mio. Qui mi nasconderò, E Apollo aspetterò, Con esso al Cielo andrò, La lingua, e non il cor ti dice, addio.
AURORA No, Cephalus, no, I will always long to hold you to my breast, the memory of you will never leave me. Do not doubt, alas, that the thought of leaving you makes me faint. I will come as often as I can, to you I will descend, my only hope is that no object in Heaven (however much it is loving), can take your image from my faithful heart, my sweet. Go then, my only love, go therefore, my true heart, my Cephalus. I will hide here, and I will wait for Apollo, and with him I will ascend to Heaven. The tongue, and not the heart, says goodbye to you.
CEFALO Ecco rimango solo, ecco finito Sul meriggio il mio dì, chi mi consola? Mendico d’ogni ben io chiedo aita A mie cordogli, e all’angoscie mie.
CEPHALUS Here I remain alone, at midday —my day already finished—who will console me? Deprived of all goodness, and begging for help for my pains, for my anxieties.
ACT THREE ATTO TERZO SCENA PRIMA
ACT 3 SCENE 1
FILENA E sarai così stolta, Che gli amplessi d’un Dio rifiuterai? Dunque, dunque te stessa, Deificar tu puoi, Pazzerella, e non vuoi E la tua volontà s’indura e nega, Mentre sì caldamente un Dio ti prega?
PHILENE Are you an idiot? You’re rejecting the advances of a god. You’ve got the chance to become a god yourself— crazy girl—but you won’t, and your stubborn mind says no, while you have a god worshipping you?
DAFNE Non intendo d’Amor principio alcuno; Affetto forastiero alla mia pace Non voglio in questo petto; Non voglio, che si muti Di mia vita il tenore, Scherzi, con altri pur, non meco Amore.
DAPHNE I’ve no interest in any principle of love. Any affection that disturbs my peace I don’t want it inside of me. I don’t want to change my way of life; Love can toy with others, but not me.
FILENA Quel bel viso ridente, Che risplende e diletta Nell’amoroso Apollo; Quella soave bocca Che sì dolce ragiona L’alma non t’imprigiona? O Dio quel caro nume, Quel bellissimo aspetto Non ti muove nel petto Il sentimento dolce, E non ti chiama A rimirar chi t’ama? S’egli pregasse me, Dafne ti giuro affè, Tutta, tutta ei m’avrebbe, E sempre troverebbe Dalla mia volontà bandito il no.
PHILENE That beautiful laughing face, so radiant, so delightful, of the loving Apollo; that soft mouth with its sweet words … doesn’t it entrap your soul? O god, that dear divinity, that magnificent being, doesn’t he move in your heart a sweet feeling and incite you to gaze at the one who loves you? If he prayed like that to me, Daphne, I swear upon my faith, he would have me, all of me, and he’d never find me even capable of saying no.
DAFNE Fuggirò, ma che bado, Che non ricorro al mio diletto padre,
DAPHNE I will escape. Why didn’t I think of running to my beloved father
Perch’ei mi guidi da nemici oltraggi. Padre, padre Peneo, Sorgi dal cupo fondo Delle tue limpid’acque, Salva, deh, salva o mai Dalle mani impudiche Del dìssoluto Apollo La tua piangente figlia, Che per sottrar se stessa Da temerari insulti, Non può vibrar altr’armi, che singulti.
so that he might protect me from hostile affronts? Father, father Peneus, rise from the deep dark of your crystal waters; Save, oh save from the shameless hands of this obscene Apollo your crying daughter who, in order to save herself from brash insults, has no other weapons than sobs.
PENEO Figlia indarno da me soccorso attendi, Che contro il biondo Dio Resister non poss’io, Però che il Sol può disseccar quest’acque, Ma quest’acque non ponno Spegner la luce e ammorzar il Sole. Dispari forza, inferior talento Riconosca se stesso, E a maggiori suoi non vada appresso.
PENEUS Daughter, you appeal to me in vain, for against the blond god I have no resistance. The Sun can dry up these waters, and my river cannot turn off the light and extinguish the Sun. With such disparate forces, the inferior power must recognise its limits and not go after his better.
DAFNE Dunque sugli occhi tuoi, Indebolito Nume, O vilipeso fiume Cadrò preda infelice? Così a chi il tutto puote, il tutto lice?
DAPHNE So right in front of you, O weakened divinity, O vile river, I will become miserable prey? He can do whatever he likes?
PENEO Trovo un rimedio solo, Per far riparo agl’imminenti mali, Trasformarti poss’io In pianta, che di frondi Abbia perpetue chiome, E non più Dafne no, Lauro avrai nome.
PENEUS I can think of only one remedy to prevent this impending villainy; I can transform you into a tree. Its foliage will be your eternal hair. And you’ll no longer be Daphne, no, Laurel will be your new name.
DAFNE Vada la vita mia, come a te piace, Per salvar l’onestate, Se non batta in un’arbore, in un sasso, Trasformami a tuo senno. Vada peregrinando Per mille forme varie l’essere mio, Pria, che cader dal virginal decoro Delle grand’alme singolar tesoro.
DAPHNE Do with my life as you please for the sake of my honour, If you cannot make me a tree, a stone will do. Transform me how you please— I’d rather transfigure through a thousand different forms than lose my virgin modesty, a noble soul’s most valuable treasure.
PENEO E così ti trasformo; Saranno le tue frondi Pompe de’ trionfanti, Corona dei poeti E sopra ogn’altra pianta Avrà verdura e pompa Il tuo pudico e imperiale alloro. Non temeranno i rami tuoi felici Il fulmine di Giove. Or venga Apollo E le insolenze adopri Ch’io m’ascondo ed immergo, E farò con quest’acque Specchio a mia figlia trasformata E intanto sarà il fiume Peneo Fiume di pianto.
PENEUS Thus, I shall transform you. Your fronds will become the prize of victors, and the crown of poets. And above all other trees, you will have greenery and glory as the humble yet imperial laurel. Your contented branches will have no fear of the mighty bolts of Jupiter. Now comes Apollo with all his insults. So I’ll hide here immersed and within these waters mirror my transformed daughter. Meanwhile, the river Peneus shall be a river of tears.
APOLLO Ohimé, che miro? Ohimé dunque in alloro Ti cangi, o Dafne, e mentre in rami e frondi, Le belle membra oltredivine ascondi, Povero tronco chiude il mio tesoro. Misero, misero Apollo i tuoi trionfi or vanta Di crear giorno, ove le luci giri, Puoi sol cangiato in vento di sospiri Baciar le foglie all’adorata pianta.
APOLLO Oh no, what do I see? Is it a laurel tree you’ve become, O Daphne? Now branches and leaves, hidden are your spectacular limbs, this trunk shuts away my treasure. Miserable, miserable Apollo, boast now of your triumphs. Though you create the day so eyes can see, now you wish you could change into sighing winds for then you could kiss the leaves of your adored tree.
Sgorghino omai con dolorosi uffici Dai languidi occhi miei lagrime amare, Vadano in doppio fonte ad irrigare D’un Lauro le dolcissime radici. Era meglio per me, che fuggitivo, Ma belle oltre le belle io ti vedessi, Che con sciapiti, e non giocondi amplessi Un’arbor’abbracciar su questa riva.
Now springs forth gushing pain from languid eyes as bitter tears. Let them become a dual fountain that waters this laurel tree’s sweet roots. It was better to see you as a fugitive, more beautiful than beauty itself, than to have the tasteless and joyless embraces of a tree on a riverbank.
AMORE Dimmi, Apollo dolente, Del bambin, del pigmeo pungono l‘armi? Sei tu quell’insolente, Che vaneggiò così nel disprezzarmi? Or trionfa di te la mia saetta, Nuota ne’ pianti tuoi la mia vendetta.
CUPID Tell me, afflicted Apollo, do the weapons of tiny child hurt? Are you really the insolent one who had the madness to despise me? Now that my arrow triumphs over you, my revenge swims in your tears!
PAN Che lagrime son queste, O luminoso Dio? Invece d’apportare al basso mondo Allegrezza coraggio, Il sereno del Ciel turbi col pianto? Che stilleran le nubi, Se innova pioggia si distilla il Sole? Se curioso affetto Non accresce i tuoi mali Dimmi cortese Apollo, i tuoi cordogli.
PAN What are these tears, O radiant god? Rather than bringing the world the tranquillity of your rays, the serene sky is disturbed by your tears. What will fall from clouds if this new rain is distilled by the Sun? If my curious inquiries will not amplify your woe, tell me, fair Apollo, of your troubles.
APOLLO Pietosissimo Pane, Non sanno le parole, Come venir dal core alla mia bocca, Perché a mezzo viaggio Il duol le prende e le dissolve in pianto; E il concetto, che parte Dall’anima dolente Crede esser favellato Ma resta lacrimato.
APOLLO Dear compassionate Pan, how the words fail to travel from my heart to my mouth. For during their journey the pain seizes them and dissolves them into tears; and the thoughts that spill from this afflicted soul, are believed spoken, but are instead restrained by grief.
PAN E qual’è la cagione di tanto tuo dolore?
PAN And what is the reason for such pain?
APOLLO E’ la cagione: amore.
APOLLO The reason is: Love.
PAN Ma come, e quale Amore T’ha sì malconcio o sconsolato Apollo?
PAN But how, and which love has you so desolate and inconsolable, Apollo?
APOLLO Vedi tu là quell’arbore gentile, Che smeraldeggia nelle belle frondi? Quella è Dafne, il cui viso Con armi di beltà piagommi il seno. Io volea darle a bere Nella coppa d’un bacio i pianti miei; Ella sdegnosa mi fuggì repente, Io la seguia pregando, Ed ella per schernirmi, E toglier a miei baci Di sua bocca il dolcissimo tesoro S’è cangiata di ninfa in un’alloro. Pane tu non piangi? E dove Serrasti la pietade, Se dagl’occhi non t’esce in torbid’onde? Piangete erbe, ombre, antri, aure, augelli e fronde.
APOLLO Do you see that gentle tree there, with emerald green leaves adorning its branches? It is none but Daphne, whose face, with weaponised beauty, pierced my chest. I offered her to sup, from the well of my kiss, my tears. Repulsed, she fled from me. I followed her, pleading, but she, to scorn me further, and to deny my lips her mouth’s delicious treasure, changed herself from a girl to a laurel tree. Pan, you don’t cry! Where have you banished your empathy that your eyes don’t pour forth turbulent waves? Weep, you grasses, shadows, caves, winds, birds, and leaves!
PAN Prendi tu di quei rami, E te ne fa corona al biondo crine; Coronane la cetra, e ti consola, Che ne’ fronzuti e immortali allori La memoria vivrà d’eterni amori.
PAN Take some of these branches, and wear them for a crown in your blond hair. Crown your lyre with them and console yourself that in these leafy and immortal laurels lives the memory of eternal love.
DAFNE Ohimé dunque sì crudo Contro Ninfa innocente Stendi la man feroce?
DAPHNE Alas, how cruelly this nymph’s innocence must bear your hand’s ferocity.
Questi sono gli amori, O insidioso Apollo, Nemico del mio onor, mentre fui donna Frattor de’ rami miei, mentre son pianta. Perdona almen perdona Alla vivente umanità sepolta; Abbian pace una volta Da ingiurioso amante Se non le ninfe imbelli, almen le piante.
These are your ‘loves’, O insidious Apollo? Enemy of my honour when I was a woman, breaker of my branches now I am a tree. Pardon and release those that thrive in the ground. Offer peace just this once, my offensive lover, if not to helpless nymphs, then at least to plants.
APOLLO E che fieri consigli Mi desti, o Pane? Hai come ho lacerato Il prezioso tronco. Senti le voci, senti Della mia cara vita Delle mie proprie mani, ohimé, ferita.
APOLLO What terrible advice have you given me, O Pan? Alas, how I have lacerated the precious trunk. Listen, listen to the voice of my most dear life and love, wounded, alas, by my very own hands.
DAFNE Questo povero tronco, Se non merta pietà, svellasi omai. Sia però noto al mondo, Apollo ingrato, Ch’io non t’offesi mai.
DAPHNE This poor trunk, even if undeserving of mercy, is beginning to understand. Let the world know, ungrateful Apollo, that I never offended you.
APOLLO Perdona a questa mano, E se il castigo mio brami vedere, Sappi, che a questo mio misero core Patiboli e torture appresta amore.
APOLLO Forgive this hand. If it’s my punishment you wish to see, know that all that awaits my miserable heart are the gallows and tortures of Love.
DAFNE Assai son soddisfatta, anzi mi pento D’esserti stata cruda, o biondo Dio Rasciuga i pianti, ch’io Con le fronde e coi rami Con le radici a te mi prostro e dico In idioma umano, E in linguaggio d’alloro Te come amante, e come Sole adoro.
DAPHNE I understand you now and I regret having been cruel to you, O blond god. Dry your tears, here, with my foliage and branches, and with my roots I bow down before you, and say in the tongue of men and in the language of the laurel: As a lover, and as the Sun, you shall be adored.
PAN O parole ben degne D’esser scritte in caratteri di stelle.
PAN Ah, words worthy to be written in the characters of the stars!
DAFNE Amico Apollo, addio. Quest’arbore non può più lungamente Organizzar parole; Della sua Dafne non si scordi il Sole.
DAPHNE My friend Apollo, farewell, This tree now struggles to articulate words… Remember Daphne, don’t forget me, my Sun…
APOLLO Dafne mia, Dafne bella Delle tue frondi o mai mi cingo il crine; Ceda pure ogni stella A corone sì altere e peregrine. Più della luce mia de’ miei splendori Stimo il caro diadema aver d’allori.
APOLLO O Daphne! Beautiful Daphne! With your branches I’ll gird my hair. Defer now, O stars, to this crown of unique pedigree. Above the sunlight and all my splendours I esteem this diadem of laurels.
PAN O Dafne a te s’inchina Ogni forma terrena, ogni celeste, Tua bellezza divina Sempre si canterà per le foreste.
PAN O Daphne, they bow to you— Every form, both on earth and heaven. Your divine beauty will forever be sung of in the forests.
APOLLO, PAN Sì, sì vivano eterne Di nostre fiamme le amorose luci, Sia perpetuo il decoro A chi ci nutre in sì beato ardore. Né rimbombare il Ciel sia mai satollo Sempre gli amori di Dafne e Apollo.
APOLLO & PAN Yes, yes! Live forever, in the flame of our loving light. May perpetual honour bring nourishment to our beating hearts. And let the heavens resound forever with the loves of Daphne and Apollo.
Translation by Roberta Diamond, Erin Helyard and Stevie Haimes
THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE MEET THE ARTISTS
IN CONVERSATION – LAURA VAUGHAN
What was the start of your musical journey and what instrument did you start on? Musical life for me started with listening to Mum’s records (Edith Piaf, Beethoven String Quartets, Dory Previn – you name it) and the pianola. As a four year old I used to spend hours singing away to schmaltzy old songs on my aunt’s pianola, my little legs working furiously to keep it going with the pedals my feet could only just reach. Piano lessons followed, and the beginning of a journey that led to a bachelor’s degree in performance at Melbourne Conservatorium on that instrument. While studying piano, I picked up the viola da gamba (viol) and joined the viol ensemble as a beginner. The reasons for me doing this were twofold: firstly I’d heard the viol on a CD as a teenager without knowing what the instrument was, but had been entranced by the sound and wanted to try it out. Secondly, I didn’t want to end up in the choir (one of my other ensemble options) because my singing falls sadly short of what you’re hearing on stage this evening! The viol ended up becoming the musical love of my love and I am constantly amazed by the richness of the repertoire that involves it. What was your first introduction to the lirone and what interested you in the instrument? I first came across the lirone while I was studying viol at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, but only in book form while studying 17th-century Italian continuo instruments. I didn’t get to see a real one during all my studies in Europe, but I remember thinking what a remarkable little creature it must be and that I’d like to try it, both because it looked really cool and also because it’s related (somewhat distantly) to the viol. My first chance to play the lirone came when the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra purchased one not long after I returned to Australia, and I was lucky enough to be asked if I would play it. My answer was an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’, and I was thrilled to have the chance to learn how to drive such a unique and exotic instrument that creates a shimmering and ethereal effect like nothing else I’ve heard. It can also sound otherworldly and sternly noble. You commissioned your own instrument which you’ve called a lira da gamba. What are the differences between this and the lirone? In terms of its name, the lirone was known by numerous different ones – lira (lyre), lirone (big lyre), lira da gamba (lyre of the legs), lyra de gamba, lirone perfetto etc. Very confusing as they’re all talking about the same thing. As an instrument, the lirone is an enlarged version of an even earlier instrument, the lira da braccio (lyre of the arm), and personally I tend to use the term lira da gamba, perhaps because that’s how I think of it – a lyre I hold with my legs. In 2009 with the help of Pinchgut Opera I was able to commission my own lira da gamba from Australian luthier Ian Watchorn, the first to be made in Australia. Deciding what sort of model to use was a fascinating process, as there are only a handful of surviving original instruments but hundreds of depictions in paintings from the era. Ian and I decided to take a beautiful surviving lira da braccio and expand its dimensions to create my lira da gamba, much as makers back in the 1600s had.
What are the challenges in playing a chordal instrument and where does most of the repertoire for this instrument come from? There is no music specifically written for the lirone – almost certainly because it can’t play melodies, and does not function as a solo instrument. From things like listings of musicians involved in performances, lists of instruments and iconography we know that the lirone was a member of the continuo team, most particularly used in northern Italy, although it was also referenced in Catholic courts in a number of other countries. The instrument’s bridge is almost flat, which means the bow always lies across four or so strings at once and constantly bows chords. This means that as a member of the continuo team I play from a figured bass line, just as the keyboard, lute and harp do, and realise the harmonies indicated. There are a few extra challenges in doing so, compared with just playing the notes of the bass line as I do when playing the viol, including being familiar with appropriate historical harmonic conventions. On the lirone, the harmonies I choose to play tend to be fairly simple, both because some more complex harmonies are not possible to realise on the instrument, and because leaving more complex or dissonant notes within a harmony to the singer and allowing them to make the clash is more musically effective. The lirone has always been used particularly for the accompaniment of vocal music. What is the role of the continuo section in 17th-century opera? An absolutely critical one! It’s difficult to overstate the importance and impact the choices of continuo make when performing this music. The whole continuo team plays from a single figured bass line, and the choice of which instruments to include in the band and also which instrument/s should play at any given moment is rarely indicated on the score. Imagine the different sounds when a singer is accompanied by just a harpsichord, or only organ, or by one lute, or by three lutes, harpsichord, harp, cello and lirone all together? Vastly different! And then there is the choice of how the continuo players will realise each different chord. Just two notes? Rich rolling arpeggios? High sparkly effects, or using instruments’ rich low registers? The options are limitless, and make an enormous difference to the affect of any given musical moment. The job of the continuo section is to help support whatever the mood of the moment is, but also in a more practical sense to help keep the music together – to drive where needed, create space where needed and give the music direction and shape. And lastly – do you have any advice for aspiring gamba/lirone players? Do it! There is a hugely supportive community of players out there who will be delighted to help get you going, find an instrument and learn how to play it. Play with as many different people as you can, as everybody has something different to offer. As a viol player you get to play all sizes of the instrument, from the violone to the treble, which is hugely fun, and there are consorts all over the world who will always be happy to have you join them. You can start at any age and there are even frets to help! Don’t be shy in asking any professional players in your area (or from anywhere in the world via the wonders of Zoom, we’re all experts now!) for help or advice, and remember that it’s all about the sound.
THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE TARYN FIEBIG 1972–2021
THESE PERFORMANCES OF THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE ARE DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF TARYN. Versatile, compelling and magnetic opera singer She was the golden girl from the west and when she auditioned for Opera Australia’s Young Artist Program, the late Sir Richard Hickox, former artistic director of Opera Australia, said she had the most beautiful voice he had ever heard. It was that voice, so fine, so clear, so bell-like, coloured and true, that was to bring delight and enchantment to hundreds of thousands. Yet Taryn Fiebig also understood the theatrical stage. She could hold the limelight or yield it, seize the moment or demur, move with spirit and grace yet always conveying humility. It was never about her; it was always about the music. Colleagues and friends loved her for her sunny disposition, her wit, her “melodious laugh” and her anarchic, whacky sense of humour. As Opera Australia artistic director Lyndon Terracini notes: “In this business it can be pretty bitchy. But you wouldn’t find anyone in the whole industry who would have a bad word to say about Taryn.” Taryn Fiebig was born in Perth, Western Australia and, at Churchlands Senior High School where she excelled academically and was school captain, her musical and performing gifts initially manifested themselves as a cellist and actor. Lifelong friend Kirsten Matthews, who knew her from kindergarten, describes “Tazzie’s” early devotion to Barbara Streisand, a singer so different from the one Taryn was to become, and recalls being made to sit through countless viewings of the film Yentl. Taryn initially studied to become a cellist at the University of Western Australia and led the cello section of the Australian Youth Orchestra. That grounding was key to her artistic ethos. As Terracini notes, “Fundamentally she was a musician who became a singer. She had great instincts.” After studying in the UK with Emma Kirkby, Jane Manning and Evelyn Tubb on a Churchill Fellowship, Taryn joined the Australian Opera Studio, a performance-based opera school founded by singer Gregory Yurisich in 2002. At that stage she was still unsure whether to pursue the cello or singing until Talya Masel, head of production, persuaded her to apply. Masel had been introduced to her by fellow cellist and boyfriend, later first husband, Iain Grandage, via a striking recording she had made of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Initially she was a no-show at the audition until Masel got on the phone and told her in no uncertain terms to get down there, launching the career that almost wasn’t. The cello was not forsaken however. At fundraisers for Opera Australia, Australia Council CEO, Adrian Collette, formerly CEO of Opera Australia, describes how she would accompany herself singing Dowland and early baroque songs. “The place would just melt.” At one fundraiser at Buckingham Palace, she used Prince Charles’ cello because her own was cracked. “He shed a princely tear,” Collette recalls. In 2004 she won a place in the Young Artist program with Opera Australia singing Susanna’s Act IV aria Deh vieni from The Marriage of Figaro for Hickox, Collette and producer Stuart Maunder. “She just brought it off the page in such a gorgeous way,“ Collette says. “She was one of those artists who invite you over the footlights.” That aria’s beauty, warmth and grace became emblematic of Fiebig’s own style and she was to go on to sing it in a groundbreaking production under the great Scottish director Sir David McVicar. “Deh vieni is the musical climax of the work,” McVicar notes. “I wanted to put the spotlight on her so I placed her in front of the curtain. Bringing the curtain down behind a singer is very isolating but I knew she could carry it. She was so compelling to watch – a tiny little fairy of a woman. She was so magnetic on the stage, yet she was humble. She wasn’t ego driven in any shape or form. It was all about the music.” Fiebig joined Opera Australia in 2005 as principal soprano and was to go on to do all three of Mozart’s Da Ponte operas with McVicar (The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così fan Tutte), a body of work which she regarded as one of her most important achievements. “I loved coming to Sydney and doing those three productions,” McVicar says. “They were all so different and yet we had this fantastic shining thread through them all. Working with her was collaborating with her – a real meeting of minds. I would drive her really hard and she was fine with that – she would say ‘We have to find out about these characters’. She had this fantastic curiosity: she was never satisfied with anything and always wanted to go further and find new things.
She thought like an actress and moved like a dancer, and had one of the most lyric soprano voices I have heard.” As principal soprano she was enormously versatile, singing Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance (a part, Matthews notes that she had earlier missed out on at Wesley Downs Primary School), Clorinda in Cenerentola, Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito, Oscar in Un ballo in Maschera and Lisa in La Sonnambula. The Wood Bird and Gertrune in Wagner’s Ring Cycle, directed by Neil Armfield, were a new direction entirely, exemplifying her continuous search for new horizons. Some of her earliest successes were in comic roles, particularly Gilbert and Sullivan. As the plaintiff in Trial by Jury, she had a devastating, Meryl Streep way of removing her sunglasses. In La Boheme, as the meretricious Musetta, she brought out the character’s complexity, outrageous yet yearning for goodness. My Fair Lady, of which she gave over 200 performances, was her biggest success in music theatre and Richard E. Grant, who played Henry Higgins to her Eliza Doolittle, remembers the bond they formed. “[The] moment I met and worked with Taryn we both acknowledged that we’d be friends for life. Instant connection… Loyal, hilarious, generous and life enhancing. Her loss is incalculable and I count myself very fortunate to have been her friend.” Fiebig’s musicianship, intelligence and hard work ethic stood her in good stead in a range of complex contemporary operas. She appeared as Aphrodite in Richard Mills’ The Love of the Nightingale and won both her Helpmann Awards in modern roles: in 2010 as Lucy Joy in Neil Armfield’s production of Brett Dean’s opera Bliss, based on Peter Carey’s novel, (a role she repeated at the Edinburgh Festival) and as the mother in Brian Howard’s Kafka opera, Metamorphosis, in 2019, after returning from surgery and cancer treatment. As well as being a natural Mozart singer, her clarity of sound, warmth and stylistic affinity made Baroque opera a particular strength. She performed Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas for Opera Australia and appeared in Barrie Kosky’s lavishly brilliant staging of Handel’s Saul for the Adelaide Festival. She made her debut with Pinchgut Opera with Cavalli’s L’Ormindo in 2009 produced by Masel. “She was in equal parts a singing actress and an acting singer,” recalls conductor and Pinchgut artistic director Erin Helyard, with whom she also shared a talent for vocal mimicry. “What made Taryn stand out was her total commitment to the art form. She never gave anything less than complete engagement with all aspects of her music-making: technical surety, expressive nuance and dramatic intent. She would sometimes come into rehearsals straight from chemo and would throw herself into the role and engage with her colleagues with a remarkable energy and drive. She was always driven by the text and her formidable artistry was forged in the blending of her lyrical approach with a meaningful engagement with the words she was singing.” The importance of the text was a principle she also drove home in her teaching. In December 2017, while in Vienna with her second husband, New Zealand baritone Jud Arthur and his two children, Taryn discovered she had ovarian cancer, forcing her to pull out of productions of La Boheme and The Cunning Little Vixen with West Australian Opera. But she insisted that Arthur continue with Brett Dean’s Hamlet for the Adelaide Festival “because I want to go and see it”. The experience only redoubled her appetite for hard work. As she described to Jo Litson for Limelight, “I work myself very hard and I’m very hard on myself. It [having cancer] shakes you up, sorts you out. You get organised and you get organised emotionally, the things you don’t want, you address because you don’t want them in your system any more.” Her return to the stage after this ordeal was impressive and her role as the mother in Metamorphosis revealed new depths of vocal characterisation. During the pandemic in 2020 she paired with Anna Dowsley, Pinchgut Opera and Helyard in a hauntingly beautiful film of the madrigals of seventeenth century composer Barbara Strozzi. As the end drew near, she wrote to friends and colleagues without fear or bitterness. To her ’enry ’iggins, Richard E. Grant, she said she was reaching “the pointy end” of her life and that “though short in number, I feel like I’ve lived three people’s lives”. Those and countless more in the memories of her audience. Peter McCallum Sydney Morning Herald, 31 March 2021 Fairfax Media Australia The use of this work has been licensed by Copyright Agency. Except as permitted by the Copyright Act, you must not re-use this work without the permission of the copyright owner or Copyright Agency.
THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
THANK YOU TO OUR DONORS Pinchgut Opera exists so that we may touch lives, and to see our audiences transcend the everyday through the power of music and the beauty of the human voice. We exist also because of the generosity of our incredible family of donors, and would like to thank everyone who has supported us by making a financial contribution over the past year. To make a donation to our Annual Giving Campaign or to find more information about our targeted Giving Circles, please visit: pinchgutopera.com.au/donate PATRON His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley LIFE PATRONS Liz Nielsen, Jeremy Davis AM PLATÉE GIVING CIRCLE Leading Patrons ($10,000+) James & Claire Kirby Family Fund MAESTRO’S CIRCLE SUPPORTERS Leading Patrons ($10,000+) Justice François Kunc and Ms Felicity Rourke, in memory of Lidia Kunc Supporting patrons ($5,000+) Tony Gill, Anonymous (3) FARINELLI PROGRAM Leading Patrons ($10,000+) Emily Chang & Yvonne Chang Supporting Patrons ($5,000+) Nena Beretin, John Claudianos, Andrew Goy, James and Claire Kirby Family Fund, Christopher McCabe, Anonymous (3). CONTINUO MENTORSHIP PROGRAM Norman Gillespie – Principal Supporter ORCHESTRA OF THE ANTIPODES – CHAIR PATRONS John and Irene Garran – supporting Kirsty McCahon (bass) TARYN FIEBIG SCHOLAR PROGRAM John Allard, Hon J Campbell QC & Mrs Campbell, Emily Chang and Yvonne Chang, Ian Dickson and Reg Holloway, The Elliott Family, Richard Fisher, Graeme Wood Foundation, Justice François Kunc and Ms Felicity Rourke, Pamela and Ian McGaw, Nick and Caroline Minogue, Francis Muecke, Trevor Parkin, Stephen Shanasy, Leslie C Thiess, Dr Mark Walker, Anonymous (3)
BEQUESTS Gillian Appleton, Patricia H. Reid Endowment, Anonymous (3) We also thank the estate of the late Timothy Brian Carey. JUPITER (SEMELE) $20,000 and above Emily and Yvonne Chang, Norman Gillespie, Nick & Caroline Minogue, Patricia H. Reid Endowment THEODORA (THEODORA) $10,000 to $19,999 Rebecca Davies AO, Iphy Kallinikos, Suzanne Kirkham, Justice François Kunc and Felicity Rourke in memory of Lidia Kunc, Noel and Donna McIntosh & Family, Agnes Sinclair, Anonymous (3) DIANA (IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE) $5,000 to $9,999 John Claudianos, Justice Jean Dalton, Prue and Peter Davenport, John and Irene Garran, Tony Gill, Andrew Goy, Reg and Kathie Grinberg, Frank and Pat Harvey, Alan Hyland, Mrs W G Keighley, Christopher McCabe, Roslyn Maguire, Jan Marie Muscio, Gillian and David Ritchie, Anthony Strachan, Alden Toevs and Judi Wolf, Annie and Anthony Whealy, Cameron Williams, Anonymous (1) ORFEO (ORFEO & L’ANIMA DEL FILOSOFO) $2,000 to $4,999 Anne Amigo, Justice Michael Ball, Carey Beebe, Nena Beretin, Stephen Booth & Zorica Rapaich, Hon J Campbell QC & Mrs Campbell, Toula and Nicholas Cowell, Jocelyn Goyen, Ailsa Hocking, John Hughes, Emma Johnston and Mark Probert, Mary Jane Lawrie, Diccon and Elizabeth Loxton, Kevin and Deidre McCann, Dr Ann McFarlane, Helen and Phillip Meddings, Frances Muecke, Pieter and Liz Oomens, Jennie and Ivor Orchard, Trevor Parkin, Catherine Playoust and Elliott Gyger, Robyn and Keith Power, Anna Ralston, Andrew and Lesley Rosenberg, Robert Stewart, Dr Elizabeth Watson, Jocelyn Woodhouse, Anonymous (2) GRISELDA (GRISELDA) $1,000 to $1,999 Antoinette Albert, John Allard, Gillian Appleton, Ms Lynne Ashpole, Graham & Heloise Barr, David Bassingthwaighte, John Biffin, Jonathan Blackwell, Meredith Brooks, Henry Burmester and Peter Mason, Michael Chesterman, Catherine Cheyne-Macpherson, Colleen and Robert & Julie Clarke, Wendy Cobcroft, Dr Steven Cohn, Joan Connery, Christine Conquest, Stephanie Cooper, A L Crotty, Raoul de Ferranti, Susanne de Ferranti, Jennifer Dowling, Janet Duggin, David Duncan, Nigel Emslie, Suellen Enestrom, Gabrielle Ewington, Helen Fleming, Dr Marguerite Foxon, Freilich Prescribed Private Fund,
John and Diana Frew, Norman Gillespie, Ruth Gough, David Harvey, The Hon Don Harwin, Rachel Hawkeswood, Barbara & John Hirst, Dorothy Hoddinott AO, Elisabeth Hodson, R M Hollings, Janet Holmes à Court AC, Beatrice Janssen, Sue Johnston, Carl Jones, Melissa Kennedy, Angela & Richard Kirsner, Barbara Kozak, Lynette McIntyre, Brendan McPhillips, Dianne McWilliam, Stephen Marriott, Robert Mitchell, Kerry Murphy, Andrew Naylor, Jennifer Nicholls, Rod Pobestek, Rear Admiral Ian Richards AO, Fe Ross, Stephen Shanasy,
Beverley Southern, Sue Thomson, Jennifer Thredgold, Graham Tribe, Alida Van Der Flier, Kay Vernon, Mark Walker, Margaret Winn, David Wood, Anonymous (13). Current as at 30 April 2021 The above list acknowledges those who have donated $1,000 or more. To see a full list of our donors, please visit pinchgutopera.com.au/ our-donors
ANNUAL GIVING CAMPAIGN Pinchgut Opera’s Annual Giving Campaign is on now. Please consider renewing your support or making a new gift to help us continue making music that inspires. HOW TO DONATE: Online: pinchgutopera.com.au/donate Direct Deposit / EFT (avoids high credit card fees that Pinchgut pays on your donation): Pinchgut Opera Public Fund BSB: 012 003 Account #: 198 883 Please include your name as the reference and notify our Philanthropy Manager, Ilona Brooks, of your donation by email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (02) 9318 8344 All donations of $2 or more are fully tax deductible.
Pinchgut Opera is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.
THE LOVES OF APOLLO & DAFNE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
PINCHGUT OPERA LIMITED
ABN 67 095 974 191 PO Box 291 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
LIFE PATRONS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR CONDUCTOR EMERITUS GENERAL MANAGER ARTISTIC MANAGER OPERATIONS MANAGER MARKETING AND PHILANTHROPY MANAGER MARKETING AND ADMINISTRATION COORDINATOR FINANCIAL ADVISOR FINANCIAL ACCOUNTANT CONTINUO MENTORSHIP FELLOW
Liz Nielsen and Jeremy Davis AM Erin Helyard Antony Walker Cressida Griffith Alison Johnston Andrew Johnston Ilona Brooks Alexandra Peek Emma Murphy Barbara Peters Andrei Haddap
BOARD N orman Gillespie (Chair), Virginia Braden OAM, Nicola Craddock, Mark Gaal, Tony Gill, Monika Kwiatkowski, John Pitman DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE Tony Gill (Chair), Norman Gillespie, Julia King, Alden Toevs, Claire Wivell Plater
PRODUCTION ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ARTWORK & DESIGN PROGRAM DESIGN PHOTOGRAPHER VIDEOGRAPHER FOR ABC CLASSIC FOR AUSTRALIAN THEATRE LIVE
Alphabet Studio Imagecorp Brett Boardman and Jasmin Simmons Steve Polydorou for A Space Apart Virginia Read, Brooke Green, Jason Blackwell, Jolen Camilleri Grant Dodwell, Peter Hiscock, Rajban Sidhu and team
SINCERE THANKS TO O pera Australia – especially Rory Jeffes, James Douglas, Byron McDonald, Neal Hughes, Neroli Hobbins, Will Dunshea; Benjamin Bayl; Magnus Tessing Schneider; Natalie Shea; Stevie Haimes; Toby Chadd; Virginia Read; Liz Nielsen; Brad Williams at TDC; Jason Knight; Sue Proctor and Rebecca Dean from Create NSW; Luke Shaw at ACO; Madeleine Picard; Elizabeth Johnston; Hugh McCullum; ABC Classic; Zak Zhou; Michael Talbot; Carey Beebe; Stephen Mould; Keith Foote and Justin Boschetti; Roberta Diamond; Dominica Matthews; Bell Shakespeare; Ensemble Theatre; NIDA.
City Recital Hall Limited
Chair, Board of Directors Rachel Launders CEO Justin Boschetti
2 - 12 Angel Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Administration (02) 9231 9000 Box Office (02) 8256 2222 Website www.cityrecitalhall.com
PINCHGUT OPERA PRESENTS
A CONCERT OF ELEGANCE AND GRANDEUR “Arise, my muse, and to thy tuneful lyre Compose a mighty ode Whose charming nature may inspire The bosom of some listening God.” Sofia Troncoso | Keara Donohoe | Max Riebl | Nicholas Jones David Greco | Andrew O’Connor Orchestra of the Antipodes | Erin Helyard conductor and keyboards
CITY RECITAL HALL SAT 11 SEPT 2 PM AND SUN 12 SEPT 5 PM MELBOURNE RECITAL CENTRE TUE 14 SEPT 7PM BOOKINGS: PINCHGUTOPERA.COM.AU | 02 8318 8300
PINCHGUT OPERA PRESENTS
NEIL ARMFIELD Kanen Breen | Siobhan Stagg Peter Coleman-Wright AO | Cheryl Barker AO Erin Helyard conductor Cantillation | Orchestra of the Antipodes
CITY RECITAL HALL 1 – 8 DECEMBER, 2021 BOOKINGS: PINCHGUTOPERA.COM.AU 02 8318 8300