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La Calisto is an opera by Francesco Cavalli from a libretto by Giovanni Faustini based on the mythological story of Callisto. The opera received its first performance on 28 November 1651 at the Teatro Sant’Apollinare, Venice, where it drew limited audiences for its run of eleven performances. In the twentieth century it was successfully revived.
Faustini, who was an impresario as well as a librettist, rented the Sant ‘Apollinare Theatre in 1650. He and Cavalli put on three operas there before his death in December 1651 during the run of La Calisto. The theatre was equipped with complex stage machinery intended to impress the opera audiences with spectacle. However, the eleven performances of La Calisto from 28 November to 31 December 1651 attracted only about 1,200 patrons to a theatre that housed 400. The manuscript score was preserved in the Biblioteca Marciana, Venice, allowing La Calisto to be revived in modern times.
John McIntosh Arts Centre –  SW6 1AW London
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photos (c) | Andreas Grieger