Reviewed by Paula Citron
Haydn’s Philemon and Baucis, the second opera at Spoleto Festival USA, is adorable. The production comes from Milan, Italy, courtesy of the Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company that has been in existence for 250 years.
Philemon and Baucis is presented as an opera with Carlo Colla 111 as director. It takes 12 puppeteers to mount the show. During the arias, the little string puppets move their arms and heads as real singers would, and they do convey the emotion of the moment..
The real voices are in the pit with the orchestra, under the direction of the Colla’s music director, Danilo Lorenzini. Spoleto has put together a fine roster of light lyric voices perfect for the repertoire.
There are also gorgeous period costumes by Eugenio Monti Colla while Franco Citterio is responsible for the elaborate set designs and lighting.
The production is an absolute delight.
Spoleto Festival USA runs May 28 to Jun. 13.
Philemon and Baucis
Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company
Spoleto Festival USA
Music by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conducted by Danilo Lorenzini
Directed by Carlo Colla 111
Starring Hugo Vera, Monica Yunus, Shannon Kessler Dooley, Scott Sully (with actors Josh Wilhoit and Curtis Worthington)
Emmett Robinson Theatre, May 28 to 31, 2010