Hampstead Garden Opera (HGO) will bring a new production of Cavalli’s Baroque opera L’Egisto (1643) to Marylebone’s Cockpit Theatre in June, the north London-based opera company has announced.

This specially commissioned fully staged new edition is directed by Brazilian stage director Marcio da Silva. Two different casts featuring some of the finest young performers in opera will be accompanied by the HGO Baroque Orchestra. The production will be sung in the original Italian with English subtitles.

Cavalli’s opera tells the story of lovers Egisto (a descendant of the sun god Apollo) and Clori, who were abducted by pirates in Delos. Clori was then sold in Zakynthos, where the pirates also captured Climene, on the day of her wedding to Lidio.

A year later, Egisto and Climene escape to Zakynthos, to find Clori in love with Lidio and also courted by Climene’s brother Hipparco. In the course of 24 hours, dismay, remorse, plans of revenge, madness, and the quarrels and interference of the gods, lead to reconciliation and – unusually for opera – a happy ending.

Tenors Kieran White and Martins Smaukstelis share the role of Egisto, while his lover Clori is sung by sopranos Shafali Jalota and Caroline Taylor. The part of Climene is played by sopranos Helen May and Astrid Joos and countertenors Eric Schlossberg and Alex Pullinger share the role of her intended Lidio.

The opera was highly successful in its day, but is rarely performed now. It didn’t receive its UK premiere until 1982, when Scottish Opera performed it at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow. It hasn’t been seen in London for 30 years.

This new production has been designed in full accordance with government Covid-19 regulations and social-distancing measures. There will be 10 performances in June; tickets are on sale now. See HGO’s website for further details.



Hampstead Garden Opera will stage a new production of Cavalli’s L’Egisto at the Cockpit Theatre in Marylebone, London, in June.