Here’s something that could be fantabulous that I just heard about today: Joseph Haydn’s dramma giocoso, Il Mondo della Luna — at the Planetarium! I don’t know any of the people involved with Gotham Chamber Opera and have missed all their previous performances, which have ranged from Handel to Britten. But this sounds like a must-not-miss. Five performances between Tuesday, January 19, and Thursday, January 28.
Written in 1777, it’s the story of a nobleman who refuses to let his daughters marry their true loves. With the help of a fake astronomer and a sleeping potion, the daughters trick their father into believing he’s been sent to the moon, where he discovers they do things differently, especially when it comes to courtship. On the moon, women are allowed to choose their own husbands.
The libretto is by Carlo Goldoni (Act I and Act II through scene xiv), and two later writers. Goldoni’s libretto was first set by Galuppi in Venice in 1750.
Haydn’s opera was commissioned by Count Esterházy, Haydn’s great patron, for his son Nikolaus’ wedding in 1777, which to me, given the subject described above, suggests a pretty good sense of humor; those better versed in Haydn’s biography may tell me otherwise.
Let me also remind you of the next Monteverdi Vespers of 1610, ARTEK’s production at St Ignatius Loyola on January 20. For followers of the Renaissance Street Singers, we’ll be singing this weekend, January 10, though I don’t yet know where. And shapenote this weekend is in Brooklyn on Sunday; alas, I can’t be there (see previous sentence), but we had a rousing singing at the Living Room on Saturday to start the year off strongly. The Continuo Collective also performs on Sunday, at St Luke’s Lutheran in Midtown, at 6:00. The repertory is contemporary with the Monteverdi Vespers, music of Peri, d’India (from his 1609 print Le Musiche), and others. Manieristi, mark your calendars.