St. Ann’s Warehouse to present American premiere of La Didone


photo by Paula Court

photo by Paula Court

“Completely fearless…[La Didone] combines an often piercing sweetness with a dry sense of humor…Unexpectedly moving and wistful.” – The Guardian

“For this kind of experimental stuff to work, it has to be done by a master, preferably with a sense of humor. This is one.” – The Daily Telegraph

“…a mind-blowing vision inspired by the moment when opera itself was the most strange and experimental of cutting-edge art-forms, filtered through the wit, intelligence, and sheer cross-cultural genius of one of the great experimental companies of our time.” –  The Scotsman

Premiering at the 2007 Edinburgh Festival, The Wooster Group‘s La Didone earned glowing praise for its sound as well as its vision. From March 17- April 26 the Wooster Group returns to St. Ann’s Warehouse for the American premiere of this stunning new spectacle. In her signature genre-melding, mind-bending style, director Elizabeth LeCompte confounds our expectations by using La Didone to forge a compelling link between 17th century Italian opera and 1965 sci-fi cult film Terrore nello spazio.

In Cavalli’s opera, Aeneas, prince of Troy (John Young), lands on the shores of Africa after a violent sea storm batters his ship. There, he falls in love with Dido, queen of Carthage (Hai-Ting Chinn), and becomes entangled in a web of love, deception, power and madness. Leaping forward in time, Mario Bava’s Terrore nello spazio depicts the crash of the spaceship Argos on the planet Aura, where its crew becomes locked in a desperate battle with zombies over the “meteor rejector” that will enable their escape.

Merging the power of Cavalli’s score with the look and feel of Bava’s film, La Didone presents a triumphant musical symbiosis of camp and classicism that explores both the power of erotic passion and the tenacity of human nature in the face of annihilation. Cavalli’s opera takes on new dimensions under the musical direction of Bruce Odland who has transposed the score for a mix of Baroque and modern instrumentation, juxtaposing lute against electric guitar, keyboards and accordion. [Click here to download an MP3 of Hai-Ting Chinn’s remarkable performance of “Dido and Jarbas” or click here to download an MP3 of  John Young performing “Aeneas”.]

La Didone

a baroque opera with The Wooster Group

Directed by Elizabeth LeCompte

Music Direction by Bruce Odland

Starring Hai-Ting Chinn, Andrew Nolen, Kamala Sankaram and John Young with Ari Fliakos, Scott Shepherd, Kate Valk and Judson Williams of The Wooster Group

March 17 – April 26, 2009

at St. Ann’s Warehouse


For detailed schedule and ticket information visit

The Wooster Group’s La Didone was produced in conjunction with KunstenFESTIVALdesArts and co-produced by the Edinburgh International Festival, Productiehuis Rotterdam (Rotterdamse Schouwburg), Grand Théâtre du Luxembourg, CC Belém (Lisboa).

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