BWW Previews: ERMELINDA at ODC Theater

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Ars Minerva is a Baroque opera company devoted to the resurrection of forgotten but eminently worthy Italian operas. On the weekend of Nov. 22-24, Are Minerva will present the modern world premiere of composer Domenico Freschi and librettist Francesco Maria Piccioli's Ermelinda. Originally heard in 1680, the opera was a lavish entertainment for Procurator of St. Mark's Marco Contarini and his guests at his country villa.

The opera takes place in ancient Phoenicia. Ermelinda is in love with Ormindo but various characters do not want them to marry and her father whisks her away from Ormindo. Thus, Ermelinda is forced to endure many roadblocks constructed by characters who want to keep the lovers apart. From mad scenes to fake deaths, Ermelinda's enemies employ every imaginable possibility for making mischief. We can only watch as Ermelinda tries to outwit her enemies.

"Ermelinda continues in a line of Baroque masterpieces featuring powerful women," said Ars Minerva's Executive Artistic Director Céline Ricci. "Since its inception in 2013, Ars Minerva has chosen to revive operas whose central figures are female: Cleopatra, Amazon warriors, Circe, Iphigenia and Clytemnestra, and now Ermelinda."

Céline Ricci will direct Ermelinda, and Grammy-nominated harpsichordist Jory Vinikour will conduct Ars Minerva's period instrument orchestra. Costumes are by Matthew Nash and Lighting Design is by Thomas Bowersox with projections by Nicole Spencer Carreira. The cast includes mezzo-soprano Nikola Printz as Ermelinda and contralto Sara Couden as Ormindo. Countertenor Justin Montigne sings Aristeo, while mezzos Kindra Scharich and Deborah Rosengaus portray Rosaura and Armidoro.

ERMELINDA can be seen at San Francisco's ODC Theater on the evenings of November 22nd and 23rd as well as at a matinee on the 24th. Tickets, ranging from $26 - $250, can be purchased at

Photo: Valentina Sadiul

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