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    La Didone

    St. Ann's Warehouse presents the U.S. premiere of The Wooster Group’s "La Didone," the seminal company's distinctive take on Francesco Cavalli's baroque opera, libretto by Giovanni Francesco Busenello (1641).

    In the opera, Aeneas, prince of Troy, lands on the shores of Africa after a violent sea storm. There he falls in love with Dido, queen of Carthage, and becomes entangled in a web of love, deception, power and madness.

    Leaping forward in time, Mario Bava's 1965 cult movie "Terrore nello spazio" crashes the spaceship Argos on the planet Aura, where its crew becomes locked in a desperate battle with zombies over the all-important "meteor rejector."

    The Wooster Group, in signature fashion, stirs these two Italian cultural artifacts together, dropping Aeneas' ships onto a forbidding planetary landscape, setting the lute alongside electric guitar, blending acoustic and electronic space, and finding an unexpected synergy between early baroque opera and pre-moonlanding sci-fi.

    The result is a 21st-century retelling of an ancient tale about the destructive (and redemptive) power of erotic passion and the sheer tenacity of human nature in the face of annihilation.

    Directed by Elizabeth LeCompte, with music direction by Bruce Odland, the cast of La Didone includes Hai-Ting Chinn (mezzo soprano), Ari Fliakos, Jennifer Griesbach (keyboard), Hank Heijink (theorbo, baroque guitar), Andrew Nolen (bass), Kamala Sankaram (soprano, accordian), Scott Shepherd, Harvey Valdes (electric guitar), Kate Valk, Judson Williams, and John Young (tenor).

    "La Didone" marks a return to St. Ann's Warehouse for The Wooster Group, following limited previews of "William Shakespeare's Hamlet" (2007), before its opening at The Public) and runs of "The Emperor Jones" (2006), "House/Lights" (2005), "Brace Up!" (2003), and "To You, the Birdie!" (Phèdre) (2002).

    Dates:  March 17, 2009 - April 26, 2009
    Schedule:  Tues — Sat: 8pm; Sun: 7pm
    Venue:  St. Ann's Warehouse, 38 Water St., DUMBO, Brooklyn
    Price:  $27.50
    Company:  The Wooster Group
    Tickets/info:  (718) 254-8779


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