Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Get 'Psyche!'

By Meredith Deliso

It’s Baroque — and they’re fixing it.

This month, Opera Feroce takes 17th- and 18th-century works from several composers and fashions them into a fast-paced, playful evening of opera (yes, you don’t see those words all together very often).

It’s called a “pasticcio,” an Italian term for pastry. In opera, that means a hodgepodge — and this one centers on the Roman myth of Psyche and her on-again, off-again, on-again romance with Cupid, with music provided by Handel, Dowland, and Porpora.

“There are a lot of musical textures and styles,” said Hayden DeWitt, a mezzo-soprano, who plays the God of love. “It’s like a really good, diverse box of chocolates.”  

The production had a brief run earlier this summer at Christ Church Cobble Hill returns to the space on Oct. 22 and 23.

The soprano Beth Anne Hatton reprises her role as the mortal Psyche. Venus, Pan, and Jove are played by Alan Dornak, countertenor. Yes, a man is playing Venus.

The mixture of high art and low camp is intentional, said DeWitt: “There’s something for everyone.”

“It’s not dumbed down, but it’s got a bit of a vaudeville feel,” added the mezzo. “Serious music lovers would like it, as well as someone who has never been to an opera before. We’ve had early music aficionados who really enjoyed it, and they’re a tough crowd.”

The three singers are accompanied by a baroque violin, viola da gamba and harpsichord for an authentic Baroque feel.

“Amor and Psyche” at Christ Church Cobble Hill [320 Clinton St. at Kane Street in Cobble Hill, (718) 624-0083], Oct. 22 and 23 at 8 pm. Tickets $18, $10 for students and seniors. For info, visit


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