Double Bill: Handel’s ‘Acis and Galatea’ and ‘Apollo e Dafne’

Jun 10, 2021

 

 

Soprano Kim Jones stars in Haymarket Opera’s Acis and Galatea.
Credit Anna Cillan

The broadcast begins with Acis and Galatea. The shepherd Acis (Michael St. Peter) and the sea nymph Galatea (Kimberly Jones) are blissfully happy until the jealous cyclops Polyphemus (David Govertsen) catches sight of them. In a fit of rage he crushes Acis under a giant boulder, killing him and breaking Galatea’s heart. She transforms her beloved shepherd into a stream so that she can splash in its waters for eternity.

Also in the broadcast,  the intimate pastoral cantata Apollo e Dafne. The sun god Apollo (Ryan de Ryke) has just saved the world from the terrors of the giant Python when he spies the ravishingly beautiful huntress Dafne (Erica Schuller). He is overcome with desire but Dafne will have none of it. She is devoted to Apollo’s sister Diana, the virgin goddess of the hunt. After a breathtaking chase, she escapes him by transforming into a laurel tree. In his deep grief he promises to keep the tree forever green with his tears and to crown heroes with its leaves. The astonishing beauty of Handel’s music has made Apollo e Dafne one of his greatest hits.