April 28, 2019: We teamed up with artist Victor Varnado, cartoonist for The New Yorker magazine to present Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre’s cantata, “Le Sommeil d’Ulisse” (“Slumber of Ulysses”).
Who the heck was Ulisses? There were the ancient Greek myths, with their own roster of gods, and then the ancient Romans with THEIR roster. So the Greeks had Zeus and Hera, and the Romans had Jupiter and Juno, Athena (get it ATHENS / Athena) became the Roman Minerva, and Odysseus became Ulysses (you say “poh-tay-toe” and I say “poh-tah-toe”)
Synopsis: Frat boy Ulysses & his men, hijinks on the open sea, blinds the Cyclops Polyphemus (son of the god, Neptune). Neptune is pissed off, and sends a tempest. Cut to commercial, the goddess Minerva intervenes and puts Ulysses into a magical sleep, where he dreams about his glorious future. Et voilà ! an HEA (Happily Ever After). Susan Graham, flute; Claire Bermingham, violin; Ana Kim, cello; Nancy Kito, harpsichord; Christina Kay, soprano; artist Victor Varnado (cartoonist, the New Yorker).
Watch the tempest scene here: