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Faculty member Calcagno mentioned in The New Yorker

April 5, 2013

Mauro Calcagno, assistant professor of music history and theory, recently received mention in The New Yorker magazine. His edition of Francesco Cavalli’s 1667 opera Eliogabalo was performed by the Gotham Chamber Opera on March 15 to 29 at the burlesque theater The Box, in Manhattan.

In the article called “Shock Tactics,” a round up of particularly original recent opera productions, music critic Alex Ross wrote of Eliogabalo, “Cavalli’s opera is devoted to the most scandalous of Roman emperors, the one who was put to death because, it is said, the Praetorian Guard could not abide the fact that he called his charioteer his husband. The libretto omits the most eyebrow-raising details of the Elagabalus legend–for example, the information that he ‘welcomed lust at every gateway of his body’–but includes a scene in which the emperor convenes an all-female Senate while dressed in women’s clothes. The original version of the work never made it to the stage; the scholar Mauro Calcagno speculates that the female-Senate sequence disturbed Venetian censors, who may have seen it as an allegory for the distribution of favors to prostitutes.” He also said that “it would be churlish to describe the show as anything but a hoot.”

Though paid subscription is required, the full article can be accessed here.

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