La Liberazione di Ruggiero is arguably the first opera written by a woman, and features strong feminist themes and a challenge to patriarchal society, but honestly, they had us at Puppet Opera. And not just any kind of puppets: three foot tall, forty pound puppets from Sicily, getting into sword fights and romance. It is actually quite common that your opera singers act stiff and wooden, and these puppets are no exception.
Written in 1625 by a woman, Francesca Caccini, for a woman, Maria Magdalena de Medici, who wanted to impress the visiting prince of Poland to her court of Tuscany, it is based on Ariosto's "Orlando Furioso". Magnificat Baroque will perform the score, under the baton of artistic director (and blogger) Warren Stewart, while the Carter Family Marionettes will do the visuals. We caught up with Warren Stewart and Stephen Carter during a break in their rehearsals. It became quite obvious that they were an excellent match to collaborate, as both of them share a charming volubility, and combine an obvious passion with an erudite scholarship for some rather arcane artistic forms: 17th century music and puppetry.