La Calisto, 1970

La Calisto, 1970

This photograph shows Janet Baker and James Bowman in Peter Hall's 1970 Glyndebourne production of Francesco Cavalli's La Calisto (literally 'a little satyr').

First produced in 1561, it has a typical Venetian opera plot of the period, where the gods fall in love with humans and come to earth in disguise with all the resulting confusions and identity crises.

Peter Hall and his designer John Bury wanted to make the Baroque stage live again, but using modern methods and materials. They caught what one critic described as 'the spirit of baroque wonder and extravagance' involving real stage machines and cunning transformations, worked by the age old system of men, ropes and counterweights. Raymond Leppard's version of Cavalli's score and Hall's enchanting production helped build new audiences for the lesser known early operas and thus widen the standard operatic repertory.