La Calisto, 2014

Hampstead Garden Opera


Director: Joe Austin
Designer: Tom Oldham
Lighting designer: Christopher P Nairne
Musical director: Oliver-John Ruthven


Calisto: Teresa Pells & Rachel Wood
Diana: Felicity Turner & Zoe Freedman
Jove: Peter Brooke & Chris Webb
Jove-as Diana: Joanna Harries & Harriet Burns
Endymion: James Hall & Adrien Mastrosimone
Mercury: Tom Dupernex & David Fearn
Juno: Philippa Boyle & Susanna Fairbairn
Satirino: Madeleine Sexton & Victoria Pym
Linfea: Joanne Watson & Emily Armour
Pan: Tom Morss
Silvano: Michael Pandazis


Margaret Davies, Opera Magazine
The staging by Joe Austin was inventive and pacy and focused on emotional highs and lows. The director did not shirk from the opera’s darker side in showing the cruel transformation of Calisto into a performing bear.

Alexandra Coghlan, Arts Desk * * * *
Slashing the original score down to a brisk two hours, Joe Austin’s elegant production transplants the action to a post-apocalyptic landscape.

David Karlin, Seen and Heard * * * * *
I can’t imagine being more entertained by an evening’s chamber opera. The music was airy and appealing, singing ranged from good to excellent, acting uniformly excellent, the story had pace and a sense of good humour prevailed over the whole thing. Who’s to ask for more?

Adrian Horsewood, Early Music Today
Austin’s visual work is no less satisfying. There are many delightful little touches throughout, but it was the clear and detailed direction of the central characters that pleased most: this is a very well-acted production, at exactly the right level of expressiveness and vigour for the intimate space. An excellent and immensely satisfying production

Francesca Wickers * * * * *
With polished music, a haunting set, an exquisite libretto and tender acting, the production is an example of storytelling at its most clear and compelling.