Music by Antonio Cesti
Libretto by Giacinto Andrea Cicognini
June 2, 3, & 5, 2018
Studebaker Theater

A bawdy comedy with romantic intrigue, jealousy, passion, deception, and a cast that includes kidnappers, drunken servants, and pirates! 

In the 17th century, operas rarely received more than a handful of performances after their premieres. Pietro Antonio Cesti’s lyrical comedy L’Orontea was a happy exception, enjoying an unprecedented number of revivals and re-stagings.

Librettist Giacinto Cigognini was the most successful Italian dramatist of the age, the “Tuscan Terrence.” His artful libretto tells of the Egyptian Queen Orontea who decrees that she will never fall in love. No sooner has she made this proclamation than the humble painter Alidoro arrives at her court fleeing the assassins of the Queen of Phoenicia. Orontea falls for him instantly, as does one of the ladies of the court, Silandra. Jealousy, passion, and deception ensue with a cast of kidnappers, drunken servants, and pirates, all accompanied by some of the most effortlessly ravishing music of the 17th century.

Cesti’s score and Cicognini’s libretto make an ideal marriage. Cesti—a Franciscan monk from Arezzo turned professional singing opera star—is well complemented by Cigognini who, in addition to L’Orontea, also wrote the libretto for Cavalli’s Il Giasone, the two most widely and frequently staged operas of the 17th century. The opera was described in a libretto booklet prepared for one of its 17th-century revivals as “the famous Orontea, which defying time and death still lives gloriously in the world.” Haymarket is proud to help it continue its glorious life in the world with this star-studded production.


Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 7:30pm
Sunday, June 3, 2018 - 5:00pm
Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 7:30pm

Studebaker Theater
410 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

*Student Tickets will be available at the door for $10. 

Running Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes with intermission
Sung in Italian with English Supertitles

Hagar's Angel by Zuleyka V. Benitez


Kimberly Jones, Amore / Tibrino
Addie Hamilton, Filosofia / Giacinta
Emily Fons, Orontea
David Govertsen, Gelone
Drew Minter, Aristea
Scott Brunscheen, Alidoro
Ryan de Ryke, Creonte
Daniel Bubeck, Corindo
Nathalie Colas, Silandra

Production Team

Drew Minter and Sarah Edgar, Stage Directors
Craig Trompeter, Music Director
Sarah JHP Watkins, Stage Design
Meriem Bahri, Costume Design
Lindsey Lyddan, Lighting Design


Video Gallery

Emily Fons as Orontea in rehearsal.

Drew Minter as Aristea in rehearsal.