Florence: La Liberazione di Ruggiero by Francesca Caccini
with The Carter Family Marionettes

October 2009

Oct 16 2009 8:00 pm
First Lutheran Church
Palo Alto CA

Oct 17 2009 8:00 pm
St. Mark's Episcopal Church
Berkeley CA

Oct 18 2009 4:00 pm
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
San Francisco CA

The program will be approximately 90 minutes. There will be an intermission.

Lecture by Artistic Director Warren Stewart 45 minutes before each performance.


Suzanne G. Cusick

Francesca Caccini at the Medici Court

We are pleased to welcome back the Carter Family Marionettes for a production Francesca Caccini's La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall' Isola d'Alcina, the earliest opera written by a woman. A re-telling of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, the opera features magical transformations, burning oceans, winged monsters and, of course, exquisite melodies.

The daughter of one of the leading advocates for the nuove musiche of the 17th century, Francesca had a remarkable career in her own right as a teacher and performer, but above all as a highly respected composer. She wrote La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall' Isola d'Alcina in 1625 and sadly, it is her only surviving opera - she is thought to have contributed to as many as nine staged works. (Click here for a biography of Francesca.)

Long time Magnificat fans will remember fondly the two productions with the Carter Family Marionettes in 1998, the Parisian opera parody La Grandmere Amoureuse and Jacopo Melani's Il Girello. Among Magnificat's most popular productions, these collaborations were a critical success and a pleasure for all involved.

Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle noted after the opera parody production "most of the afternoon's fun came from the puppets, a superbly varied and eye-catching corps of wooden troublemakers." After the production of Il Girello, Kosman commented "the most impressive aspect of the performance was the puppets themselves, a vast crowd of expressive mannequins created and handled by Stephen Carter, Chris Carter and Bruce Chesse".

What is La Liberazione di Ruggiero About?

La Liberazione di Ruggiero and the Cultire of Women

Click Here for Tickets!


Catherine Webster, soprano

Jennifer Paulino, soprano

José Lemos, countertenor

Scott Whitaker, tenor

Daniel Hutchings, tenor

Hugh Davies, bass

Rob Diggins, violin

Jolianne von Einem, violin

David Wilson, violin & viola

Louise Carslake, recorder

Annette Bauer, recorder

John Dornenburg, violone

Katherine Heater, harpsichord & organ

Warren Stewart, conductor


The Carter Family Marionettes

Orlando Furioso

Download a translation of Orlando Furioso or read online.


click to enlarge