In this version on Haydn’s L’isola disabiata, our characters are experiencing the destitute of a post-apocalyptic world where there are no cell phones, landscapes are unrecognizable in their destruction and survival is the only objective.
Set in their safe haven the audience enters the living space that sisters Constanza and Sylvia have retro-fitted to make their post-apocalyptic home. The venue serves as their shelter found on their long journey from the war. While camped at the venue, her husband Gernando, went out in search of food. He was captured by the opposition and taken prisoner while Costanza waited. He never returned and she continued to wait for him to arrive back. Twelve years passed and once a happy and social person, Costanza retreated into her own world of depression. She is racked with anger and loved turned bitter because of his abandonment.
With her, is her sister Silvia who was a toddler when they were forced to flee. Now a young teen, Sylvia is starting to explore and question her world. Her upbringing as a man-hating wild child is tested when two men stumble upon their makeshift home. Her curiosity wins over her upbringing and she comes to know that the men are in fact Gernando and his friend. She endavours to reunite the long lost couple while falling in young love with Enrico.
Since having escaped his imprisonment, Gerando, he has been searching for his wife. The misunderstandings are sorted out and the couple are happily reunited.
A current new English libretto has been written. The presenter has the option to have the piece sung in English or Italian with English surtitles.
Haydn opera a rare treat for Ottawa ears…
Director Alaina Viau gave the piece a Mad Max post-apocalyptic feel, with lots of leather vests, leggings, raggedy laundry and random tarps. Gernando and Enrico enter Rambo-style, waving pistols around and looking ready to kick some pirate butt. Given the age of the cast and the confines of the space, it worked well…
— Ottawa Citizen