Opera in 18th Century Madrid: Achilles in Skyros

Opera in 18th Century Madrid: Achilles in Skyros

“The Orchestra of New Spain and the Dallas Institute of Humanities & Culture present a discussion on the operatic life of baroque Madrid and Francisco Courcelle’s “Achilles in Skyros.”

Achilles in Skyros Preview: Opera in 18th Century Madrid

  • On Saturday, February 3 at 6:30 pm.
  • At Dallas Institute of Humanities & Culture, 2719 Routh Street.

Susan Paun de Garcia (specialist in Spanish theater), Larry Allums (Executive Director of the Dallas Institute and specialist in Greek and Roman literature) and Grover Wilkins 3d (editor of the score and conductor) discuss the operatic life of baroque Madrid, the mythological story of Achilles and the development of the modern score drawn from manuscripts in Madrid. The discussion will be ccompanied by visuals, and performers from the opera.

Francisco Courcelle’s Achilles in Skyros

  • On Friday, February 9 at 8 pm.
  • On Saturday, February 10, at 7:30 pm.
  • At Moody Performance Hall, Dallas Arts District, 2520 Flora Street.

The modern premiere of the 1744 three-act opera composed by Francisco Courcelle, focuses on the sequestration of the young emblematic hero as described by the celebrated librettist Pietro Metastasio. Warned by a prophesy of his early death in the Trojan wars, Achilles mother disguises him as a young woman in a royal harem on the island of Skyros. The plot centers on Ulysses tricking him to reveal his true identity. In the baroque tradition, audiences were fascinated with disguise, and trouser roles were popular, in this case the role of Achilles being given to a mezzo-soprano.

Composed to celebrate the wedding of Princess Maria Teresa of Spain to the Dauphin of France, this opera represents the emergence of Spain artistically from the insularity of the zarzuela towards a more European, Italian influenced operatic style. This opera provides proof of the beauty and grandeur of the works of Courcelle, known in England as “the Spanish Handel.”

The artistic team includes Carla Lopez as Achilles, Kayla Nanto as Ulysses, cast members Anna Popova, Jocelyn Henson and Chabely Rendon. Staging is conceived by Gustavo Tambascio, choreography and assistant stage directing by Jaime Puente and costumes by Antonio Bartolo. Artistic Director and producer, Grover Wilkins 3rd.

  • Performing arts
  • Dallas
  • Sat, February 03 —
    Sat, February 10, 2018


Venue map

Various venues, Dallas, TX



Presented by the Orchestra of New Spain and the Dallas Institute of Humanities & Culture. Image: Achilles discovered among the daughters of Lycomedes, Rubens, Pieter Paul. 1630-1635, oil on panel, courtesy of Museo del Prado