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The Sunday Opera: Handel's "Acis and Galatea" and "Apollo e Dafne" from Chicago's Haymarket Opera

This week’s Sunday Opera (6/27 3:00 p.m.) begins our series of operas from the WFMT network from opera houses across the United States and Europe.   Our first program features a pair of operas by George Frideric Handel from Chicago’s Haymarket Opera Company, “Acis and Galatea” and “Apollo e Dafne.”   Acis (Michael St. Peter) is a mortal who’s in love with the water nymph Galatea (Kimberly Jones).   Unfortunately, the Cyclops, Polyphemus (David Govertsen) is also in love with Galatea, and in order to remove his rival, Polyphemus crushes Acis with a boulder.   Galatea then changes the blood emanating from the boulder to water, and the resulting river (The Jaci) is guarded by the now immortal Acis who, for some reason, now has horns and a blue face and is the god of the river.   In the second opera, Apollo, the god of poetry and the sun, (Ryan de Ryke) has fallen in love with the wood nymph Daphne (Erica Schuller).  However, Apollo, in his bravado, has mocked Eros for being a naughty boy who toys with his arrows.   In revenge, Eros shoots Apollo with one of his golden arrows of love but shoots Daphne with an arrow of lead to destroy any feelings she may have had for Apollo.  Apollo pursues Daphne who, when caught, turns herself into a laurel tree to escape him.    The still ardent Apollo honors Daphne by turning the bay laurel into an evergreen and always wearing a laurel crown.   Conductor Craig Trompeter leads the Haymarket Ensemble. 

Join Michael Kownacky after the opera for an afternoon at the symphony with Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 in C min, WAB108 performed by the Bavarian Radio Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Mariss Jansons.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.