The baroque opera Veremonda, L’Amazzone di Aragona is getting the distinctly un-baroque treatment at this year’s Spoleto Festival USA — at least when it comes to the visuals.

The popular Italian painter and sculptor Ugo Nespolo is the designer behind this Spoleto-commissioned production of Francesco Cavalli’s Veremonda, an opera about the Spanish King and Queen’s siege of the fort on the Rock of Gibraltar. You can see a wonderfully jovial-looking Nespolo at work on the backdrops below. 

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Stories of siege and war usually aren’t all that funny, but, since 17th century audiences needed comic relief just like we do, Cavalli, bless him, threw in some comedy with a mistaken-identity plot. 

The show runs May 23, 26, and 30, and June 2 and 5. Read more and get your tickets here

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