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. 

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