by Paola Livorsi

Chamber opera

Empty sheet

Paola Livorsi


Music Finland


Opera, dance and visual arts come together in the multidisciplinary work MEDUSA, inspired by the paintings of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio and the madrigals of Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa (1566–1613). Medusa is a one-act performance that combines opera, dance and visual arts. The music is an organic interweaving of contemporary music composed by Paola Livorsi and the revolutionary Early Baroque harmony of Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa. The libretto is based on Caravaggio's life and ancient texts, which Livorsi and Orava compiled of Latin, Italian and ancient Greek poems. The world premiere of Medusa takes place at the Helsinki Contemporary Opera Festival 2022.

Both Caravaggio and Gesualdo were abusers and murderers. At the same time, they are the most ingenious innovators in the history of Western art and music. Medusa’s ever-present themes - narcissism and power - are discussed through the ancient fables of Narcissus and Medusa. As a result of narcissism, a person becomes petrified as if under the gaze of Medusa. Evil creates its face through violence. The grueling relationship between Caravaggio's character (Jouka Valkama) and his boy lover (Piia Komsi) runs through different scenes of the story.


sopr, cl+bcl+bhn+cl inEb, 2vlc, koto, 2perc, 5dancer


Works for the Stage


Paola Livorsi and Sara Orava


Production: Exit3 company, Helsinki Contemporary Opera Festival 2022. Piia Komsi, voice and cello, Angel Molinos clarinets, Eva Alkula koto, Ville Syriäläinen percussion, Paola Livorsi composer/percussion/sounds, Esther Calderón Morales sound engineer, Sara Orava lavastus, direction, Milla Eloranta coreography/dancer, Jouka Valkama, Anneke Lönnroth, Mira Ollila, Aapo Siikala dancers


Prologue, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

PDF for promotional use


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